Chocolate Sourdough Revisited
As I get more bread baking experience I constantly find myself wanting to go back and revise recipes I’ve used on the past. After making two loaves of chocolate cherry sourdough I was left with some extra chocolate chunks and a nagging feeling that I could improve upon the chocolate sourdough I’d previously made.
By no means was it bad, but it could have been much better. Because the previous recipe used honey I baked it at a lower temperature to prevent it from burning. This, combined with a lower hydration (60%), made for a relatively dense and dry bread. The new formula produces a delicious open and moist crumb dotted with melted dark chocolate chunks.
Having made 4 total loaves of bread heavy on the chocolate in the past month I will be laying off it for a while now. Which is fine since we still have half a loaf in the freezer that we can snack on. The use of cocoa and dark chocolate chips makes this a hard bread to eat a ton of (but I won’t stop you), and instead I think is best for having a piece or two toasted after a meal.
Saturday morning when we didn’t have any of my typical breakfast options I did use two slices to make french toast. Probably one of the best ideas I’d had in a while and one I highly recommend.
A few housekeeping related items before getting to the recipe. First off, I’m going to start listing ingredients for bread both as weighted amounts and percentages. This is how I store and use recipes; it makes it very easy to compare to other recipes you use and far easier to multiply for when you make several loaves. So for now I’ll list the amounts needed for a single loaf in addition to the baker’s percentages. Second, if you’ve been tiring of sourdough recipes the next few bread recipes I’ll be posting are yeasted breads (including a sprouted grain sandwich loaf I developed). Enjoy the chocolate sourdough!
- 100 g active sourdough starter (20%)
- 400 g water (80%)
- 450 g bread flour (90%)
- 50 g whole wheat flour (10%)
- 10 g salt (2%)
- 40 g 100% cocoa powder (8%)
- 125 g dark chocolate chunks (25%)
- The night before (or at least 7-8 hours) you make your dough combine 2 tablespoons of unfed sourdough starter with 100 g of water, 50 g of all purpose flour, and 50 g of whole wheat flour. Stir until there are no dry bits of flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit out overnight. This will be your active starter the next morning. A drop of the starter will float in water when it is ready.
- When ready, disperse the starter in 375 g of water in a large bowl. Add all flour and cocoa powder and mix by hand until there are no dry bits. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
- After the rest add salt and remaining 25 g of water. Mix well and cover the dough again.
- For the next two hours ‘turn’ the dough every 30 minutes. This means grabbing the underside of the dough, and stretching it up and over the rest of the dough. Perform a few of these turns each time you handle the dough.
- When you perform the first set of turns, add in the chocolate chunks. After two hours is up, let the dough rest for another hour before you turn it again.
- After the third hour, let the dough rest another 30 minutes. Then turn it out onto an unfloured surface. Flour the top of the dough and flip it over. Work into a round shape and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Following the bench rest flour the top of the dough again, flipping it over after so the flour side is face down. Fold the third of the dough closest to you inward, and then stretch the dough out to the sides. Fold the right, and then left, sides in toward the center. Fold the top of the dough inward, and then wrap the bottom part of the dough over it all. Work this into a round shape, and place seam side up in a proofing basket lined well with flour.
- Let rise for 3-4 hours (or overnight in the refrigerator). Before baking place a dutch oven, with the lid on, in the oven and preheat to 500 degrees.
- Once hot, drop the dough into the pan and score the loaves. Immediately place the top back on and return to the oven. Turn the heat down to 450 degrees and cook for 20 minutes.
- After 20 minutes, remove the top of the dutch oven and rotate the pan. Continue to bake the bread for another 20-25 minutes, until the crust is deeply caramelized. Enjoy!