Sourdough has become a slight obsession of mine. I’ve noticed that it’s common for people who get into sourdough to get completely engulfed in working their starters (Tamagotchi anyone?) and baking delicious breads. Breads that are not only a lot healthier than your average store-bought bread, but also a hundred times tastier. Normally these breads are your common “bread and butter” types of breads, but I’ve started branching out into the world of add-ins and changing the flavor overall. This is my recipe for a chocolate sourdough bread.
Sourdough bread is usually something you’d think of as tangy, not sweet, but this bread takes the whole taste experience in the other direction. You definitely get a cakey vibe, but it’s really not sweet at all. The crumb is dark and chocolaty, with specks of chocolate pieces, sweet Cointreau soaked raisins and crunchy and very nutty hazelnuts.
You can eat it all by itself, or with some beautiful butter on top. Personally I feel like a piece of strong cheese really suits the flavors.
To make this bread you will need an active sourdough starter. You can follow my guide here to make your own.
If you don’t want to use alcohol I totally understand that. The Cointreau is orange flavoured, so you can just substitute with orange juice. Easy peasy.
The formula in this chocolate sourdough bread recipe
The levain for this bread is just a regular 100% hydration levain with some spelt flour for added boost.
|38g||sourdough starter (100% hydration)||50.0%|
The dough’s hydration is 75%, but because of the added cocoa powder, it’s a pretty stiff dough. I like the crumb to be relatively tight on this bread, so that the add-ins don’t just fall out of the bread when you cut a piece.
|100g||Foodgeek Chocolate 70% Muscovado||12.4%|
As always, if you want to play around with the recipe or change the hydration, it can be done in my bread calculator.
The conclusion of this chocolate sourdough bread recipe
This is a very different beast of a sourdough bread but it absolutely delicious and doesn’t seem like anything else I’ve tried before.
Like a regular sourdough bread, the crust is super crunchy and the crumb is soft and somewhat stretchy.
The combination of the different tastes is a perfect combination: dark, earthy and fruity notes from the chocolate, soft plump orangy raisins and the nuttiest hazelnuts with a wonderful crunch, that gives the bread a wonderful texture breakup.
It’s no more complicated to make than any other sourdough bread and it would be awesome as a snack or for a dinner party, maybe as a course before the dessert. People will be absolutely amazed with it.
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This is my recipe for a for chocolate sourdough bread. I hope you will try to bake it. If you bake it and post it on Instagram, please tag me as @foodgeek.dk so I can see your creations. That will make me happy.
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Chocolate Sourdough Bread
- 38 g bread flour
- 38 g spelt flour
- 76 g water
- 38 g sourdough starter (100% hydration)
- 658 g bread flour
- 146 g spelt flour
- 579 g water 529g autolyse / 50g for salt
- 18 g fine salt
- 72 g brown sugar
- 27 g honey
- 72 g Valrhona Cocoa Powder or another dutch process cocoa powder
- 100 g Foodgeek Chocolate 70% Dark Muscovado
- 100 g hazelnuts
- 100 g raisins
- 50 g Cointreau Substitute with orange juice
- 190 g levain
Make levain – morning
- Mix all the ingredients of the levain in a tall glass container.
- Put an elastic band around the container where the top of the levain is so you can monitor the growth.
- Put a lid loosely on top and put somewhere warm until doubled.
Autolyse – morning
- In a bowl mix bread flour, spelt flour and cocoa powder.
- Add all but 50 grams of the water to the flour mixture.
- Blend everything so that all flour is hydrated. The mixture can be a bit stiff so knead lightly if needed.
- Cover with a wet dish cloth until needed.
Ready the raisins – morning
- Add the raisins to a small bowl.
- Pour over Cointreau and leave until you need it.
Remove skins and toast hazelnuts – morning
- Turn the oven on to 180°C/400°F/Gas Mark 4.
- Add 3 tbsp of baking soda to 1 liter of water and bring to the boil.
- Turn the heat down to a simmer.
- Add the hazelnuts and simmer for 3 minutes. Pour off the (black) water into a strainer.
- Now remove all the skins by pressing on each hazelnut so the skin pops off.
- Once all the skins are removed, dry off the nuts in a clean dish towel.
- Add to a small pan and toast in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and add to a small bowl to cool. Once cooled, chop them very coarsely.
Mix the dough – noon
- Once the levain has doubled, it's time to mix the dough.
- Add salt, honey, brown sugar and 50 grams of water. Combined lightly by folding a bit. Then add the levain and incorporate everything.
- Because the dough is stiff, this may take a while, so take your time and make sure you have everything incorporated.
- Leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
Mix in the add-ins – about 12:30/12.30pm
- Wet your hand and loose the dough from the bowl.
- Drizzle about half of the hazelnuts on top of the dough and do a couple of stretch and folds to incorporate.
- Pour the rest of the hazelnuts on top and strech and fold a couple of times again.
- Chop the chocolate coarsely and spread it over the dough. Stretch and fold a couple of times.
- Repeat with the raisins, making sure to discard whatever Cointreau that hasn't been soaked up by the raisins.
- Leave the dough to rest for 30 minutes.
Bulk fermentation – about 13:00/1.00pm
- We will be doing 3 sets of stretch and folds spaced out by 30 minutes.
- First wet your hands and loosen the dough from the sides of the bowl.
- Then grab the back of the dough with one hand. Stretch the dough as far as it goes without breaking and then fold it down over the dough.
- Turn the bowl a quarter turn and repeat 3 more times until you have stretched and folded the dough from all four sides.
- Leave the dough to rest covered until the next 30 minutes are up.
- After the 3 sets of stretch and folds you can try and do a windowpane test to see how gluten development is coming along, but it can be hard because the addins might cut the pane. The long autolyse should have made sure that gluten is properly developed.
- Leave the dough to rest until it's grown by 20-40% and looks more puffy. It usually takes 2½ hours at 21°C/70°F with a good and active starter, but judge your own dough.
Divide and preshape – about 15:30/3.30pm
- When the dough has finished bulk, it's time to divide the dough and preshape it.
- Pour the dough onto your unfloured kitchen counter.
- Using your bench scraper cut the dough in two equally sized pieces.
- Put one part of the dough to the side.
- Grab the other part and stretch each of the four sides out and fold in over the dough. Sort of like a letter.
- Grab the dough with your bench scraper and flip it upside down, so that the part that was facing the table is now upwards.
- Put your bench scraper behind the dough and pull it forward over the table, so that the front of the dough is pulled down underneath the dough ball. You can use your other hand to guide the dough.
- When the dough ball can't get any further, put the bench scraper in front of the ball and push it forward while turning the scraper around so that you end up behind the ball again.
- Keep going until the dough ball has a taut surface.
- Repeat with the other piece of dough and leave them to rest on the counter for 20 minutes.
Shape the dough – about 16:00/4.00pm
- Start by flouring your bannetons liberally with rice flour.
- Once the 20 minutes are up you should shape the dough.
- Follow the instructions for the preshape and once the dough is shaped. Flip it upside down into the floured banneton.
- Put the banneton in a plastic bag and place it in the fridge over night.
- Continue with the other dough ball.
Bake the bread – next morning
- If you have a baking steel or a pizza stone place it on a rack in the lower middle of the oven. Place a dutch oven or combo cooker on top.
- Preheat the oven to 260°C/500°F/Gas Mark 10 (or 9 if not available).
- Preheat for a good hour to make sure everything is scorching hot for the bake.
- Take a banneton with a boule from the fridge.
- Flip it out onto a peel covered with parchment paper.
- Add extra rice flour to that the surface is completely covered.
- Score the bread. I like to do a big cross on this bread, because of the way it opens up, but pick your favorite. It doesn't affect the taste of the bread.
- Open the oven. Put the bread in the dutch oven by pulling or carrying the bread over. Put on the lid and close the oven.
- Bake for 20 minutes covered.
- Turn down the oven to 230°C/450°F/Gas Mark 8.
- Open the oven and remove the top of the dutch oven. If you have room in the oven you can keep it in there, but I usually just place it on my stove until I need it again.
- Close the door and bake for another 25-30 minutes. Don't be worried if the bread get's a bit dark around the edges. It's a good sign.
- When the bread is done, take it out and place it on a wire rack to cool.
- Continue with the other bread by reheating to 260°C/500°F/Gas Mark 10.
- Put the top of the dutch oven top back in the oven. When the oven is hot bake the other bread.
- Let the breads cool completely before you cut into them.
I am crazy about food, cakes, snacks and everything in between. I love to do tons of experiments to find the best recipe, so that you don’t have to.