Chocolate Sourdough Bread recipe

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.

Chocolate sourdough bread on a board in front of a brick wall

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.

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
38gbread flour50.0%
38gspelt flour50.0%
38gsourdough 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.

WeightIngredientBaker's Percentage
658gbread flour81.8%
146gspelt flour18.2%
18gfine salt2.2%
72gbrown sugar9.0%
72gcocoa powder9.0%
100gFoodgeek Chocolate 70% Muscovado12.4%

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.

Two chocolate sourdough breads cooling on a wirerack

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 so I can see your creations. That will make me happy.

Closeup of the crust of a sourdough bread with chocolate, cocoa, orange flavored raisins and toasted hazelnuts

Ad links! Links for equipmement and ingredients in this recipe are affliate links, which means that I will a commission if you purchase the product!

Chocolate Sourdough Bread

Course: Dessert, Snack
Cuisine: All
Keyword: chocolate, hazelnuts, raisins, sourdough, sourdough bread
Prep: 45 minutes
Cook: 1 hour 30 minutes
Proof and retard: 18 hours
Total: 1 day
Servings: 2 breads
Calories: 2720kcal
Author: Sune Trudslev
Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Sourdough Bread
Amount Per Serving (1 bread)
Calories 2720 Calories from Fat 594
% Daily Value*
Fat 66g102%
Saturated Fat 18g113%
Sodium 3557mg155%
Carbohydrates 461g154%
Fiber 46g192%
Sugar 62g69%
Protein 74g148%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
An absolutely gorgeous bread with dark chocolate, Cointreau soaked raisins and toasted hazelnuts. It's so delicious!
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  • 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



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.


Skriv et svar

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  1. fiorella marca Reply

    Hello, I loved your blog, a query I want to replace in this recipe the mother dough with poolish. Would you make 25g of flour plus 25 grams of water and fresh yeast? How much should you let the poolish rest? Would you follow the same recipe procedure, right? Thank you.

  2. John Reply

    You need to adjust the starter formula to match the starter in the recipe, as it is very confusing due to different starter weight in the formula vs recipe.

    • Well, that or explain how much to be used 🙂 I updated the recipe. Thanks 🙂

  3. John Reply

    So now, the recipe mismatch the video… and also the print button does not work.

  4. Hala Reply

    Thank you so much for saving me through my initial failed sourdough bread trials.
    Your recipes and techniques helped me succeed.
    Today i baked the chocolate hazelnut sourdough bread
    The area under the ear exploded. What does that mean.
    Is this over proofed !?

    Can I share a photo. !?

    • Is it a giant big hole under the crust? Then it is probably under proofed.

      Send me a mail from the contact form and I will reply back and you can send the image.

  5. Steven Dallas Thompson Reply

    Can I substitute another flour for spelt? I have Almond, Rice, and Sorghum flours at hand, but no spelt.

  6. Hi Sune, thanks for the recipe. I have one in the over right now! Do you check internal temps? If so, what do you aim for with this loaf?

    I had to modify the recipe due to deciding to start the process at 9pm… so I did bulk fermented for only 2-3 hours at around 20C, then put it in the fridge for 8 hours. Then got it out, let it warm up for an hour, preshaped, rest, shaped, proofed for another hour. Into the oven (was still cool internally, but finger poke seemed good). So far has had great oven spring, so I’m looking forward to seeing the inside!

    • For crusty sourdough bread I will usually go for 99C/210F 🙂

  7. Jamie Reply

    Does honey affect the hydration of the dough?

    • It’s not part of the hydration, but as anything you add, it can affect the perceived hydration 🙂

  8. David Reply

    Could you use normal cocoa powder instead of dutch processed cocoa powder? If so, should recipe be adjusted for it?

  9. Elyse Reply

    Looks delicious. How wet should the dough be?