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Chocolate Sourdough

Chocolate sourdough bread is a delicious, hearty loaf that can be enjoyed by all! The subtle chocolate paired with a traditional sourdough tang is an unexpectedly decadent treat.

Am I the only foodie who collects cookbooks with unbridled enthusiasm?

It's to the point that I'm smuggling in new cookbooks with the cautious stealth of a mom trying to eat a snack while her kids are awake.

The kids, they judge me. Kevy rolls his eyes at me. And yet the collection grows.

But I swear, there's nothing better than sitting with a cup of coffee, flipping through a cookbook, and dreaming up new recipes! Hence, chocolate sourdough!

This chocolate sourdough bread recipe is dedicated to collections.

Chocolate sourdough boule in a red dutch oven.

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Tips + Tricks

No. 1 --> New to sourdough? Need a starter? Check out my super easy sourdough starter. It's ready in 24 hours!

No. 2 --> While I consider this to be a no-knead sourdough, there is still SOME dough manipulation involved. That said, resist the urge to knead!

No. 3 --> I shape my dough before the bulk fermentation, while most cooks complete a bulk fermentation, then shape before the next rise. We're able to skip that step with this recipe because we are shaping the dough and placing it in the parchment paper-lined bowl right before the rise.

No. 4 --> This recipe is written with an overnight fridge ferment, this can be skipped and the dough can be simply left at room temperature until it doubles before baking per the directions.

Sliced chocolate sourdough bread.

Key Ingredients

Sourdough Starter: use a fed and active 100% hydration starter. The sourdough starter should be very bubbly and risen at least twice its size since feeding.

Dutch Process Cocoa: Dutch-process cocoa is less acidic and has a more mellow flavor profile. This cocoa is also more easily dissolved, and is less acidic which is less likely to interfere with the actions of the yeast in your starter!

Ingredients required for chocolate sourdough bread.

How To Make Chocolate Sourdough

--> Printable recipe card at the bottom of the post.

Feed The Starter:

  1. Combine 60g hungry sourdough starter with 60g water, and 60g bread flour.
  2. Stir until the starter is completely combined, then set aside to rise.
  3. Once the starter has at least doubled in size and is full of bubbles, it is ready to use.

Start The Dough:

  1. Mix 160g of active and bubbly starter with 230g warm water in a large bowl, stirring well until mostly combined.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 330g bread flour, 30g dutch process cocoa powder, 20g granulated sugar, and 6g coarse kosher salt.
  3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until a shaggy dough forms, then continue mixing with your hands or a bowl scraper until combined.

Rest + Fold:

  1. Once the dough has been combined, cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a shower cap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes, perform a series of stretches and folds: with wet hands, grab the dough and gently pull it until the flap is long enough to fold over itself, then fold the flap, rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat 4 times.
  3. Recover the bowl, and set it aside for 30 minutes. Repeat the stretch and fold followed by a 30-minute rest 3 times.
  4. After the final stretch and fold, rest the dough for 1 hour.

Preshape + Bulk Ferment:

  1. Turn the rested dough onto a floured work surface and shape it into your desired shape. For this recipe, I did a boule, folding all edges into the centre until a nice ball shape formed.
  2. Place the shaped dough seam side down on a piece of parchment paper. Then using the parchment as a sling, place it in a bowl or banneton that's a similar size and shape to your dutch oven to rise.
  3. Recover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight to ferment, or allow it to rise on the counter until doubled in size before baking.

Warm + Bake:

  1. If proofing in the fridge overnight, remove the rising bowl from the fridge and allow to warm at room temperature for 3-4 hours before baking.
  2. When ready to bake, place your dutch oven in the oven and preheat to 475f.
  3. Once the oven has reached temperature, use a lame or sharp blade to score the top of your loaf.
  4. Carefully remove the heated dutch oven from the oven, and using the parchment paper as a sling, pick up your loaf and carefully lower it into the dutch oven.
  5. Cook the chocolate sourdough in a covered dutch oven at 475f for 30 minutes, then cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
  6. Remove the loaf from the dutch oven as soon as cooking is complete and place it on a wire mesh rack to cool.

Batch + Storage Information

BATCH:

This recipe bakes a nice small loaf of chocolate bread. This is the perfect amount for our family of 4 to serve with breakfast for at least 2 days.

STORAGE:

If you've got leftover sourdough, you've got serious willpower!

Your boule can be kept cut side down on a cutting board for up to 18 hours before the crust becomes too crisp. I recommend transferring it to a bread bag once cooled.

Your sourdough loaf can also be frozen. To freeze, cool the loaf to room temperature, then tightly wrap in plastic wrap, slide it into a bread bag, seal it up and stick it in the freezer for 1-2 months. To use after freezing, remove the loaf from the freezer, unwrap and allow to come to room temperature (1 -2 hours) before slicing and enjoying.

Hands holding a sliced loaf of chocolate sourdough.

Baker's Schedule

  • Day 1 -->
    • 8 am: Feed my starter room temperature or cooler water. Set aside in a cooler place to activate.
    • 4 pm: Mix up the dough for chocolate sourdough bread.
    • 5:30 pm: The stretching and folding process is complete, and my loaf is shaped and resting in a parchment paper hammock! At this point, I tightly cover the rising bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight.
  • Day 2 -->
    • 8 am: Remove the dough bowl from the fridge and set it on the counter, covered in plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.
    • 12 pm: Set my favorite small dutch oven into the cold oven and preheat both together at 450f.
    • 12:30 pm: Uncover and carefully score the surface of your boule. Then remove the dutch oven from the oven, and using the parchment paper as a sling, lower the boule into the dutch oven. Recover then bake as per the recipe.
Fresh loaf of chocolate sourdough bread.

How To Enjoy Chocolate Sourdough

This is not sweet bread, by any means. It's still got a sourdough tang and chewy texture. There are many ways to enjoy it:

  • toast smeared with Nutella or delicious butter!
  • French toast
  • grilled cheese, stuffed with mascarpone
  • turkey + ricotta sandwich

More Great Sourdough Recipes

3 qt cast iron dutch oven: Much of the success of this bread depends on having a heavy ass cast iron dutch oven. It's one of those things you should already have, and if you don't have one, fix that! The little red one in these photos was my first piece of cast iron and something that started somewhat of a cooking revolution for us a decade ago.

A 3-quart CAST IRON DUTCH OVEN is a workhorse in the kitchen, and you'll find yourself reaching for it often.

Scale: It's really hard to make sourdough without a scale. Sorry, but them's the facts! bread baking and bread dough are a bit of a science. A GOOD KITCHEN SCALE will treat you well over a huge range of recipes, not just sourdough. Think of  HOMEMADE BACON!

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📖 Printable Recipe

Chocolate sourdough boule in a red dutch oven.
Yield: 1 loaf

Chocolate Sourdough

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Rise Time: 18 hours
Bake Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 18 hours 50 minutes

Chocolate Sourdough Bread is the perfect bread to make any day of the week. It's delicious and easy to make, and it can be used in so many ways! This sourdough loaf is not sweet, but still has a tangy flavor that will keep your taste buds happy.

Ingredients

  • 160g active sourdough starter
  • 230g warm water
  • 330g bread flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 20g granulated sugar
  • 6g coarse kosher salt

Instructions

    Feed The Starter:

    1. Combine 60g hungry sourdough starter with 60g water, and 60g bread flour.
    2. Stir until the starter is completely combined, then set aside to rise.
    3. Once the starter has at least doubled in size and is full of bubbles, it is ready to use.

    Start The Dough:

    1. Mix 160g of active and bubbly starter with 230g warm water in a large bowl, stirring well until mostly combined.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 330g bread flour, 30g dutch process cocoa powder, 20g granulated sugar, and 6g coarse kosher salt.
    3. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and stir until a shaggy dough forms, then continue mixing with your hands or a bowl scraper until combined.

    Rest + Fold:

    1. Once the dough has been combined, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
    2. After 30 minutes, perform a series of stretches and folds: with wet hands, grab the dough and gently pull it until the flap is long enough to fold over itself, then fold the flap, rotate the bowl 90 degrees and repeat 4 times.
    3. Recover the bowl, and set it aside for 30 minutes. Repeat the stretch and fold followed by a 30-minute rest 3 times.
    4. After the final stretch and fold, rest the dough for 1 hour.

    Preshape + Bulk Ferment:

    1. Turn the rested dough onto a floured work surface and shape it into your desired shape. For this recipe, I did a boule, folding all edges into the centre until a nice ball shape formed.
    2. Place the shaped dough seam side down on a piece of parchment paper. Then using the parchment as a sling, place it in a bowl or banneton that's a similar size and shape to your dutch oven to rise.
    3. Recover the bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight to ferment, or allow it to rise on the counter until doubled in size before baking.

    Warm + Bake:

    1. If proofing in the fridge overnight, remove the rising bowl from the fridge and allow to warm at room temperature for 3-4 hours before baking.
    2. When ready to bake, place your dutch oven in the oven and preheat to 475f.
    3. Once the oven has reached temperature, use a lame or sharp blade to score the top of your loaf.
    4. Carefully remove the heated dutch oven from the oven, and using the parchment paper as a sling, pick up your loaf and carefully lower it into the dutch oven.
    5. Cook the chocolate sourdough in a covered dutch oven at 475f for 30 minutes, then cook uncovered for 10 minutes.
    6. Remove the loaf from the dutch oven as soon as cooking is complete and place on a wire mesh rack to cool.

    Notes

    Baker's schedule:

    Day 1
    8 am:
     Feed your starter room temperature or cooler water. Set aside in a cooler place to activate.
    4 pm: Mix up the dough for chocolate sourdough bread.
    5:30 pm: The stretching and folding process is complete, and the loaf is shaped and resting in a parchment paper hammock! At this point, tightly cover the rising bowl with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge overnight.

    Day 2
    8 am: 
    Remove the dough bowl from the fridge and set it on the counter, covered in plastic wrap and a kitchen towel.
    12 pm: Set a small dutch oven into the cold oven and preheat both together at 475f.
    12:30 pm: Uncover and carefully score the surface of your boule. Then remove the dutch oven from the oven, and using the parchment paper as a sling, lower the boule into the dutch oven. Recover then bake as per the recipe.

    BATCH:

    This recipe bakes a nice small loaf of chocolate bread. This is the perfect amount for our family of 4 to serve with breakfast for at least 2 days.

    STORAGE:

    If you've got leftover sourdough, you've got serious willpower!

    Your boule can be kept cut side down on a cutting board for up to 18 hours before the crust becomes too crisp. I recommend transferring it to a bread bag once cooled.

    Your sourdough loaf can also be frozen. To freeze, cool the loaf to room temperature, then tightly wrap in plastic wrap, slide it into a bread bag, seal it up and stick it in the freezer for 1-2 months. To use after freezing, remove the loaf from the freezer, unwrap and allow to come to room temperature (1 -2 hours) before slicing and enjoying.

    Nutrition Information:

    Yield:

    8

    Serving Size:

    1

    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 210Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 293mgCarbohydrates: 42gFiber: 2gSugar: 3gProtein: 7g

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