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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.

Sliced chocolate sourdough loaf with chocolate chunks and walnuts.
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Tips + Tricks

No. 1 -->  If you're overwhelmed with all things sourdough, I can help you! I have guides on everything from making a 24 HOUR SOURDOUGH STARTER, to PICKING THE BEST STARTER JAR, to FEEDING SOURDOUGH STARTER, to STORING SOURDOUGH STARTER, to PROOFING IN THE FRIDGE, to FREEZING SOURDOUGH BREAD, to USING UP DISCARD, and more.

No. 2 --> 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.

No. 3 --> Don't have a BANNETON BASKET? I have a guide on BANNETONS AND BANNETON ALTERNATIVES!

No. 4 --> This recipe was updated in July 2023. Changes include; increasing water by 15g, adding 40g chopped walnuts, 70g chocolate chunks, and 1/2 tablespoon espresso powder. These inclusions are optional, and the chocolate sourdough can be made without them.

Sliced chocolate sourdough loaf.

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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!

Labeled ingredients photo.

How To Make Chocolate Sourdough

Start The Dough:

  1. Mix 160g of active and bubbly starter with 245g warm water and 40g granulated sugar in a large bowl, stirring well until mostly combined.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 330g bread flour, 30g dutch process cocoa powder, and 1/2 tablespoon espresso powder.
  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 it to rest for 30 minutes.
  2. After 30 minutes sprinkle 6 g salt on top of the dough and 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. Recover the bowl, and set it aside for 30 minutes.
  3. After 30 minutes, and add 40g chopped walnuts and 70g chocolate chunks and perform the second set of stretch and folds to incorporate the inclusions. Allow to rest for another 30 minutes and perform 1 more set of stretch and folds, for a total of 3 sets.
  4. After the final stretch and fold, rest the dough for 1 hour.

Preshape + Shape:

  1. Lightly flour the work surface and use a bowl scraper to turn the double chocolate walnut sourdough out onto the floured surface. Try to get the smooth top part face down so that the sticky underside is on top facing you, this will make shaping the dough easier.
  2. Fold the edges into the middle, alternating sides as though lacing the dough together. Then starting from the bottom, tightly roll the dough into a batard. Stop there if making a batard, or tuck the long ends underneath to create a boule.
  3. Allow the dough to rest covered for 20 minutes.
  4. Place your hands underneath the dough and using your pinkies, apply pressure to the dough and drag it along the work surface to increase surface tension in the dough. Avoid overtightening the dough because it may tear with the inclusions.
  5. Dust the top of your boule or batard with rice flour, then use a bench scraper to pick up the dough, flip the dough, and place it upside down, or seam side up, into a banneton to prove. Don't have a banneton? Check out these BANNETON ALTERNATIVES.

Cold proof:

Cover the banneton with a reusable plastic bag and place it in the fridge. During the proving period, the dough will rise in the banneton, but due to the cool temperatures in the fridge, it won't be a marked difference. See my post on PROOFING SOURDOUGH IN THE FRIDGE for more information.

Chocolate walnut sourdough loaf after cold proof.

Pre-heat oven:

  1. Place your dutch oven, cloche, or desired baking dish in the oven and preheat to 450f. If you don't have a dutch oven, I do have a recommendation on HOW TO BAKE SOURDOUGH BREAD WITHOUT A DUTCH OVEN.

Bake :

  1. Once the oven is preheated, remove the dough from the fridge and invert the banneton onto a sheet of parchment paper.
  2. Use a lame, sharp knife, or clean razor blade to score the dough, I usually like to make one deep curved slash when adding inclusions, but you can get as fancy as you like!
  3. Carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven, and using the parchment paper as a sling, transfer the sourdough loaf from the counter into the dutch oven.
  4. Bake the dough at 450f covered for 20 minutes and uncovered at 450f for 25-30 minutes, or until the loaf is cooked through. You can test the doneness of the loaf with an instant-read thermometer. Bread is cooked once it reaches 205 - 210 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature.

Cool:

  1. Remove baked bread from the dutch oven and transfer it to a wire mesh cooling rack to cool completely before slicing. I like to leave it for at least 2 hours before slicing, as slicing too soon can affect the crumb and texture of your loaf.
  2. Check out my guide on STORING SOURDOUGH BREAD to ensure it stays fresh for days, or learn HOW TO FREEZE SOURDOUGH bread for a rainy day.

Batch + Storage Information

BATCH:

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

STORAGE:

There are a couple of ways to store sourdough bread to extend the life of your baked loaf!

Your sourdough can be kept cut side down on a cutting board for up to 24 hours before the crust becomes too crisp. I recommend transferring it to a bread bag after 16-18 hours.

Your loaf can also be frozen. To freeze sourdough, 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 it to come to room temperature (1 -2 hours) before slicing and enjoying.

Baker's Schedule

  • Day 1 -->
    • 7:30 am: Feed your sourdough starter
    • 1:00 pm: Mix up the dough.
    • 3:30 pm: Stretch and fold process is complete.
    • 4:00 pm: Pre-shape and shape dough, then slide it into a plastic bag and place in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
  • Day 2 -->
    • 8:30 am: Set a dutch oven into the cold oven and preheat both together at 450f.
    • 9:30 am: Flip the chocolate loaf onto a parchment paper square, score the top of the loaf then bake.

More Great Sourdough Recipes

How To Enjoy Chocolate Sourdough

This is not a 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

📖 Printable Recipe

Sliced chocolate sourdough loaf with chocolate chunks and walnuts.
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
  • 245g warm water
  • 40g granulated white sugar
  • 330g bread flour
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon espresso powder
  • 6g coarse kosher salt
  • 40g chopped walnuts
  • 70g chocolate chunks

Instructions

    Start The Dough:

    1. Mix 160g of active and bubbly starter with 245g warm water and 40g granulated sugar in a large bowl, stirring well until mostly combined.
    2. In a medium bowl, whisk together 330g bread flour, 30g dutch process cocoa powder, and 1/2 tablespoon espresso powder.
    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 it to rest for 30 minutes.
    2. After 30 minutes sprinkle 6 g salt on top of the dough and 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. Recover the bowl, and set it aside for 30 minutes.
    3. After 30 minutes, and add 40g chopped walnuts and 70g chocolate chunks and perform the second set of stretch and folds to incorporate the inclusions. Allow to rest for another 30 minutes and perform 1 more set of stretch and folds, for a total of 3 sets.
    4. After the final stretch and fold, rest the dough for 1 hour.

    Preshape + Shape:

    1. Lightly flour the work surface and use a bowl scraper to turn the double chocolate walnut sourdough out onto the floured surface. Try to get the smooth top part face down so that the sticky underside is on top facing you, this will make shaping the dough easier.
    2. Fold the edges into the middle, alternating sides as though lacing the dough together. Then starting from the bottom, tightly roll the dough into a batard. Stop there if making a batard, or tuck the long ends underneath to create a boule.
    3. Allow the dough to rest covered for 20 minutes.
    4. Place your hands underneath the dough and using your pinkies, apply pressure to the dough and drag it along the work surface to increase surface tension in the dough. Avoid overtightening the dough because it may tear with the inclusions.
    5. Dust the top of your boule or batard with rice flour, then use a bench scraper to pick up the dough, flip the dough, and place it upside down, or seam side up, into a banneton to prove. Don't have a banneton? Check out these BANNETON ALTERNATIVES.

    Cold proof:

    Cover the banneton with a reusable plastic bag and place it in the fridge. During the proving period, the dough will rise in the banneton, but due to the cool temperatures in the fridge, it won't be a marked difference. See my post on PROOFING SOURDOUGH IN THE FRIDGE for more information.

    Pre-heat oven:

    1. Place your dutch oven, cloche, or desired baking dish in the oven and preheat to 450f. If you don't have a dutch oven, I do have a recommendation on HOW TO BAKE SOURDOUGH BREAD WITHOUT A DUTCH OVEN.

    Bake :

    1. Once the oven is preheated, remove the dough from the fridge and invert the banneton onto a sheet of parchment paper.
    2. Use a lame, sharp knife, or clean razor blade to score the dough, I usually like to make one deep curved slash when adding inclusions, but you can get as fancy as you like!
    3. Carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven, and using the parchment paper as a sling, transfer the sourdough loaf from the counter into the dutch oven.
    4. Bake the dough at 450f covered for 20 minutes and uncovered at 450f for 25-30 minutes, or until the loaf is cooked through. You can test the doneness of the loaf with an instant-read thermometer. Bread is cooked once it reaches 205 - 210 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature

    Cool:

    1. Remove baked bread from the dutch oven and transfer it to a wire mesh cooling rack to cool completely before slicing. I like to leave it for at least 2 hours before slicing, as slicing too soon can affect the crumb and texture of your loaf.
    2. Check out my guide on STORING SOURDOUGH BREAD to ensure it stays fresh for days, or learn HOW TO FREEZE SOURDOUGH bread for a rainy day.

    Notes

    Baker's schedule:

    Day 1 -->

    • 7:30 am: Feed your sourdough starter
    • 1:00 pm: Mix up the dough.
    • 3:30 pm: Stretch and fold process is complete.
    • 4:00 pm: Pre-shape and shape dough, then slide it into a plastic bag and place in the fridge for up to 48 hours.

    Day 2 -->

    • 8:30 am: Set a dutch oven into the cold oven and preheat both together at 450f.
    • 9:30 am: Flip the chocolate loaf onto a parchment paper square, score the top of the loaf then bake.

    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.

    Recommended Products

    As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn a commission from qualifying purchases.

    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

    Did you make this recipe?

    Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

    Pin this Chocolate Sourdough Bread Recipe!

    Recipe notes:

    This recipe was updated July 2023. Changes include; increasing water by 15g, adding 40g chopped walnuts, 70 g chocolate chunks, and 1/2 tablespoon espresso powder. These inclusions are optional, and the chocolate sourdough can be made without them.

    Original recipe photos are located below.

    Share Your Thoughts

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    Ali

    Sunday 16th of July 2023

    Hi, can I do a counter top room temperature proof? Could I use brewed coffee as a part of my water instead of espresso powder?

    Ally

    Sunday 16th of July 2023

    Hey Ali, great name!

    Yes, you'll just want to watch the progress of the proof to avoid over proofing, but absolutely. Also yes! Try to use strong brewed coffee if you can!

    Julie

    Wednesday 15th of March 2023

    Do you bloom the cocoa first?

    Ally

    Wednesday 15th of March 2023

    I never have!

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