The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

chocolate sourdough bread

dmsnyder's picture

I made two 1 kg boules of my San Francisco-Style Sourdough Bread this weekend. (For the formula, see: My San Francisco Sourdough Quest, Take 3) The formula and procedures were little changed. Some of the fermentation and retardation times and temperatures were changed slightly to fit into the times I (and the oven) had free, but the dough always had the final say as to when it was ready for the next step. 

These loaves were proofed in linen-lined bannetons. Overnight cold retarding was done after dividing and shaping a well-fermented dough. Final proof was for about 3 hours at temperatures varying from 68 to 85 degrees F, mostly at the higher temperature. (I baked each loaf seperately, so I had to use variations in temperature to have the second loaf at just the right degree of proofing when the oven was free and re-heated after baking the first loaf.  If you are curious, the loaf on the right was the first one baked.

I scored with a diamond pattern this week, rather than the square pattern of previous weeks' bakes. The loaves were baked at 450 degrees F for 45 minutes, the first 15 minutes with steam.

This weekend's mix had about 1% more whole wheat. I think I can see the effect of even this very small modification in the crumb, and I thought the flavor of the whole wheat came through a bit more. This bread was less like a 1960's-type San Francisco Sourdough and more like a French Pain de Campagne.

The crust was nice and crunchy. The crumb was cool and moderately chewy with a nice complex flavor and moderate sourdough tang.


rossnroller's picture

I've been going through a wing-it phase, experimenting with creating sourdough cakes, brownies and other goodies I'd previously only made using more conventional recipes. I wasn't intending to make chocolate sourdough bread at all, but did so on an impulse when one of my wing-it episodes landed me with a bit too much chocolate and walnut cake mixture.

I just chucked in AP flour, a bit more starter, a bit of salt and enough water to give me a dough of the consistency I like. Random enough beginnings, but the happy accident I referred to in the post title came later. I forgot about the bread after the final proof, and left it sitting on the kitchen bench overnight, rather than retarding fermentation in the fridge (which is my usual modus operandi, partly because I like the flavour imparted by the extended fermentation, and partly to suit my baking schedule). 

This long overnight final proof at room temp can work well if the ambient temps are cool, but this was one of the warmer winter nights - around 21C in the kitchen from memory, maybe warmer. Actually, definitely warmer until we went to bed - we had a fire on.

Anyway, when I got up next morning and opened the fridge to find the dough missing, I realised what had happened. On uncovering the dough, I was annoyed to find it puffed up and bloated to an enormous size. It was literally bursting at the seams! When I slashed it prior to loading, it parted extravagantly. Not the worst sign, I noted with faint hope. I was expecting it to deflate like a pierced football bladder.  Sure it was grossly overproofed nevertheless, I decided to go ahead and bake it anyway on the off-chance that it would somehow turn out edible.

Well, bugger me - what a shock! It was the lightest, softest crumbed sourdough bread I have ever baked!! The pics don't show how big and light this baby was per dough weight (considerably less than my usual bake of around 800-1000g), but do give some indication of the airy crumb. There was no sign of overproofing in the finished product!

And the flavour? Mild chocolate with a hint of sour. Would be nice with maraschino cherry jam, I imagine, but we only tried it with strawberry jam (not bad) and marmalade (better - combined well with the orange tang). All in all, though, it was at its best simply spread with butter.

I'm not into novelty breads so won't be repeating this one in a hurry, but would go down well at a kid's birthday party, I suspect - spread with nutella with hundreds-and-thousands? (erk!)

Cheers all




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