The Fresh Loaf

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Shiao-Ping's Chocolate SD-My take

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ehanner's picture
ehanner

Shiao-Ping's Chocolate SD-My take

When I saw Shiao-Ping's post of Chocolate Sourdough, I knew I had to try it. Her beautiful images drew me into the project and made me drool for a rich dark decadent desert bread. I thought it might pair with cranberry's well and tried a couple different liquors to soak them for extra flavor. I had some great morning oatmeal for a couple days but in the end I decided to let the cranberry's be cranberry's.


I followed SP's time line nearly exactly except I let the dough proof in plastic bannetons at room temp until they were 50% larger. On bake day, I held my breath and slashed the rather dense dough after dusting and loaded the first 2 in the oven. The cut marks didn't open even a little when I made the slash and I was worried these were going to be black doorstops.


To my delight and surprise after the 10 minute steam timer went off, I checked and found the oven spring was happening.


One interesting thing to report. Just as I was loading on a stone, I saw some chocolate chips on the surface and wondered how much of a mess I would have after baking. To my surprise, the chips don't seem to run out. In fact the ones on the exterior were firm to the touch when I unloaded the oven. I don't know much of anything about chocolate in the kitchen so maybe someone with pastry experience will jump in on this.


As Shiao-Ping said the flavor is Moorish. To me that means I need more for lunch. This is a delicious gift bread that takes a couple days including the SD elaboration and well worth the effort. Thank you Shiao-Ping for your lovely inspiration.


Here is the recipe as posted by Shiao-Ping, goddess of chocolate!


Eric





Comments

audra36274's picture
audra36274

What a wonderful deep rich color. The smell had to be heavenly. Eric you sure have lucky family and friends !


  Question, is it harder to tell when a  bread that is this dark is close to ready? I have to really watch my dark rolls and they aren't near the  deep rich color of yours. I have to snatch one and put the thermometer to it.You are indeed an inspiration! Boy that Guatamalan Hot Chocolate bread recipe lurking in my cookbook is calling me even louder!

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thanks Audra for your comments. I just followed the directions and baked it/them for 40 minutes at 380F. Rotated at the halfway point. Usually I would measure them but the time seemed about right. The color is due in large part to the coco anyway.


Eric

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

What gorgeous looking boules and chocolate to boot..lovely and holidayish, Eric!


Sylvia

Susan's picture
Susan

Stunning, Eric!


Susan from San Diego

LindyD's picture
LindyD

Very pretty, Eric, but what does it taste like?  I'm not sure what "Moorish" means.


I love bread and I love chocolate.  I'm not sure I would like them combined and am curious about the taste.


Do you eat it plain?  Or with something sugary or fruity on top?  

smasty's picture
smasty

I have been dying to try this recipe!  I'm the only bread eater in my house though, so every time I bake, I have to slice and freeze...so I'm still working through the pumpkin/cranberry/walnut bread before I can make this.  It's next on the list though.  Thanks for keeping it top-of-mind!  It looks amazing!

ques2008's picture
ques2008

even your scoring is fabulous!  well done...

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Thank you all.  Sylvia, it is a holiday type bread. I think it tastes better than it sounds. The idea of a sour and chocolate together is a little weird on the ears but trust me this is a full blown hearty desert bread.

Susan, thank you! I think this will look even better cooked under cover of the Magic Bowl.


Lindy, This is a case where the aroma is as good as  the taste. If you like chocolate you will like this bread. It's very flavorful. You know how fresh brewed coffee always smells great but usually the flavor is just half of the richness of the aroma? This is the opposite. This is easily as good as it smells.


Smasty, You are indeed a lucky person. If I were you, I would make this bread quietly, slice it as you say and freeze the loaf. Every morning with coffee I would warm a piece and eat it with a little butter knowing this is as good as it gets.


Thank you ques2008, I wish I could say the cut marks were inspired and done with skill. Lol, when I drew the serrated tomato knife across the dough, I was muttering to myself how this didn't have much life in it. Think slashing play-dough. Just a cut in a soft dark clay. I was totally thrilled when they sprung in the oven. Those yeasty beasties in sourdough are some kind of strong. I'm impressed!


Eric

CaptainBatard's picture
CaptainBatard

I have tried a similar bread by Silverman and enjoyed it a lot...I think you would of really hit it on the head with the berries....sweet and sour thing....


Judd

ehanner's picture
ehanner

CaptainB,


You are right, the berry's are great with the sweet. Just a little hint of something.


This project has me thing about what else might work in a dough.


Eric

giertson's picture
giertson

Great breads! I remember seeing Shiao-Ping's original post and thinking I should bake this come December, and this was a great reminder. Curious:


What type of chocolate did you use? I feel that just about any type (dark, semi sweet and milk) could be justified. Any suggestions now that you've tasted the final product?

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I used Hersey's Coco and Nestles Chocolate Chips. Just standard off the shelf products. I chose the Hersey's Coco (unsweetened) because I like that chocolate better than anything I have ever used for fudge. I've made a lot of fudge for many years and tried all kinds of expensive brands and Dutch processed chocolate. In my opinion you can't beat the depth of flavor of Hersey's unsweetened Coco. It melts perfectly with no grain every time.


Off the subject slightly. My kids and all their friends swear my fudge is the best they have ever tasted. Around this time of year my old Grandmothers recipe gets a workout.


Eric

smasty's picture
smasty

Hey Eric...I've studied fudge making for the last 2 months in preparation for making a batch.  I'm a big Alton Brown fan and watched his "Fudge Factor" show multiple times.  I finally made a batch on Friday, and it crashed and burned.  Despite having the "book" knowledge, and knowing the key steps to making it turn out well, it still turned into a pan of grainy chocolate mess.  There's easy fudge and hard fudge...I wanted to make it the very traditional way.  If you have a secret, let me know. 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

This is a little off the track but I guess it's alright to Hi Jack my own thread.


The recipe I followed as a kid when my Grandmother taught me was off the Hersey's coco can. I don't think the same recipe is still on the Hersey's can but like a lot of things, the technique is the key to success. This isn't very difficult but you need to pay attention to the time and temp of the candy as it cooks. Don't leave the stove and have everything ready in advance. If you are one of those that thinks fudge is easy after you melt the marshmallows, just stop reading now. This is for people who love real fudge.Creamy deeply flavored fudge.


To start with you need the following items to make fudge.



  • Heavy 4 quart pan with about 6-7 inches diameter.

  • Metal stir pan like a 9x13 cake pan. I like an aluminum plain pan.

  • Flat bottom wooden spatula for stirring in the cooking pan.

  • Measure spoons and cups

  • Candy Thermometer

  • Plastic Wrap

  • Metal Tablespoon for stirring in the cake pan.


Ingredients:



  • 2 Cups (450g) Sugar

  • 1 Cup Milk (Whole is better but I have used 2%)

  • 1/2 Cup (45g) coco powder (Hersey's unsweetened) Not the hard cubes you break up under any condition. And not Dutch processed coco.

  • 1/4 teaspoon Salt

  • 3 Tablespoons Karo Syrup-Light variety

  • 1/2 teaspoon instant coffee granules (Optional)

  • 3 Tablespoons (42g) Butter

  • 2 Tablespoons (28g) Butter cut into several pieces.

  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract

  • Optional: 1/2 Cup nuts or dried fruit


Method:


It is important to know at what temp water boils at your location. 212F is the standard at sea level. I live in Wisconsin where it is around 600 feet above sea level +-. My water boils at 211F. Add 26F to your boiling temp and write that number down for later reference. That is your finish temp, sometimes called "softball". If you want to make good candy such as fudge you must get this part right.


The technique part of fudge making that goes un noticed by many is that the process must not be rushed. For planning, the time on the stove should be around 25 minutes at medium heat. More important is the time between the boiling point of water and the finish temp. It should take all of 20 minutes to rise from 211F to 238F in my case. You need to get a feel how high the heat needs to be to not reach the finish temp to soon.


Combine all ingredients down to the 3 T Butter (including) into the pan trying to get the sugar and coco on the bottom and not all over the sides. I start with the heat on medium heat and stir every minute or so to combine the ingredients. When you start to see boiling start watch the candy thermometer. When it hits your boiling point note the time. You can continue to stir making sure to get all the sugar granules off the sides of the pan.You may have to turn the flame or heat control down if you think you will reach the finish to soon.


When you do reach the finish temp, pull the thermometer out,set it on the counter or in a dry cup and immediately pour the fudge in to the waiting baking pan. I always help the last remnants of fudge with the spatula but the chefs say not to because you might get some un melted sugar which will make it turn crystalline.


Let the fudge sit in the pan for a minute to cool off slightly and then add the second amount of butter (2T). While the butter is melting, pull off an 18 inch sheet of plastic wrap ahead of time and lay it smoothly on the counter near where you are working. Begin to stir slowly. Do not beat the fudge, just a gentile stir to keep it moving. I use a pot holder to hold the pan as it is quite hot. As the fudge cools, add the vanilla extract and stir to combine.


It is critical to watch how the fudge is beginning to thicken up.If you are planning on adding walnuts or pecans, don't wait until the very last second or you might not get them mixed in. The nuts will speed up the cooling process.  As it cools the rate of getting thick will increase. All of a sudden you realize it is getting hard and you need to get it out of the pan. The point at which you should rush over to the counter where the plastic wrap is waiting is when the ribbons or stir marks hold their shape for 5 seconds before settling back into the mass. It will start to loose it's sheen also telling you it's now or never.


Quickly help the fudge out on the counter and smooth it as best you can into a rectangle. With a sharp paring knife, score the fudge into squares while it is still hot. I usually clean the knife with a napkin before every cut. Leave to cool open for a few 10 minutes. After you have snacked on a few pieces, wrap the fudge block in the plastic wrap. It will become even more creamy by tomorrow, if there is a tomorrow for the remainder!


This is a very good fudge done in the old fashioned way. My Mother gave me the book entitled "Wild About Fudge" by Marilyn Myerly which I use for reference when I make this candy. It's the same recipe I used as a young man.


I can't stress enough how much you need a good candy thermometer and to use it properly. I find myself pulling the pan off a degree or two early because it will coast to the finish while I am fussing with the thermometer getting ready to pour. You do not want to over cook this recipe. If you do, you can add a small amount of milk and cook again up to the finish point. That might salvage a mistake but it's way better to pay attention to the rise. I hope you try this and enjoy it as much as we have over the years.


Eric

smasty's picture
smasty

This is the traditional fudge recipe that I want to master, thank you so much!  Interesting technique using the two pans.  I'm sure I had undissolved sugar granules which caused my crystallization.  I have printed your instructios and will try them this week and report back.  Thanks again!!


Sue

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Sue,


The older I get the more I appreciate things that are simple goodness. I like music where I can hear the artist, I like bread that has real flavor with out the additions first, and the little candy I eat has to be simple and uncomplicated goodness in taste. IThe only other candy I make is Divinity and that falls in the same catagory as this fudge. I'm going to try my hand at pralines this year for Christmas too.


Please do let me know how you like this recipe. Cook it slowly and keep track of the temp and you will enjoy it. If it gets over cooked the stirring time will be shorter and it might be grainy. A little undercooked is better than over and the stir time will be longer but it will always set up.


Eric

smasty's picture
smasty

Thanks Eric...that's wisdom I'm also discovering!  I plan to make it today I hope.  I made a highly successful "Chocolate Toffee" recipe that I found on The Food Network site...absolutely fantastic and doesn't stick to teeth (or minimally).  It disappeared really quickly here--but it would fall into your "uncomplicated taste" category.  Simple clean ingredients...butter, sugar, roasted almonds, cocoa.  It did take an hour on my stove to reach 300 degrees though, but turned out lovely.  I know it took you a long time to post your recipe...I'll let you know how it goes!


Sue

smasty's picture
smasty

Ok...it's done and firming up.  Oh my...the depth of chocolate flavor is outstanding.  I'm a big fan of using coffee to bring out that depth--it should never be skipped!  I took every precaution against introducing "rogue" crystals.  I even cleaned my stir spoon between stirrings, and washed down the edges of the pot with a pastry brush, only stirred from the outside-in until everything was dissolved.  I'm at 6000 feet, so according to your recipe I should have taken it only to 228...but took it to 231 just to be sure.  228 seemed so low.  I was worried it was too soft, but it seems to be firming up nicely.  The only mistake I made was pouring it onto parchment a little too early, so it spread out and is not as thick as it should be.  Next time I'll know to wait until it's a little cooler.  But, I consider this a huge success!  Especially after the crystallization of my last batch.  And the flavor is the best I've ever had.  Oh...I used Droste, and I was a little short and used 1 square of grated Bakers chocolate (uh oh, this is specifically what the recipe says NOT to use, but it worked great).  Thanks again, this is a keeper for sure! Tell Grandma thanks, too!  Some of these recipes become guarded family secrets. 

ehanner's picture
ehanner

I'm so glad it turned for you. Actually the book I referenced says that some people prefer less chocolate and think it tastes better that way. The bars have a tendency to get grainy for me so I have always used the powder. I agree about the coffee. It does add a nice depth to the flavor.


It sounds like you know all the tricks about cooking sugar. Since you are a high altitude baker, it would be interesting to know how the boiling measurement works. Did you boil the water and check what the reading was and then add 26 degrees?


I've never lived at high altitude and would be curious to know if it works out for softball stage. Supposedly 26 degrees above boiling is softball regardless of the altitude.


Eric

Reuben Morningchilde's picture
Reuben Morningchilde

This really reminds me that I have to work harder on shortening my 'things to bake' list over the holidays...


Great job here, Eric!

Mebake's picture
Mebake

Mmm... looks like the results are well worth the effort you put in.. its so rewarding ain't it?


 


Mebake

ehanner's picture
ehanner

Yes it is Mebake. Everyone enjoyed it.


 


Eric

Shiao-Ping's picture
Shiao-Ping

Hi Eric


My son said your loaves are a cracker!  They are absolutely stunning!!  He came into my tea room while I was browsing on your post.   As for "goddess of chocolate," I know, from his facial expression, that he thinks there is alot that I'll need to do to live up to that title. 


And I fully agree with you that, even though this sourdough looks decadent and wonderful, it tastes even better than it looks!


You think this is a dessert bread, but I don't; to me this sourough is not at all sweet that I would call it a dessert (except for the chocolate bits) - the bitter-sweetness in the chocolate is beautifully balanced by the faint saltiness in the rest of the bread crumb. 


What a wonderful bake!


Shiao-Ping

ehanner's picture
ehanner

That was my first time with that recipe. It is a testament to your excellent method and specifics in your post that it turned out so well. Your tastes must be more refined than mine. For me the flavor was pure chocolate aroma and richness.


Eric