San Joaquin Sourdough with Dark Chocolate and Walnuts
One of my favorite sourdough variations is inspired by a combination of the classic blue cheese and walnut sourdough (which I've never made because I don't like blue cheese) and a twisted sourdough with chunks of dark chocolate that I got from a bakery in Chelsea Market in Manhatten on a family vacation some years back. The combination: sourdough with dark chocolate and walnuts.
It's best as a breakfast bread: a little too sweet for dinner, but too bread-y for dessert. The dark chocolate is overpowering when melted, so the trick is to bake it the night before you want to eat it, and let it cool overnight so the chocolate hardens. The taste is delectable: the sour of the bread and the chewiness of the crust combines with the crunchy nuts, and the bitter-sour flavors of the dark chocolate, all infused with the walnut oil.
I've made it with several different sourdough formulas, but last night I baked up a batch based on David Snyder's famous San Joaquin Sourdough, to good effect.
Formula: (All credit goes to dmsnyder's post here)
- 450g King Arthur AP flour (90%)
- 25g WW Flour (5%)
- 25g Whole Rye Flour (5%)
- 150g Active Starter at 100% hydration (30%)
- 360g Water (72%)
- 10g Salt (2%)
- 125g Coursely chopped walnuts (or broken by hand) (25%)
- 100g Ghirardelli 60% Cacao Bittersweet Chips (20%) (ideal for their shape, and for being excellent chocolate a a bargain price)
- Mix flours, water and starter (David likes to mix the water and starter first; I don't know if it matters). Autolyze 20-60 minutes.
- Add salt, walnuts and chocolate, then do 30 stretch-and-folds in the bowl.
- Cover tightly and ferment 3 hours at room temperature. Repeat the stretch-and-folds in the bowl at 30, 60 and 90 minutes, then a french-fold on the board at 135 and 180 minutes.
- Place in refrigerator for 18-21 hours.
- Remove dough from refrigerator, divide in half and pre-shape as rounds. Allow to rest 1 hour.
- Shape as batards or boules, and place in a couche or banneton, as appropriate. Preheat oven to 500 degrees with baking stone.
- Proof loaves 45 minutes, then transfer to parchment on a sheet pan/peel, score and load in oven. Steam using your favorite method, and lower temperature to 460.
- Bake 30 minutes, turning loaves and removing any steaming apparatus after 15. Turn off oven and crack the door for 5 minutes, then remove loaves to a cooling rack. Cool at least 8 hours before eating.