The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Black Cocoa Spelt Sourdough

isand66's picture

Black Cocoa Spelt Sourdough

I just received my delivery from KAF and I wanted to use some of the new flours and ingredients I purchased.  I decided to make a multi-flour bread using white spelt, whole spelt, rye chops (chopped up rye berries) and some black cocoa. The black cocoa is the darkest version you can buy and really turned the dough a beautiful chocolate color.  The final dough was a nice dark color with a chewy crumb that was also just light enough to be perfect.

You don't really taste the cocoa very much but with the  addition of the rye chops and the 2 different spelt flours I was very happy with how the crumb and crust came out.

I used my standard 65% AP starter for this recipe.


AP Starter

227 grams AP Flour

71 grams AP Seed Starter

151 grams Water at Room Temperature (80-90 degrees F.)

Mix ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined.  Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for around 8 hours.  The starter should almost double when ready to proceed.  You can either mix in final dough or put in refrigerator for at most 1 day before using.  If your kitchen is warmer than mine which is usually about 70-72 degrees with my air-conditioning you can proceed sooner.

Main Dough Ingredients

425 grams Refreshed AP Starter (65% hydration) from above

110 grams White Spelt Flour (KAF )

110 grams Whole Spelt Flour (KAF)

300 grams European Style Flour (KAF, you can substitute bread flour with a little whole wheat mixed in)

50 grams Potato Flour (KAF)

70 grams Rye Chops (KAF)

15 grams Dark Cocoa (KAF)

25 grams Olive Oil

16 grams Sea Salt or Table Salt

400 grams Water  (Room temperature)

797 grams Total Flour

551 grams Total Liquid

69% Hydration


Mix the flours, dark cocoa and rye chops with the water (leave out about 50 grams for later) in your mixer or by hand for 1 minute. Let it rest covered in your bowl for 20 minutes.   Next cut the starter into small pieces and put in bowl and also add oil, salt and the rest of the water.  Mix for 5 minute to incorporate all the ingredients. I mixed on speed #1 for 3 minutes and speed #2 for 2 minutes.   The dough should have come together in a ball and be tacky but not too sticky.

Next take the dough out of the bowl and place it on your work surface or as in this case place it in an oiled bowl or container.  Do a stretch and fold and rest the dough uncovered for 10 minutes.  After the rest do another stretch and fold and cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Do one more stretch and fold and put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and let it sit at room temperature covered for 2 hours (if it is already in a bowl just make sure to cover it).   After 2 hours you can put the dough into the refrigerator for 24 hours or up to 2 days before baking.  Feel free to do some additional S & F's if you feel it is necessary.  I baked the bread about 24 hours later.

The next day (or when ready to bake) let the dough sit out at room temperature for 2  hours.

Next, form the dough into your desired shape and put them in floured bannetons, bowls or on a baking sheet and let them rise covered for 2 hours or until they pass the poke test.  Just make sure to not let them over-rise.

Score the loaves as desired and prepare your oven for baking with steam.

Set your oven for 500 degrees F. at least 30 minutes before ready to bake.  When ready to bake place the loaves into your on  your oven stone with steam and lower the temperature immediately to 450 degrees.    When both loaves are golden brown and reached an internal temperature of 200 degrees F. you can remove them from the oven.

Let the loaves cool down for at least an 6 hours or so before eating as desired.

Feel free to visit my other blog at for all of my recipes.


dabrownman's picture

as good as your Mocha Bread, one of our favorites, this will be a bread we will have to make slightly differently, in some small way,  than you do :-)

What is not to like about a bread that has dark cocoa and beer in it?  Color, crust, slashing, crumb are all very well done. 

Nice baking once again Ian.

isand66's picture

Thanks DA.  No beer in this one but I'm sure it couldn't hurt it!

 I think you will like this one.


dabrownman's picture

Will consider some beer when I try to mess with this fine recipe of yours. 

Looked up your home town.  Very nice indeed.  Great place to live by all accounts.  Small but exclusive town with 12,00o souls.   South side of the Island with very nice sea shore, very uspscale.   You should have some great stuff in the local Goodwill if the town allows them to have one there :-)


Floydm's picture

Wow.  You may not taste the cocoa much but you certainly can see it.  It reminds me of a dark pumpernickel.


isand66's picture

Thanks Floyd.  I was actually thinking of describing it that way.  The addition of the rye chops actually gives it a slight pumpernickel flavor.


Mebake's picture

Fantastic bread , literally , Ian! You remind me of Shiao-ping, the accomplished TFL baker.. She once baked a black pain au levain with squid ink!

Poor little yeasties, forced to labor under various conditions! If they could speak, they'd say: flour and water only, pleeeeez. (just kidding ;))


isand66's picture

Thank you Kahlid.  That's a great compliment being compared to her.

  Really appreciate the compliment.  I think the yeasties probably like cocoa more than squid! :)