The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Chocolate sourdough enhanced bread

trailrunner's picture

Chocolate sourdough enhanced bread

This is the Balthazar's Bakery's chocolate bread. I first ate it in 2007 at $9 a loaf. When I got home I searched and found the recipe online. It is a fantastic bread...but I took it up a huge notch with my starter instead of theirs. Wow..what a shreddable fantastic crumb. I also added dried cherries to 3 of the loaves.  An amazing bread. You will need a mixer to fully realize this dough. It needs 5 min and then 10 min and then about 2 min . It has the butter beaten in like a brioche but there are no eggs...lots of chocolate. Here are some pics...sorry I can't share the fragrance...or taste:) 








starter 100% white with apple yeast water to feed:  photo IMG_6795_zps974c943b.jpg before adding the butter...lovely gluten:  photo IMG_6799_zpsffa15435.jpg after the butter and salt added :  photo IMG_6800_zps9c1ec17c.jpg ready to rise:  photo IMG_6804_zps6951f257.jpg risen:  photo IMG_6805_zps0e52c796.jpg topped with cream/egg yolk/turbinado sugar :  photo IMG_6807_zps083922ca.jpg out of the oven:  photo IMG_6810_zps963debb7.jpg shreddable crumb:  photo IMG_6811_zps191e3543.jpg  photo IMG_6812_zpsb0e323db.jpg


Janetcook's picture

These look yummy.  How can you go wrong with chocolate and cherries in one loaf!

Have you tried txfarmer's Orange Chocolate sd bread?  It is really good too and one I bake quite frequently for a friend….her kids LOVE it.

Somewhere here there is a formula for making a braided loaf…one is chocolate and the other a pan de mix with vanilla added.  The contrasting colors make a wonderful looking bread that doesn't last long once cooled!

Thanks for the post and photos.



trailrunner's picture

I will have to look up her recipe. Here is the one I followed...It is available on the net and I posted it in 2008 on TFL. Only difference is I used my own starter not the one in the recipe. I think it makes a big difference. I doubled the recipe and made 2 batches. 


1. Use Turbinado sugar for the top...lots not regular 
2. Use the bittersweet not unsweet chocolate

1/4 teaspoon active dry yeast 
1 cup lukewarm water 
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus 
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour ( you can use bread flour) 
5 cups bread flour ( 1 c or so extra for kneading) 
1/2 cup good-quality cocoa powder 
2/3 cup sugar, plus 
4 tablespoons sugar 
2 teaspoons active dry yeast dissolved in 2 c warm water 
2 1/2 teaspoons fine salt 
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature,plus more for pans 
6 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate, chopped into 1/4 inch pieces 
vegetable oil, for lightly oiling bowl 
1 large egg yolk, lightly beaten 
1 tablespoon heavy cream 
4 tablespoons turbinado sugar 
1)Chocolate Bread Starter: Dissolve yeast in water for 10 minutes; stir in flour until completely mixed; cover loosely and leave to proof at room temperature 6 hours.

2) Chocolate Yeast Bread: KA with dough hook for 5 min. on low or till completely smooth- mix 5c flour, cocoa, 2/3 cup sugar, yeast water and 1/2 cup Chocolate Bread Starter (freeze the remainder for later use); scrape sides often let rest in bowl 15 minutes.

3)Turn on KA to med. and add soft butter and salt, cont for 10 min till it is smooth and shiny. After the 10 min add in about 1/2c-3/4 c flour now , just enough so dough cleans bowl and cont a couple minutes. Should be very soft but kneadable. Place on counter with a light dusting of flour and knead in chopped chocolate thoroughly.

4)Place dough in lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap; let rise until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours; leaving dough in bowl, fold dough into thirds as if folding a letter for an envelope, recover with plastic wrap; let rest 30 minutes.

5)Butter three 8"x4"x2" loaf pans and coat with remaining 4 T granulated sugar; divide dough in thirds ( will have 4# of dough approx) and then divide each third into 4 even pieces; roll and form each piece of dough into a tight ball; place four pieces, smooth side up, side-by-side in each loaf pan; cover tightly with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 2 hours.

6)Preheat oven to 375°;right before placing in oven combine egg yolk and cream and brush on loaves; sprinkle with lots of turbinado sugar; place in oven, reduce temperature to 350° and bake for 40-45 minutes or until loaves have a slightly hollow sound when tapped on the bottom.

7)Let rest in loaf pans for 5 minutes before removing to wire rack.

isand66's picture

Wow...this looks fantastic.  I love chocolate as does my wife so I will have to give this one a try for sure.

Thanks for sharing.


trailrunner's picture

nothing not to love about chocolate. I added the cherries as I thought they would make a great addition...and boy did they. I drank the soaking water :) c

dabrownman's picture

So you converted it over to SD and used your YW for the water in the levain?  I would have been tempted to make this a YW bread too.  I'm guessing with the SD/YW levain that the levain and proofing times were about twice as long?  To make 1 loaf you would cut this recipe in half?

I bought some dried cherries for some kind of holiday bread and this is it!  I'll use the cherry re-hydration water for the liquid in the dough too.  What a great recipe and thanks for sharing it.

Happy baking trailrunner!

trailrunner's picture

dab,,,if you look at the original formula it has you making a starter  of yeast/flour/water and let it ferment for 6 hrs. I simply subbed my own starter for theirs. My starter is usually fed with my YW so that is how the recipe came to be made with YW in the starter . As to the rising times they were the same as listed in the recipe since there are 2 tsp of yeast in regular water in the recipe...I used regular filtered water not YW in the main recipe. This formula is for 3 loaves total about 1800 grams. I doubled it !!  6 loaves of about 650 -680 grams each. So you will need to 1/3 the original recipe  as written above to get to the amount you want to make. 

dabrownman's picture


trailrunner's picture

This is just up your alley with lots of slap and folds to get that butter incorporated !!   c

Mebake's picture

extremely attractive and enticing chocolate bread, Trailrunner!


dabrownman's picture

How much water goes in with the 5 C of Bread flour for the dough? 3 C?  My dough is pretty stiff with only 1 C of water in the mix....Help:-)  I see it .....its with the yeast which i am not using - Lucy needs to read mire closely!

isand66's picture

Looks like 2 cups based on his recipe.  It's mentioned with the yeast.

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

and washed roasted peanuts & toasted sesame seeds into the dough?  Think I could come anywhere near a Reese's Bread?