The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Chocolate Sourdough with Walnuts (Bread or Chewy Cake?)

ExperimentalBaker's picture

Chocolate Sourdough with Walnuts (Bread or Chewy Cake?)

I tried to bake a chocolate sourdough bread using Shiao-Ping's post. Other than halving the recipe, changing the proofing times, adding in 100g of walnuts and baking in a cold dutch oven, everything else is the same.

However, outcome is different. :p


Proofed, fridged overnight. Floured and scored immediately out of the fridge and went into the pre-heated oven in a cold dutch oven.

There is some oven spring... But...

The crumb is very tight. Almost like a cake...

I did not use the bosch mixer this time round. I stretched and fold according to instructions. I did find the dough very stiff while doing the stretches.

My fridge might be too cold. After 40 mins of baking, the internal temperature is only 29C! Extended the baking time for another 30 mins or so.

Having said that, a cold loaf is easier to transfer, doesn't stick to the banetton much and easier to score too.

Maybe for the next bake, I should increase the hydration and let it proof longer at room temperature before putting it in the fridge.



Janetcook's picture

I would guess that the different proofing times made the difference.  She let her loaves proof for 18 hours on top of all of the bulk ferment times at room temp.  Those extra hours would make a difference in the crumb - more time for the yeast and enzymes to do their thing.

I don't think walnuts made the difference because they do not take up water like a dried fruit or flax seeds etc would.  If you ever give this formula another try you might see what happens with a longer proofing time.  Maybe make a couple of loaves which you then can bake at different intervals to compare your results.

I know in Stan's book Inside the Jewish Bakery he comments on how they used one dough for all of their breads - from enriched breads to lean ones.  This was accomplished merely by removing part of the dough at different times durning the bulk fermenting times.  Very interesting and it all made sense after I read more about the 'science' involved in baking bread.

That being said, I can't help but think that anyone in your home complained about a loaf of bread that tasted like chocolate cake *^)

I can see you are having fun!

Take Care,


ExperimentalBaker's picture

I will try again after having a go at San Joaquin sourdough next week. There are only 2 of us in the house (excluding my shetland sheepdog) to clear all the bread...

I did leave the shaped dough in the fridge for 23 hours. I guess the bench time is not enough before that.

Having a room temperature of 30C everyday makes converting recipes a bit difficult. From what I read, for every 10C higher, the rate should be doubled.

isand66's picture

To help create a warmer more ideal environment for your dough to rest and rise, put a metal bowl with about 1 cup of boiling hot water in your oven and put the dough inside the oven.  I usually turn my oven on first for about 1 minute just to get a nice environment.  I own a proofer but sometimes it is not big enough and I use my oven to get the dough going.  Also, watch the dough and not the clock.  Sometimes it will take longer for your dough to come alive and you just don't want to rush it.