The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cacao nib sourdough

goetter's picture

Cacao nib sourdough

A professional baker acquaintance of mine recommended that I work with more 100% white flour doughs for practicing my hand-shaping skills.  White bread always reminds me a little bit of candy, and I happened to have on the counter some cacao nibs from garnishing the previous night's hot chocolate: hence, Cacao Nib Sourdough Bread.

Preferment: 140g KA white AP flour; 84g water.  Target 60% hydration

Soaker: 15g roasted cacao nibs (Scharffen Berger brand), crushed lightly in a mortar;  20g water

Dough: 224g sourdough; 35g soaker; 360g KA white bread flour; 224g water; 10g salt.  Target 65% hydration exclusive of sourdough component, less a small fudge factor for the soaker water

Sourdough rested 12h in a cool (68F) cabinet.  Soaker rested less than 30 minutes.

Mix bread flour, water, and soaker all together for 1 minute, then allow to autolyse for 30 minutes.  Then add sourdough and salt the dough and mix for 10 more minutes.  Allow 4 hours of primary fermentation with one fold (this is twice as long and with only half the folds that I would prefer) in a much too cool kitchen (my wife burned toast, then left the kitchen door wide open to release smoke); preshape, rest, shape into batard form, proof for 90 minutes in banneton in a still too cool kitchen (I finally got a clue and started some stovetop action towards tomorrow's meal - too little, too late), slash, bake for 35 minutes at 450F, with steam provided ad hoc.  Spray lightly with water once upon removal from oven, then cool for 30 minutes on a rack.  (If you can keep your wife from mangling your "chocolate bread" you can let it cool for an hour.  I was fighting a defensive action in the kitchen all the while.)

The result is quite subtle.  The crushed cacao provides a slightly gray/tan cast to the crumb, with the larger pieces of nib being reminiscent of flaxseed or coarse flaxmeal.  The aroma has a very mild cocoa note, almost unidentifiable, strongest when the loaf was warm.  In the mouth, a wheaten taste with a slight dark note, a bit in the direction of a Mexican mole negro.  I'm quite pleased with how it turned out, and would make it again.  Next time, hopefully, in a warmer kitchen....

leemid's picture

Where are the pictures? Where is the evidence? Where is the temptation?


goetter's picture

Graphic food porn is difficult for me at the moment!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

back in December.  Bought a bag and the first tender morsel I tried turned out to be a rock.  Well, that put me off trying to decide what to do.  Return the nibs?  

Then it hit me as I was going thru the cupboard, they just might float and any rock? just might sink.  So I filled up a pitcher with water and threw in a handful.  Then the rest to sort out this mess.  Out came the sieve and problem solved. Found one more rock and peace of mind.  They are drying on paper towel at the moment filling the apartment with enticing chocolate aromas.

Now, what to do with the nibs?   other than snack on them.  I'm no longer into cookies although I know that's an option.

Itzel's picture

It's easy to make and the result was beautiful. You didn't specify how much starter to add to the preferment, so I put about 20g and it was enough.  I also added 15g of raw cacao to enhance the color of the dough. 

I wish I knew how to add a picture here.  As soon as I do, I will!