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....