The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Chocolate Porter Bread

Elagins's picture

Chocolate Porter Bread

Last week's experiment with Doppelbock came out so well that I decided to graduate to Porter, which my friend's website ( describes as having, "intensely rich malt aromas with strong notes of chocolate and coffee," the result of his using 9 different malts and a generous portion of hops. This is beer that you can almost chew.

I decided to build on that intensity by combining Jim's Porter (a/k/a Black Lightning) with Dutch-process cocoa and lots of molasses to moderate the hoppiness of the beer. Here's the result:

18oz Hi-gluten flour
14oz Whole wheat flour
16oz Porter or equivalent (e.g., Guinness)
4oz Blackstrap molasses
2oz Water
1.5oz Sugar
1oz Dutch-process cocoa powder
0.65oz Salt
0.35oz Active Dry Yeast

1. Bring the beer to a boil (be careful, this stuff foams like crazy), and stir in molasses and sugar; allow to cool to blood temperature and add yeast;

2. Combine flours and cocoa powder in mixing bowl and stir to blend. When blended, add beer/molasses mixture and use paddle to mix all the ingredients uniformly, the dough will be soft and sticky.

3. Allow to autolyse for 10-15 minutes, then add salt and knead using dough hook until gluten is well-formed (about 10 min). Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Turn dough into a bowl and let rise until doubled in volume.

4. When risen, turn dough onto lightly floured work surface and knead to degas, shape loaves and allow to proof for about 60-90 minutes.  Slash the loaves, spray water to produce moderate to heavy steam and bake at 450 for 15 min; turn loaves to brown evenly and bake for another 12-15 minutes.

5. My wife, who doesn't stand in awe of my creations, thinks that 1/2 a cup of raisins would do wonders for the bread. All I know, is that the house smelled like chocolate for hours after and that the bread is at once sweet, sour, fragrant, and slightly bitter, reflecting the taste of the Porter. Toasted, with a slather of cream cheese, it's da bomb! Next time, I'll add raisins too.


Chocolate Porter Bread

Chocolate Porter Bread

buns of steel's picture
buns of steel

what a gorgeous loaf, I love the look of the loaf on the left, contrast of flour, slashing, the loaf's "upward habit, "etc... 


Instead of the raisins, I vote for getting some dried Cherries (or sun dried cherries), Trader Joe's has them inexpensively and readily available if you're in the US, par-soak them in advance so they don't draw too much moisture from your crumb, and put them in.


Nice that you've used WW too.  I shall try your bread next time I have the right porter around, if I can refrain from drinking enough to pour in the bread.

Elagins's picture

I've thought about cherries too, and also chocolate chips and walnuts. This bread is so rich that it can support all of those strong flavors without losing its character. As for the porter, my advice is to buy at least twice what you think you'll need -- that way, you'll just have enough.

Cherries are definitely on the agenda though -- kind of a Black Forest bread.


pietro79's picture

Hi there


when you say "Slash the loaves, spray water to produce moderate to heavy steam and bake at 450 for 15 min" do you mean you spray the loaves themselves?