The Fresh Loaf

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II - WW Sourdough Re-Loaded…..and a few more.

lumos's picture

II - WW Sourdough Re-Loaded…..and a few more.

As I said in my first blog entry, I made a new WW sourdough for the friend, this time with CORRECT amount of salt. And this is how it came out.

 …..with a better ear…..


I also baked two other breads; cocoa flavoured sourdough with cranberry and walnuts (top right) and my friend’s favourite sourdough (top left).


Today, I’d like to share the recipe for the cocoa sourdough with you.


Cocoa Flavoured Sourdough with Cranberry and Walnut

(For 2 loaves)

Very active S/D (75% hydration)  120g

Strong Flour  300g*(See 'Note1' below)

Plain Flour  150g*(see 'Note1' below)

WW Flour  50g

Instant active dried yeast  1/4tsp

Skimmed Milk Powder  2tbls

Cocoa powder  25-30g

Salt 9g

Clear honey  1tbls (or more if you like it sweeter)

Extra Virgin Olive Oil  1 1/2 tbls

Water (Filtered or bottled)  370 - 380g

Filling … Dried cranberry and walnuts *(See 'Note2' below)  total 120 – 150g 

  1. Feed S/D twice during 8-12hrs period before you plan to use it.
  2. Mix flours, skimmed milk, cocoa, dried yeast and salt in a large bowl.
  3. Put S/D, water, honey and olive oil in a separate bowl and mix to loosen S/D.
  4. Pour S/D water mix onto the bowl of flours and mix until no dried bits is left. (Cocoa powder seems to have a tendency to stiffen the dough, so you may want to add a little more water)  Cover and rest for 30-40 minutes.
  5. Stretch and Fold in a bowl for 3 times at 45 minutes intervals.
  6. Bulk ferment overnight (or 10-16 hrs) in a fridge.
  7. Take the dough out of the fridge and leave for 30 minute-1 hr to bring it back to room temperature.
  8. Take the dough out onto a worktop and spread into a large rectangle.
  9. Sprinkle 2/3 of cranberries and walnuts (broken into small pieces) onto 2/3 of the surface of the dough. Letter-fold the dough, the part without the filling first. Sprinkle the rest of the filling onto 2/3 of the folded surface of the dough, again, the part without the filling first. Cover and rest for 20 minutes.
  10. Divide the dough into two and pre-shape. Rest for 15-20minutes.
  11. Shape and put in banettons. Final proof.
  12. Bake in a pre-heated pot/pyrex casserole with a lid at 240℃ for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, lower the temperature to 210℃ and bake for another 20-25 minutes.

Note 1 :  I think US TFLers can use  450g AP flour instead of the combination of strong & plain flours like me.

Note 2 : I usually dry-roast walnuts in a frying pan before I use it to improve the flavour, but it’s optional.


Here’s a close-up pic of the bread.

 I sprinkle quite a generous amount of rice flour into a banetton, as you can guess from this picture. It’s partly to prevent cranberries from staining the banetton and partly to prevent the surface from becoming too dark and sometimes too bitter during baking because of high fat content of cocoa powder.

 This loaf was for the friend so obviously I don’t have the crumb shot, but I made another loaf for ourselves a couple of days ago (of which I forgot to take picture, of course…) and I miraculously remembered this morning to take some pictures of the very last few slices (phew….).


(Excume me for the blurred picture. It was very early in the morning...)

This bread has a really lovely deep flavour thanks to cocoa powder and, of course, you can enjoy many variations by changing the fillings;  another friend's children love chocolate chips (milk chocolate for them) in it while their mum likes only with walnuts.  White chocolate works very well to contrast the not-sweet-cocoa-flavoured crumb, and a combination of dark chocolate chips and almond is rather good, too.  In other words, the world is your oyster, you mix-in whatever filling you fancy! :)


Will post the recipe for the other bread (the friend's favourite sourdough) in a few days time.

Happy Baking!....with correct amount of ingredients.:p




varda's picture

Those came out so nicely!  -Varda

Syd's picture

Lovely looking loaves!  I like the idea of the sweet chocolate offsetting the bitterness o f the cocoa.  Definitely something to try.  Nice baking.


lumos's picture

Thank you, Varda and Syd. :)

Yes, please do try it. It's really good with creamy cheese, like cream cheese (obviously) or goat cheese.....or just with butter.  If you like something sweeter, raspberry jam is a very good company, too!

sam's picture

Those look extremely scrumptious!     Very nice.    :-)


lumos's picture

Thanks, gvz! :)

holds99's picture

Your loaves look great and the ingredients sound like something I would like to try.  In the past I have incorporated honey and walnuts into the dough mixture but not cranberries and cocoa.   I'll put this one on my "to bake soon" list.  Incidentally, very nice scoring job. 

A couple of questons.  (1) What type basket did you use for final proof on the oval loaf.  I'm guessing unlined willow brotform.  (2) Your formula is for 2 loaves and you show three loaves.  In the photo the oval loaf looks larger than the two boules.  Did you double your formula and make the oval loaf from half the doubled dough formula and each of the boules from a quarter of the doubled formula?

However you did it you did a very nice job.


lumos's picture

 I'll put this one on my "to bake soon" list

I'm honoured, sir! :) Yes, please try soon. Probably you'll find cocoa flavour is not so predominant as you might expect, but it really adds interesting depth to the flavour.  A bit like Russion black bread, but more delicate.

And one thing I should stress is, as I said above, cocoa powder really tightens the dough, so you'd need more water than usual formula.  So please regard the amount of water in the formula just as a guidance and adjust how much you need as you go.


To answer to your questions....

1) I used an oval 500g cane banetton for WW bread (in the top 2 pics and also in the front of 3-loaves pic) just like this. Unlined, as you guessed. The cocoa one was proofed in another oval 500g cane banetton but in a slightly different shape, just like this (this is the pic ofr 250g banetton, but mine looks very similar). It does look like a boule, as you said, but actually it's from an oval banetton, but the shape of this particular banetton and the way I slashed the top made it looked like a boule.

2) If you could please read the post again, you'll see they are all different kinds; WW sourdough (the formula in my first blog entry with the reason why I had to make this new one) in front, cocoa flavoured one (top right) and another sourdough (top left) of which I'll post the formula sometime later.  As for the cocoa one, I only made one at that time with half the formula above.



holds99's picture

Thanks for taking the time to  explain the process and answer my questions.  I'll definitely give your formula a try---soon.  I'm sure my wife will also really like this bread.

Best to you in your baking endeavors,


lumos's picture

Hope your wife'll like it, too. When I baked a couple of days ago for ourselves, I made two loaves of it, as the formula above, and gave one away to our neighbour with the husband who's a choc-o-holic AND diabetic and the wife who's not very keen on sweet things (and is on a constant watch so that her husband won't sneak and eat chocolate).  Just a half an hour ago, they came to tell me  how much they both enjoyed it, a good fix for his chocolate-withdrawal without too much sugar. They asked if I could bake another one for them soon, so hopefull they weren't just trying to be polite. ;)

breadsong's picture

Hello lumos,
Your breads are gorgeous and thanks for posting - especially like your chocolate cranberry bread and the flavoring variations you describe (white chocolate! almonds! mmmm!)
The scoring and shaping of these loaves is so very attractive!
:^) from breadsong

lumos's picture

Thank you, breadsong.  Your kind words (and plugging me on your blog) means a lot, especially now I'm feeling really depressed,  just having managed to bake the ugliest baguettes since the history of mankind began! (Tried a new formula, which obviously didn't work. I know it's me, not the formula...)  I hope the baguette baking class I'm going to attend at Lighthouse Bakery next month will be as good as the famouse SFBI Baguette class you attended.

wassisname's picture

Really beautiful loaves!  Cranberry and walnuts, one of my favorite combinations.  I usually put just the walnuts in the bread and then top with cranberry sauce later, but this looks like something I need to try.  Great bake!


lumos's picture

Thanks, Marcus. :)  Yes, please do try. non-sweet cocoa flavour works really well with sweet, sour cranberry. Walnut is there just to add an extra dimention with a bit of crunch and nutty aroma. Actually I often make this only with cranberry, too, which is also quite nice.