Having had a steady stream of good outcomes with plain white sourdough bread, I wondered about a sweeter version that might be a breakfast treat or dessert. Strangely, there aren’t a lot of these recipes out there. Many recipes adapt traditional sweets (e.g. cakes, quick breads, muffins, etc.) to use small amounts of leftover starter, but there’s a dearth of true sweetened breads. Part of the appeal of the lean doughs typically used for sourdough baking is the surprisingly moist and creamy crumb that can be obtained without butter, oil, or eggs.
I wanted to preserve this aspect of sourdough while introducing a sweet element, so I started with a standard sourdough base and added cocoa powder in place of some of the flour, sugar to add a bit of sweetness and counteract the bitterness of the cocoa powder, and chocolate chips because, well, chocolate.
I replaced 5% of the flour with cocoa powder, and used 15% sugar, ~74% hydration, 2.5% salt, and 20% chocolate. The starter was 20% of the total flour/cocoa powder weight. Despite this being my first attempt, the dough looked good. I put it through my usual sourdough regimen of stretching and folding, then rested overnight. I baked at 450 °F in a pre-heated Dutch oven for 30 minutes, the first 20 minutes of which I kept the cover on.
The results were great. The bread itself was mildly sweet, but the chocolate chips added a great burst of creamy sweetness and a textural element. This recipe could easily be adapted to add other mix-ins like nuts.
Here’s the recipe I came up with:
Chocolate Chocolate Chip Sourdough Bread
A sweet chocolate-flavored sourdough bread with bursts of chocolate.
- 245 g bread flour
- 15 g cocoa powder (e.g. Cocoa Barry’s Extra Brute Dutch-process)
- 45 g sugar
- 185 g water
- 60 g sourdough starter (fed, 100% hydration)
- 8 g salt
- 60 g chocolate chips
- Mix the flour, cocoa powder, and sugar together until well combined.
- Add water and mix until no dry flour remains.
- Cover and allow to autolyse for 30-60 minutes.
- Add starter, salt, and chocolate chips and until well combined.
- Cover and rest for 1 hour.
- Perform a series of 8 stretch-and-folds (pick up one edge of the dough and fold it over to the opposite side; rotate bowl 90 degrees after each fold).
- Cover and rest for 45 minutes-1 hour, then repeat 8 stretch and folds.
- Repeat previous step until a total of 5 stretch and folds have been completed.
- Rest for 30 minutes, covered.
- Dust top of dough with flour, then invert onto a floured workspace.
- Fold left and right sides over middle, then repeat with top and bottom edges, sealing seams together at center of dough.
- Place dough seam side up in a banneton, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, preheat a Dutch oven or clay baker in a 500 °F oven for art least 30 minutes.
- Invert banneton onto a piece of parchment paper so the seam of the dough is face-down. Make a series of slashes on the top of the dough.
- Transfer dough, parchment included, into Dutch oven.
- Reduce temperature to 450 °F and cook covered for 20 minutes, then remove cover and cook for an additional 10 minutes.
- Move dough to cooling rack and cool to room temperature before slicing.