Introduction: Chocolate Sourdough Bread
Finalist in the
Le Creuset Brunch Challenge
When chunks of chocolate are added to delicious sourdough bread, something truly magical happens. On top of smelling amazing, this bread is almost like a giant chocolate croissant, and is perfect for a special breakfast, brunch, or snack (especially lightly toasted and smeared with butter or Nutella and served warm).
Step 1: You'll Need. . .
- 1/2 cup fed/prepared sourdough starter (you can make your own or if you're too timid for that, you can purchase some, or if you're lucky (and have awesome friends) you can get some from one of your pals)
- 3/4 cups water (lukewarm)
- 1 teaspoon yeast
- 1/2 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate (cut into large chunks)
- About a teaspoon of vegetable oil to grease your pan
- Large mixing bowl
- Measuring cups and spoons
- Clean towel to cover bowl
- Sheet pan (or baking stone or bread pan, if you're into that kind of thing)
- Spray bottle filled with water
- Serrated bread knife or other sharp knife
Step 2: Mix and Rise
- Combine all ingredients except for the chocolate and mix until just combined (I just use my hands, but you can use a spoon or standmixer if you prefer)
- Add the chocolate to the dough and mix well (try to make sure that the chocolate is distributed evenly through the dough)
- Cover the mixing bowl with the towel and allow to rise until doubled in size (approximately 90 minutes)
Step 3: Shape It Up
- Give the dough a few gentle kneads (nothing crazy, just to make sure everything is well mixed)
- Lightly grease the baking sheet and place the dough onto it, gently shaping it into an oval loaf (if you prefer pan-shaped loaves rather than free-formed, you can use a bread pan instead)
- Cover and allow to rise until for about 1 hour or until it puffs up - towards the end the rising time you'll want to preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
Step 4: Bake and Nom
- Spray the top of the loaf lightly with water
- Make two diagonal slashes in the top of the loaf using a serrated bread knife or other sharp knife
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the bread is a very deep golden brown (while it's baking your kitchen will start to smell kind of like chocolate cookies - an added bonus!) - Note: If your oven heats a little unevenly (like mine) you may want to turn the pan halfway through the baking
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool
- Tear off chunk or cut a slice and enjoy as is, or toast it lightly and smear with butter or Nutella for an extra delicious treat!
Note: Baked loaves (once cooled fully) can be wrapped tightly in plastic and frozen. When you want some awesome bread, just preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit, remove the bread from the freezer and unwrap, and pop it in the oven for 30 to 40 minutes. It'll be good as new and almost as delicious as fresh-baked!
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