Chocolate Sourdough Bread

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An artisan chocolate sourdough bread that is crusty on the outside, warm and chewy on the inside–and filled with melty chocolate chips. This is a no-knead recipe that uses active sourdough starter. The process is hand-off and simple, but the result is delicious.

chocolate sourdough bread in dutch oven

Yes, you read that correctly: chocolate. sourdough. bread.

Chocolate sourdough bread is, hands down, one of my favorites. It is crusty on the outside, while the inside is both chewy and chocolatey. With, might I add, melted chocolate chips inside.

This recipe is adapted from my no-knead sourdough bread. So if you are familiar with making traditional sourdough bread, this chocolate sourdough will be comfortable territory for you.

If you are brand new to making sourdough, no worries! This recipe is great for beginners sourdough bakers.

Bake Chocolate Sourdough With Me // Video

YouTube video

Why You’ll Love Chocolate Sourdough Bread

  • Perfect for Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, and Dessert: Just because this is chocolate bread doesn’t mean it is just for dessert. For breakfast, I eat it toasted and drizzled with honey and served with a side of crispy bacon. It’s also great for peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
  • It’s versatile. Keep in mind that you can always leave out the chocolate chips for a more versatile bread. The chocolatey-sourness flavor is reminiscent of rye bread and is great for sandwiches, too. With that in mind, you can skip the chocolate chips for an everyday bread.
  • Healthy-ish Chocolate Need I say anymore?! This chocolate sourdough bread recipe calls for only 50 grams of brown sugar. That’s significantly less sugar than most chocolatey baked goods. Plus, the added benefit of sourdough’s fermented grains makes this a nutritionally sound option when it comes to dessert-like treats.
  • Tight Crumb: This sourdough bread recipe, generally, yields a tighter crumb. In other words, the holes aren’t quite as large. This will make your chocolate sourdough bread easier to use as a vehicle for slathered-on butter, jams, and other toppings.
Close up of sliced chocolate sourdough loaf

Tips for Baking Chocolate Sourdough Bread

  • Use an active sourdough starter. If you don’t have sourdough starter, you can watch how to make a simple sourdough starter and download my free Simple Sourdough Starter eBook.
  • Bake at 425 degrees F. If you are used to making traditional artisan sourdough bread, you might be accustomed to baking at higher temperatures. However, since this has chocolate in it, a lower temperature can prevent burning. I’ve found that 425 degrees F is perfect.
  • Invest in a dutch oven if you don’t have one. Baking sourdough bread in a dutch oven is a game changer. It holds in the steam which encourages oven spring (the final rise that happens in the oven). The moisture also aids in developing sourdough’s signature crusty exterior.
Chocolate sourdough in dutch oven

Chocolate Sourdough Stretch and Folds

This is worthy of its own, brief section because chocolate sourdough differs slightly in the stretch and fold process.

Compared to regular sourdough bread, chocolate sourdough is a stiff dough. The cocoa absorbs more water, so you might find that your stretch and folds aren’t quite as stretchy.

That’s totally normal and to be expected.

During the stretch and folds, just stretch the dough as much as you can within reason and without tearing it. Even if it does tear a little, no worries. You can see in the video below that mine tore in a small spot. However, my bread turned out totally fine.

I like to gently pull it to the sides and work it a little as I pull upward. That will encourage the dough to strengthen.

But remember: this is sourdough, not a contact sport. Don’t get too aggressive or worry about it too much.

Chocolate Sourdough Bread FAQs

When should you add the chocolate chips?

I prefer to add the chocolate chips halfway through the stretch and folds. That way, the dough develops enough strength to hold the chocolate chips. And I don’t have to worry about too many falling out during the stretch and folds.

In short, I do all the stretch and fold rounds with 15 minutes between rounds.

Then, I add my chocolate chips and start my stretch and folds with 30 minutes between rounds.

How long will your dough need to bulk ferment?

Chocolate sourdough is an enriched dough, meaning that it has more ingredients than just flour, water, and salt.

As such, the bulk fermentation process might take longer than traditional sourdough.

Keep in mind that the bulk fermentation time will depend on the strength of your starter, type of flour, temperature, and other environmental conditions.

I use a dough proofing box to help speed up the process. However, that isn’t necessary in all circumstances. Just make sure it is in a warm spot in your house.

Can you make chocolate sourdough in one day?

Yes! You can make chocolate sourdough bread in one day just like I did for this same-day sourdough bread tutorial (video).

If you choose to skip the cold proofing, your bread will still work. Just allow it to do a second rise for an hour or so after shaping.

During the cold proof, the dough will develop its hallmark sour taste. So if you skip this step, you might notice is isn’t quite as sourdough-y.

Also, without the cold proofing, you may notice that scoring doesn’t have the same aesthetic effect, and there might be little less oven spring.

However, with all of that said, your bread will still be delicious.

What type of cocoa and chocolate should you use?

Any powdered cocoa will do the job. Personally, I’m a fan of dutch process cocoa. But any cocoa powder you have in the pantry will work. Just make sure it is not a cocoa drink mix.

I love dark chocolate chips in my chocolate sourdough bread. But if dark chocolate isn’t your vibe, use any type of chocolate chips you prefer.

The only chocolate I would steer away from is candy bars or other chocolate candies. These don’t withstand the baking process at 425 degrees F for close to an hour, and they can make your bread greasy in spots.

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Ingredients

This recipe was adapted from Farmhouse on Boone’s chocolate sourdough.

375g all-purpose flour
100g whole wheat flour
10g salt
50g brown sugar
50g cocoa powder
100g sourdough starter, active and bubbly
335g water
1/4 cup chocolate chips

Woman spreading chocolate chips on dough

How to Make Chocolate Sourdough Bread

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients except the salt and chocolate chips.
  2. Pour water and active starter over the combined dry ingredients, and mix well. I like to use a Danish dough whisk for this. But your hands will also work just fine. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Add salt and mix with your hands for about 5 minutes. The dough should come together and be fully combined.
  4. Cover with damp towel or place in proofing box with water tray. Allow to rest, again, for 30 minutes.
  5. Begin the first round of stretch and folds. This will be a stiffer dough than a traditional sourdough. So don’t be alarmed. Do the best you can to stretch the dough without tearing it. For each “round” complete four stretch and folds. Stretch and fold for a total of three rounds with 15 minutes between rounds. Cover dough with damp towel or keep in proofing box between rounds.
  6. After completing three stretch and fold rounds, remove the dough from the bowl. Gently roll it into a thick rectangle-ish shape.
  7. Add the chocolate chips on top of the dough.
  8. Fold the left and right sides over the chocolate chips. Then, fold the top and bottom edges over. Pinch dough together so the chocolate chips don’t fall out.
  9. Place dough back in bowl.
  10. Begin stretch and folds again. This time, do three rounds again, but with 30 minutes between each round. Cover dough with damp towel or keep in proofing box between rounds.
  11. After the stretch and folds are complete, allow the dough to bulk ferment until doubled. How long this takes will depend on the environmental factors (strength of starter, temperature of room, etc.). So keep an eye on it. Keep in mind that enriched dough can take longer to ferment.
  12. Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a clean, dry counter.
  13. Shape the dough by twisting clockwise to create tension.
  14. Place upside down into a floured banneton basket. Cover with plastic (I usually use a plastic shopping bag). Place in fridge for 12-15 hours.

THE NEXT DAY

  1. Preheat a dutch oven with lid for 20 minutes at 425 degrees F.
  2. Once preheated, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Turn out the cold dough onto parchment paper. Flour, and use a bread art stencil (optional)
  3. Keep the dough on the parchment paper, and place inside the hot dutch oven.
  4. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes with the lid on.
  5. Remove the lid, and bake at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes with lid off. Enriched bread, like chocolate sourdough, is done when it reaches an internal temp of 200-205 degrees F.
  6. Allow to cool completely before baking.

More Sourdough Recipes You’ll Love

Chocolate sourdough in dutch oven

Chocolate Sourdough Bread

Yield: 1 loaf
Prep Time: 45 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 13 hours 35 minutes

A decadent artisan sourdough that is crusty on the outside, warm and chewy on the inside, and filled with melty chocolate chips. This is a no-knead recipe that uses active sourdough starter. So the process is hand-off and simple, but the result is delicious.

Ingredients

  • 375g all-purpose flour
  • 100g whole wheat flour
  • 10g salt
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 100g sourdough starter, active and bubbly
  • 335g water
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together all dry ingredients except the salt and chocolate chips.
  2. Pour water and starter over the combined dry ingredients, and mix well. I like to use a Danish dough whisk for this. But your hands will also work just fine. Allow to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Add salt and mix with your hands for about 5 minutes. The dough should come together and be fully combined.
  4. Cover with damp towel or place in proofing box with water tray. Allow to rest, again, for 30 minutes.
  5. Begin the first round of stretch and folds. This will be a stiffer dough than a traditional sourdough. So don't be alarmed. Do the best you can to stretch the dough without tearing it. For each "round" complete four stretch and folds. Stretch and fold for a total of three rounds with 15 minutes between rounds. Cover dough with damp towel or keep in proofing box between rounds.
  6. After completing three stretch and fold rounds, remove the dough from the bowl. Gently roll it into a thick rectangle-ish shape.
  7. Add the chocolate chips on top of the dough.
  8. Fold the left and right sides over the chocolate chips. Then, fold the top and bottom edges over. Pinch dough together so the chocolate chips don't fall out.
  9. Place dough back in bowl.
  10. Begin stretch and folds again. This time, do three rounds again, but with 30 minutes between each round. Cover dough with damp towel or keep in proofing box between rounds.
  11. After the stretch and folds are complete, allow the dough to bulk ferment until doubled. How long this takes will depend on the environmental factors (strength of starter, temperature of room, etc.). So keep an eye on it. Keep in mind that enriched dough will often take longer to bulk rise.
  12. Once the dough has doubled, turn it out onto a clean, dry counter.
  13. Shape the dough by twisting it clockwise to create tension.
  14. Place upside down into a floured banneton basket. Cover with plastic (I usually use a plastic shopping bag). Place in fridge for 12-15 hours.

THE NEXT DAY

  1. Preheat a dutch oven with lid for 20 minutes at 425 degrees F.
  2. Once preheated, turn out the cold dough onto parchment paper. Flour or use a bread stencil (optional). Then, score the dough.
  3. Keep the dough on the parchment paper, and place inside the hot dutch oven.
  4. Bake at 425 degrees F for 20 minutes with the lid on.
  5. Remove the lid, and bake at 425 degrees F for 30 minutes with lid off. Enriched bread, like chocolate sourdough, is done when it reaches an internal temp of 200-205 degrees F.
  6. Allow to cool completely before baking.

Notes

This can be done as a same-day sourdough. In lieu of cold proofing, after shaping, allow the dough to do a second rise for about an hour. This will sacrifice some of the sourdough flavor. But it will be delicious nonetheless.

You can add more chocolate chips if you prefer.

Because the cocoa absorbs some of the water. Chocolate sourdough is a stiff dough. Don't be alarmed if you are used to the sticky, stretchiness of traditional sourdough.

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