Chocolate Espresso Sourdough Bread – Sourdough Brandon

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I really like experimenting with distinctive flavors and inclusions in sourdough bread and the pairing of chocolate and low on this Chocolate Espresso Sourdough Bread recipe is a keeper!

Opposite to what you would possibly anticipate, this recipe doesn’t lean in direction of extreme sweetness. The inclusion of darkish chocolate, bloomed cocoa powder, and brewed espresso imparts a complicated bittersweet and earthy dimension to this divine loaf.

The chocolate sourdough bread is improbable alternative for Valentine’s Day or the chocolate lover in your life and pairs effectively with butter, raspberry or cherry jam, and even remodeled into sourdough chocolate French toast!

Loaf of chocolate coffee sourdough bread on a cutting board with a bread knife.Loaf of chocolate coffee sourdough bread on a cutting board with a bread knife.

🍫 Learn how to Add Chocolate to Sourdough Bread

Including inclusions in your bread recipes is an effective way so as to add new flavors and experiment with completely different substances.

And whereas it might be thrilling to throw any substances into your breads, there are various push and pulls you must think about within the course of on the way it will have an effect on the fermentation and construction of your bread.

This loaf is double chocolate and makes use of each cocoa powder and chopped darkish chocolate chunks.

The pure tannins in cocoa powder will tighten the gluten construction of your bread. Including an excessive amount of can lead to denser bread and make a much less extensible loaf. You’ll discover this throughout mixing and shaping because the dough will really feel tighter, akin to including a excessive fats ingredient like in my Black Sesame Sourdough Bread.

Therefore, to cut back the quantity of cocoa powder within the recipe, I bloom it with scorching espresso. Blooming the cocoa in a scorching liquid is like blooming spices in oil in that it intensifies the chocolate flavors. It’s the rationale many chocolate cake recipes will cake so that you can use boiling or scorching water!

I pair espresso with chocolate as a result of espresso brings out the flavour much more. It’s a tip that I exploit for my Sourdough Chocolate Peppermint Whoopie Pies.

As a result of each the cocoa and low can scale back yeast exercise (larger pH acidity ranges than sourdough yeasts) and lead to a tighter crumb, I add a little bit of granulated sugar within the levain and dough to assist feed the yeasts and pace up the method.

Plus, I scale back the quantity of salt within the recipe barely. Salt tightens the gluten, so decreasing it some right here to lower than 2% helps to open up the crumb extra.

☕️ Learn how to Add Espresso to Sourdough Bread

Brewed espresso is generally water, so it’s straightforward to substitute water with espresso in your sourdough bread recipes.

Nonetheless, the caffeine in espresso can have an effect on fermentation by inhibiting yeast, thus slowing down the fermentation course of. It’s possible you’ll discover that sourdough bread recipes with espresso might take longer to proof and have a barely denser crumb general. Another is to make use of decaffeinated espresso.

Espresso provides a slight bitterness to your bread and pairs exceptionally effectively with chocolate, even bringing out extra chocolate taste. The flavour isn’t very robust although, so even non-coffee followers will take pleasure in this loaf!

I exploit strongly brewed espresso for this recipe, however you’re welcome to make use of espresso, on the spot espresso, or on the spot espresso combined with scorching water or decaf espresso.

Slice of chocolate coffee sourdough bread up close.Slice of chocolate coffee sourdough bread up close.

👨‍🏫 Baker’s Share Chart

I embody a baker’s proportion chart to scale a recipe up or down simply. With baker’s percentages, the complete weight of all flour within the recipe is 100%.

I additionally embody the prefermented flour from the levain on this flour weight. Lastly, I observe the substances proportionally to the overall weight of flour (on this case, 430g, which incorporates 30g from the levain). That’s why the overall percentages beneath will add as much as over 100%.

If you wish to study extra, the King Arthur web site has a extra detailed reference page on why and the way baker’s percentages are calculated.

Substances Weight Baker’s Share
Bread Flour 330 grams (contains 30g for levain*) 76.7%
Entire Wheat Flour 100 grams 23.3%
Sea Salt 7 grams 1.6%
Water 153 grams (contains 30g for levain) 35.6%
Sourdough starter 30 grams (all for levain) 7%
Brewed Espresso 191 grams 44.4%
Granulated sugar 30 grams (contains 10g for levain) 7%
Darkish chocolate, chopped 100 grams 23.3%

*Notice: If you happen to choose to not make a candy levain, use an equal 90 grams of energetic sourdough starter and add one other 10 grams of sugar when mixing the dough.

View my Sourdough Instruments and Gear information for an entire record of my favourite bread-baking instruments.

Tools needed to bake sourdough bread including Challenger Bread Pan, Thermapen, Bench Scraper, Scale, Bread Lames, and BannetonsTools needed to bake sourdough bread including Challenger Bread Pan, Thermapen, Bench Scraper, Scale, Bread Lames, and Bannetons
Challenger Bread Pan, Thermapen, Bench Scraper, Scale, Bread Lames, and Bannetons
  • Dutch Oven
    • I really like baking with my Challenger Bread Pan. It bakes wonderful sourdough bread for a house baker and is heavy-duty forged iron.
    • For extra dutch oven info, I record my suggestions with execs and cons right here.
  • Baking Scale
    • It’s essential to measure your substances by weight as an alternative of quantity so that you get a extra constant and correct bake.
  • Bread Lame
    • Can use a pointy razor blade or sharp knife.
  • Bench Scraper
    • Assists with shaping and transferring your bread to your banneton or basket.
  • Banneton Proofing Basket
    • I exploit this 10″ oval proofing banneton for baking batards (ovals) and a 9″ round banneton for boules (rounds).
    • A proofing basket will assist preserve your dough formed whereas it proofs in a single day and removes simply from the basket with a liner. If you happen to don’t have one, line a mixing bowl with a floured tea towel.
  • Elective: Brød and Taylor Folding Bread Proofer
    • This folding proofing field by Brød & Taylor is a sport changer to maintain your sourdough starter and doughs on the excellent temperature whereas proofing.
    • The proofer folds up simply, features a humidity tray, is multifunctional, and may even be a gradual cooker.
  • Elective: Danish Dough Whisk
    • Mixing chocolate sourdough bread could be messy and sticky. I actually like utilizing a Danish dough whisk to assist get the job completed quicker and with much less mess. It’s an elective, however useful instrument.

🛒 Substances Wanted

See beneath for extra info, variations, and attainable substitutes.

Bowls of labeled ingredients needed for chocolate coffee sourdough bread including bread flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, chocolate, salt, water, sourdough starter, sugar, and brewed coffee. Bowls of labeled ingredients needed for chocolate coffee sourdough bread including bread flour, whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, chocolate, salt, water, sourdough starter, sugar, and brewed coffee.
  • Bread Flour
    • I used King Arthur Bread Flour at 12.7% protein for recipe testing this bread. A high-gluten content material flour works finest for this loaf, however you need to use all-purpose flour too.
  • Entire Wheat Flour
    • Can substitute with one other complete wheat flour equivalent to spelt or einkorn flour. A small quantity of rye flour pairs effectively with chocolate and low, too.
  • Sourdough Starter
  • Salt
    • I exploit much less salt on this recipe (only one.6%) to loosen the dough construction and to expedite fermentation.
  • Water
  • Cocoa powder
    • You should use pure or Dutch-process high-quality cocoa powder on this recipe. Both will work, however Dutch-process provides you with a darker loaf with a smoother and richer chocolate taste.
  • Brewed espresso
    • Simply earlier than blooming your cocoa powder, brew some robust, scorching espresso. You may as well use espresso or decaf espresso.
  • Granulated sugar
    • The sugar helps speed up fermentation and provides a delicate sweetness to the bread. Granulated is straightforward to combine in due to its small granules (caster is even finer and higher!), however you need to use brown sugar, coconut sugar, or perhaps a little bit of honey, agave, or maple syrup, too.
  • Darkish chocolate, roughly chopped
    • I typically favor baking with bittersweet or semisweet darkish chocolate (60% or larger). You’ll be able to chop your personal chocolate chunks from chocolate bars, however I used this pre-chopped chocolate squares from Aldi that labored completely within the loaf! That means, you get massive items of barely melted chocolate within the bread.
    • You should use chocolate chips as effectively. Milk chocolate can be sweeter and soften quicker throughout proofing in a heat location and through baking, so I don’t advocate it for this loaf.


  • Add a teaspoon of vanilla extract to convey out much more chocolate taste.
  • Rye flour goes notably effectively with chocolate and low by including extra sourness. Add 20-30 grams of rye flour to the bread.
  • You’ll be able to add dried fruit equivalent to dried cranberries, dried tart cherries, or raisins for some acidity and brightness on this loaf.
  • If you happen to just like the orange and chocolate mixture, you’ll be able to add chopped candied orange slices or orange zest to your loaf.
  • Add chopped and toasted nuts like walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts for crunch.

⏰ Pattern Baking Schedule

That is my typical baking schedule for many sourdough breads. This schedule works effectively for a weekend bake. Nonetheless, many steps are versatile, relying by yourself day-to-day schedule.

For instance,  you can also make the levain the night time earlier than (use 10g of starter and 40g of flour and 40g of water). You may as well proof the dough in a single day within the fridge for as much as a day to bake by yourself time.

Steps Time
1. Make the Candy Levain 9:00am
2. Bloom Cocoa Powder and Autolyse 1:00-2:00pm
3. Add Levain & Relaxation 2:00-2:30pm
4. Add Salt & Combine 2:30pm
5. Bulk Fermentation (Consists of folds) 2:30-8:00pm (about 6-7 hours after including the levain)
6. Form 8:00pm
7. In a single day Proof 8:00pm-9:00am (or as much as a day)
8. Rating and Bake Subsequent Day, 9:00am

👨‍🍳 Learn how to Make Chocolate Espresso Sourdough Bread

Observe this visible and detailed information that can assist you make the perfect chocolate sourdough bread recipe.

1. Make the Candy Levain

I like making a candy levain for this recipe, which helps accelerates fermentation barely and provides a contact of sweetness to offset the bitterness within the chocolate and low. It’s not a lot sugar, however since there’s an extended fermentation with this loaf, the sugar helps stability out a few of the acidity (one thing I do for my Sourdough Maritozzi as effectively).

Combine 30 grams of sourdough starter, 30 grams of bread flour, 10 grams of sugar, and 30 grams of water in an empty jar.

Cowl and set it in a heat location (between 75-80ºF) for about 4-5 hours till it’s bubbly and ripe. The levain ought to at the least double in dimension throughout this time.

2. Bloom the Cocoa Powder and Autolyse

About an hour earlier than the levain is prepared, mix the cocoa powder (can use pure or Dutch-process) and remaining granulated sugar in a small bowl.

Bloom the cocoa powder with freshly brewed scorching espresso. Pour the recent espresso into the bowl of cocoa powder and sugar and blend till you will have an intoxicating mocha combination.

Combine the bread flour and complete wheat flour in a big mixing bowl and pour within the bloomed cocoa and low combination (okay if nonetheless scorching) and heat water.

Use your palms or a Danish dough whisk to combine the flours and liquids. It’s okay if some scraggly bits of flour stay, however you need most of it to be hydrated.

Cowl the bowl and set it apart to autolyse for an hour. The autolyse will scale back mixing time later by kickstarting gluten growth.

3. Add the Candy Levain and Relaxation

When the levain is bubbly and ripe, add all of it to the dough.

Use your palms to dimple the levain into the dough. Then, stretch and fold the dough onto itself for a couple of minutes till you completely incorporate the levain into the dough.

You’ll do extra mixing later whenever you add within the salt, however you need to be sure the levain is evenly distributed all through the dough.

To stretch and fold:

  1. Use your hand as pincers to drag up a portion of the dough.
  2. Elevate the dough to stretch it, then fold it down in the course of the bowl.
  3. Rotate the bowl and repeat this movement.

Cowl the bowl and relaxation it in a heat location for half-hour.

Pouring jar of levain or sourdough starter into bowl of chocolate coffee sourdough bread.Pouring jar of levain or sourdough starter into bowl of chocolate coffee sourdough bread.

4. Add Salt & Combine

After half-hour, sprinkle the salt onto the dough.

At this level, you’ll be able to add one other 10 grams of water should you suppose the flour can deal with it. The small quantity of water (referred to as bassinage) helps to dissolve the salt, enhance the hydration, and develop the gluten just a little extra.

Dimple within the salt and start mixing. Stretch and fold the dough for about 5 minutes till it’s smoother and principally holds its form.

Cowl the bowl and relaxation for half-hour.

Stretch and folding chocolate coffee sourdough bread in bowl.Stretch and folding chocolate coffee sourdough bread in bowl.
Dough on the finish of blending

5. Bulk Fermentation and Folds:

After mixing within the salt, bulk fermentation will take about 6 hours at 78ºF. You’ll discover this dough is extra sluggish due to the added cocoa powder and low.

In case your dough and setting are colder, bulk fermentation will take longer. Conversely, in hotter circumstances, the dough will ferment quicker.

Notice: An instant-read thermometer just like the Thermapen is a superb instrument to test your dough temperature all through bulk fermentation.

Fold in Chocolate Chunks

half-hour after including the salt, fold in the dead of night chocolate chunks via the primary set of stretch and folds.

I typically like so as to add inclusions nearer to the start of fermentation for a few causes:

  1. The inclusions are equally distributed within the dough with continued folds throughout bulk fermentation.
  2. Including the inclusions later can have an effect on the construction of the dough by tearing the gluten and popping any gases/the alveoli shaped from fermentation.

For bigger or much less inclusions, equivalent to these chocolate chunks or my Preserved Lemon & Rosemary Sourdough Bread, I stretch and fold them in. For smaller or extra inclusions, equivalent to my Solar-Dried Tomato Sourdough Bread with Capers, I’ll laminate them in.

To stretch and fold, use a moist hand to elevate a portion of the dough, stretch it, and fold it down upon itself. Repeat three extra instances within the bowl for one set.

Between every set, sprinkle ¼ of the chocolate chunks on prime of the dough.

Stretch and folding chopped chocolate chunks into chocolate coffee sourdough bread.Stretch and folding chopped chocolate chunks into chocolate coffee sourdough bread.

Cowl and relaxation the dough for half-hour.

Carry out at the least two extra units of stretch and folds, separated by 30-45 minutes every.

If the dough continues to be very slack or not holding its form after the final fold, you might want so as to add a few extra folds.

The dough rests for the rest of time till shaping.

Bulk fermentation is full with this dough doubles in dimension, feels filled with air, is smoother, and there are some seen bubbles on prime of and across the dough.

Don’t rush this dough as it would take longer to ferment.

6. Form:

Evenly flour your floor and banneton (rice flour is useful to forestall sticking) and use a bench scraper to form the dough right into a boule (round) or batard (oval). Elevate the dough and place it seam-side up into the banneton.

Attempt to form the bread in order that there aren’t any seen chocolate chunks on the surface of the loaf. They are going to burn throughout baking. If it is advisable, take away any on prime or sneak them within the loaf when shaping.

7. In a single day Proof:

Cowl the banneton and place it in a chilly fridge in a single day and as much as 48 hours.

The in a single day proof, or retard, will give extra taste to the dough and decelerate fermentation so you’ll be able to bake it by yourself schedule.

8. Rating & Bake:

Place an empty Dutch oven contained in the oven and preheat it at 500ºF (260ºC) for an hour.

After an hour, take away the chilly dough from the fridge and switch it out onto a small piece of parchment paper.

Then, rating the dough utilizing a pointy bread lame.

I often rating with one lengthy slash for a batard (oval). For a boule (spherical), rating the dough with a cross sample within the heart of the dough or one other design.

To assist enhance the possibilities of a sourdough ear, the rating needs to be about ¼”-½” deep at a slight angle. If , I usually share scoring movies on my Instagram.

Fastidiously place the scored dough with parchment into the Dutch oven and instantly cowl it with the lid.


I comply with the identical routine to bake most of my sourdough breads, equivalent to My On a regular basis Sourdough Bread Recipe and modify the ultimate baking instances barely relying on how briskly a loaf is browning.

Bake at 500ºF (260ºC) for 20 minutes.

Take away the lid, flip the oven all the way down to 450ºF (232ºC), and bake with the lid off for about 13-Quarter-hour.

It’s regular if any chocolate chunks char barely on the surface. I don’t thoughts these, however you’ll be able to simply decide them off should you don’t just like the style.

Cool the loaf on a wire rack for at the least an hour earlier than slicing.

Lastly, take pleasure in reducing into this mouthwatering chocolate sourdough bread!

I really like serving this chocolate espresso sourdough bread with cream cheese, softened butter and flaky salt, or with raspberry jam.

Chocolate coffee sourdough bread cut in half and stacked on top of each other.Chocolate coffee sourdough bread cut in half and stacked on top of each other.

Learn how to Retailer

I prefer to retailer sourdough bread cut-side down as soon as sliced. This helps the loaf retain moisture so it doesn’t dry out and turn into stale.

To slice, minimize the bread in half, flip it cut-side down, after which slice it with a pointy, serrated bread knife.

Then, wrap the loaf in a tea towel and place it in a bread bag, bread field, or brown paper bag, the place it would keep recent for about three days. After a number of days, you might have to reheat or toast slices.

Unsliced, the bread will final one other day or two with out staling or dropping an excessive amount of moisture.

Lastly, you’ll be able to freeze the chocolate sourdough bread by inserting slices in a freezer-safe bag the place it would preserve for months. To thaw, reheat the frozen slices in a toaster oven, toaster, or oven.

Slice of chocolate coffee sourdough bread.Slice of chocolate coffee sourdough bread.

❓Chocolate Espresso Sourdough Bread FAQs:

Can I exploit all-purpose flour?

You should use all-purpose flour as an alternative of bread flour, however observe that you could be want to combine extra or add a few additional folds to strengthen the dough.

Does caffeine get baked off in sourdough bread?

No. Caffeine doesn’t bake off. If you happen to’re delicate to espresso, you can also make this bread with decaf espresso or all water.

Is that this recipe vegan?

It may be relying on the chocolate you utilize for the recipe. Use a plant-based darkish chocolate.

Can I add chocolate chips to sourdough bread?

Sure! I favor darkish chocolate chips over milk chocolate so the bread isn’t too candy and doesn’t soften as shortly.

Learn how to serve chocolate sourdough bread?

Chocolate sourdough bread is nice with many toppings! You’ll be able to serve it with softened butter and flaky salt, peanut butter or different creamy nut butters, a drizzle of honey, fruit jams like raspberry jam or marmalade go rather well with chocolate bread, serve it with cream cheese, and even make it into decadent chocolate sourdough French toast.

Can I exploit a chocolate starter for this recipe?

If you happen to occur to have a chocolate sourdough starter, you need to use that on this recipe. Nonetheless, it’s not crucial and I simply use an energetic sourdough starter that I sweeten barely to make a candy levain for this bread.

Is chocolate sourdough bread candy and find out how to modify sweetness?

This chocolate espresso sourdough bread isn’t very candy or enriched like Sourdough Babka or Sourdough Brioche and is balanced with the bitterness of darkish chocolate and low. You’ll be able to modify the sweetness of your bread by utilizing much less sugar and utilizing darkish chocolate.

Why is chocolate sourdough bread dense?

Cocoa powder tightens the gluten construction in bread, leading to a denser loaf. It and the espresso additionally require longer proofing instances, so it’s widespread to underproof chocolate sourdough. To hasten fermentation and open up the dough construction, use barely much less salt and prolong bulk fermentation.

Two slices of chocolate coffee sourdough bread on a cutting board with a bread knife.Two slices of chocolate coffee sourdough bread on a cutting board with a bread knife.

Chocolate Espresso Sourdough Bread

Learn to make this scrumptious Chocolate Espresso Sourdough Bread that tastes like a mocha latte! The wealthy double chocolate bread pairs effectively with earthy and bitter espresso, leading to a novel loaf that is wonderful served with fruit jam, cream cheese, or a drizzle of honey.For extra suggestions, particulars, and photographs, comply with the information above which incorporates step-by-step directions.

Prep Time1 day

Cook dinner Time35 minutes

Complete Time1 day 35 minutes

Yield or Serving: 1 loaf

Chocolate Espresso Sourdough Bread

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