Sunday, August 21, 2011

Joybee's Baking Journal: Sourdough Chocolate Bead (savory)

I have tried many recipes for chocolate bread. Most of these are sweet dessert type breads with lots of sugar and fat (in the form of oil, butter or shortening). While I enjoy these breads occasionally; if I want a chocolate dessert, I would rather make brownies.

Today I wanted to make a bread that is a 'real bread', to me this means similar to Italian bread. Italian bread is a standard, enriched dough, that has a soft spongy interior and chewy crust. I also wanted chocolate. Basically, I wanted chocolate Italian bread. I wanted it to be savory but with hint of chocolate, something that would taste good with just about any meal, or spread with a soft sweet cheese. Here is my recipe:

I took a basic Italian bread recipe (160% pre ferment, 100% bread flour, 3.6% salt, 4.4% sugar, .98% instant yeast, 4.4% oil and 57.8% water) and modified it by adding cocoa powder and coffee. I also added extra sugar to cut the bitterness of the cocoa, and used butter instead of olive oil. My formula is 160% sourdough barm, 100% bread flour, 3.6% salt, 5.8% cocoa powder, 3.1% coffee, 10% sugar, 5% butter, 57.8% water--actually about half that because of the extra moisture in the barm
As usual, I start with a sourdough barm (fed the night before)
18 oz Barm
.65 oz Cocoa powder
.35 oz Coffee
11.25 oz Bread flour
.41 oz Salt
1.1 oz Sugar
.6 oz Butter
about 4 oz Water

Feed the barm the night before making the bread (equal amounts water and flour), at this point I added the cocoa powder and coffee. Let sit at room temperature overnight (no more than 12 hours).

The next morning I made the dough, add all dry ingredients into the bowl of mixer, stir to combine. Then add the barm and butter and enough water to bring together and make a ball. Then switch to the dough hook and knead for 10 minutes, adding more flour if necessary until the dough does not stick to the bowl. Dough should be smooth and tacky but not sticky.

Transfer the dough to a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 4 hours until doubled in size. Then remove from bowl, cut dough in half, shape into boules . Place the loaves on a parchment covered sheet pan or a peel (I use a cookie sheet with out a lip, so the dough slides right off). Mist the loaves with spray oil, cover with plastic wrap let rise for about 2 hours until noticeably swelled.
*If you do not have the time for sourdough bread, you can add 1/2 tsp instant yeast to the dry ingredients, then you have a 2hr initial rise and 90min final proof.

Prepare the oven about 45 minutes before baking: place a baking stone on the second shelf from the bottom remove any top shelves. Heat oven to 425 degrees F.

When ready, uncover the loaves and score, then slide the dough (parchment and all) onto the baking stone. Bake for 15 minutes (pull the parchment from under the loaves after 5 minutes), rotate 180 degrees and bake for 10-20 minutes more until dark and crusty. The loaves should sound hollow when tapped on the bottom. Remove to a cooling rack and let cool for about an hour before slicing (if you can).

This bread turned out exactly how I wanted it. The texture of good Italian bread with a hint of the bitterness of chocolate and a slight sourness. This is not a dessert bread, but it would taste great with chocolate chips added at the end of kneading, or in a bread pudding. I prefer it on its own with a little butter or soft cheese (like cream cheese). I wonder how it would taste along side chili (I like to add a bit of chocolate to my homemade chili).

sorry no pictures of this bread, I was so excited and ate it so quickly I forgot to take pictures.

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