Double Chocolate Sourdough

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Jennine told me that this recipe was inspired by a chocolate baguette she found in a Boulogne-sur-Mer bakery one rainy spring day on a weekend trip to France. After several attempts to recreate this at home, she came up with this recipe, which she says is pretty close to how she remembers the flavour, if not the texture.

FROM MIXING TO OVEN: overnight plus 3–4 hours
BAKING TIME: 35–45 minutes

Ingredients

  • 300g/10½oz/ cups white sourdough starter
  • 200g/7oz/ cups minus 1 tbsp white bread flour
  • 160g/oz/ cup water
  • 40g/oz/scant ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 15g/1 tbsp honey
  • 6g/1 tsp fine/table salt
  • 100g/oz/about cup dark/bittersweet chocolate chips

Method

  1. Mix the sourdough starter, flour and water together thoroughly, cover and leave at room temperature for 12 hours (typically overnight).
  2. Add the cocoa powder, honey and salt and mix well. Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes.
  3. Knead the dough for around 10–15 seconds, cover and leave to rest for 10–15 minutes. Repeat this knead/rest process until you have a smooth, stretchy, silky dough.
  4. Add the chocolate chips and work the dough until they are evenly distributed. Cover and leave the dough to prove for 1 hour, giving it a fold after 30 minutes.
  5. Dust a proving basket well with flour. Shape the dough to fit, and put it in the basket, seam-side up. Cover and leave to prove at room temperature for 1–2 hours until doubled in size and the dough doesn’t spring back when pressed gently.
  6. Heat the oven to 250°C/230°C fan/480°F/gas 9+, or as high as it will go, with a baking stone or baking sheet in place. Tip the dough out onto a well-floured peel, slash the top and slide it onto the baking stone. Turn the oven down immediately to 200°C/180°C fan/400°F/gas 6 and bake for 35–45 minutes, turning the loaf round in the oven after 15 minutes to ensure even baking, and cover the top with a sheet of kitchen foil if it is browning too quickly.

JENNINE WALKER