What better way to spend a cold January day than by baking a delicious loaf of bread in your warm kitchen? Even better if that loaf is innovative, chocolatey and different from anything you’ve baked before.
We won’t lie…this Black Garlic Chocolate Sourdough Bread recipe looks quite complicated. It’s a bit time-consuming, but sometimes we find that those recipes are the best kind. There’s no other way to make it than with a whole lot of love. Are we the only baking nerds that so cherish that feeling? And at least for us, it’s so cold outside than what else are we going to do?
Thanks to the Black Garlic North America Kitchen for this recipe!
100 grams all-purpose flour (rye and wheat flour make strong starters as well)
100 grams room temperature water
1/8 tsp instant dry yeast
¾ cup water, 90-95 degrees fahrenheit
1 Cup + 1 tbsp mature, active starter
1 2/3 cup bread flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 tbsp strong coffee or espresso
1 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
1 heaping cup peeled black garlic cloves
1 cup dark chocolate chips (optional)
In a medium bowl or large mason jar, mix flour and water until no lumps remain. Cover and leave out overnight. (Volumetric measurements for flour can be inaccurate due to flour being easily compressed. Measurements by mass produce very consistent results, helpful when starting a mother)
24 hours later, discard half of the starter and repeat the feeding process with another 100 grams of both flour and water. Cover again and leave overnight. This process is repeated, dumping half and re-feeding each day until the starter is filled with bubbles and bears a strong, sour smell.
Once healthy and active, this starter can be kept in the fridge and fed in a similar manner once a week. In order to use the starter, remove it from the fridge, discard half, and feed it once. It will be ready in about 12 hours.
Mixing, Fermentation, and Proofing (total time: 21 hours, active: 45 minutes, 4 hour ferment, 16 hour proof)
In a large bowl, mix instant dry yeast and water until fully dissolved, and add the mature starter. Mix until homogenous.
Add bread flour, cocoa powder, and coffee to yeast mixture and mix by hand until just incorporated; let rest (autolyse) for 30 minutes. (The dough will be sticky; keeping a small bowl of water to wet your hand periodically while mixing helps to keep your hands relatively clean)
Sprinkle salt over the shaggy mixture and mix by hand until salt is fully incorporated and a cohesive dough starts to form.
Cover and let dough rest for one hour, followed by a folding of the dough every thirty minutes for a total of 6 folds, or 3 hours total. Fold in black garlic cloves and chocolate chips, if using, after the first fold. Let rest for half an hour following the final fold.
Divide into two smaller loaves and shape each into a tight ball. Place seam side down in a proofing basket dusted with flour or a medium to large kitchen bowl dusted liberally with flour.
Cover with a plastic bag or plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to proof for 16 hours.
Bake (Total time: 2 hours, active: 5 minutes)
An hour before baking, preheat a dutch oven and lid in the oven at 475 degrees Fahrenheit. Hot iron looks the same as cool iron, and it is all too easy to burn yourself at any point in the bake. Make sure to keep two sturdy oven mitts at hand.
Remove dough from fridge and turn out onto a floured work surface. Using a sharp knife or lame, score the top of the loaf in the pattern of your choosing, taking care not to cut too deep.
Remove the preheated dutch oven from the oven with caution, remove the lid, and place loaf inside, taking care not to burn yourself. Cover the dutch oven and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the lid after 45 minutes and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Optionally, you can crack the oven door halfway through this ten-minute bake period.
Remove the cast iron from the oven and turn the loaf out, cooling on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing. Enjoy with honey or salted butter. (even better if you culture your own!)