Pumpernickel chocolate Sourdough Bread
Tools: 3 bowls, stand mixer (or a pair of very strong hands), 500F oven-proof baking pots (like Dutch ovens, Pyrex or clay bakers), medium to large cutting boards, parchment paper, pot holders
For the leaven
1 ½ tbsp fresh live sourdough starter (2 tbsp if you are adding nuts and berries)
½ cup white bread flour
1/3 cup water
Mix all together and let sit 6 to 8 hours – you will see
that it is all live and bubbly on the surface. Best way to test it is to drop a teaspoon of leaven into a bowl of water – if it floats, it’s ready.
For the dough:
2 cups water (2 1/4 if adding nuts and berries)
1/2 cup coffee,
5 cups flour (3 cups white bread flour, 2 cups pumpernickel)
1/2 cup cocoa powder
2 tablespoons potato flour (improves gluten production in mixed flour breads, not required but good to add)
2 cups chocolate chips
1 cup dried
Note - have another 1/2 cup pumpernickel flour ready, if the dough is too loose add that in.
Mix everything together at the same time you mix the leaven and let sit for 6-8 hours, as long as the leaven. This allows the autolysis process
to break down the flour.
When ready, put both leaven and dough into the bowl of your stand mixer and mix for 3-5 minutes, scraping down sides, to incorporate. It can be done by hand, but it’s tough. Cover the bowl with cling film and towel and
let the dough rest for an hour. In the meantime, dissolve 10g of salt in 1/8 cup of water. After an hour has passed, add the salt and again mix for 3-5 min. You will see the dough is becoming elastic and smooth. Pop the dough into a bowl, cover and let sit
for 2 – 3 hours, this period is called bulk fermentation. During bulk fermentation stretch and fold the dough every 30 to 45 min. To do so, pick up the dough on the side of the bowl, pull it up and fold down onto itself (like a flap of an envelope).
Repeat four times on four sides of the bowl, turning the bowl a quarter every time.
When fermentation is complete you will see that the dough is puffier than it was in the beginning, smoother and shinier. At this time, turn it onto a lightly floured
large cutting board and carefully cut in half using a large knife or a bench cutter. Shape each half into a ball by pushing the sides of the dough under it, tightening the surface. Dust with flour, cover and let rest 15 minutes. This was pre-shaping of the
While the dough is resting, prep your rising baskets (brotforms, bannetons or colanders/bowls lined with a towel). Flour them well, if lining or using a towel/cloth, rub the cloth with flour.
At the end of 15 min rest you will see the balls
spread a bit. That’s what you want. Flour them on top and flip them over on the board. Fold the sides in on four sides, again like making an envelope, tighten up and place into the basket smooth side down, seamed side up. Rest and rise 3-4 hours at room
temperature or overnight in the refrigerator. My preference is overnight rest, so I prep the leaven/dough during the day and rise the breads overnight, then bake in the morning.
Preheat the oven to 500F with your Dutch ovens in it. Once ready, take
a sheet of parchment paper, lay it over a cutting board and cover the basket, then flip it over. The bread should pop up easy. Score the bread using lame, very sharp knife or scissors, and place into the dutch oven, cover and put in the oven. Repeat with the
second loaf. Bake 20 min at 500F, reduce heat to 450 and bake another 10 min, then remove cover and bake another 25-30 min. Remove from the oven and cool on the rack. Bread must cool completely before cutting, the crumb is finishing up while it rests and cools.
Cut to early and you’ll end up with raw feeling crumb.
Same recipe works with only white bread flour as well.