Chocolate Sourdough Beer Bread
Mill City Cooks

Chocolate Sourdough Beer Bread

By: Bread Festival Bakers

From Kenneth Edstrom, Bread Festival 2019

I was in Ely in February 2017 at one of their local bookstores (Chapman’s, I think) and serredipitously found Flour, Water, Salt, Yeast by Portland, Oregon bread guru Ken Forkish. I loved his precision and the simple methods that always yeilds spectacular results. I was working my way through the aftermath of my divorce at that time, and the book gave me just teh zen I needed. I’ve been baking bread ever since and am the proud owner of 2-quart, 3-quart, 4-quart and 5-quart Dutch ovens as well as a lot of buckets and supplies for my bread. My sourdough starter, Mildred, has been with me for 30 months now.

Recipe note: Like any sourdough recipe, this one takes some time. Sample schedule: Feed levain at 8 a.m., mix the final dough at 3 p.m., shape into loaves at 8 p.m., proof the loave sin the refrigerator overnight and bake around 8-10 a.m. the next morning. Makes 2, 2lb. loaves.

Ingredients

  • 360 grams sourdough starter
  • 3 cans of any chocolate porter or stout, divided
  • 740 grams white flour
  • 60 grams whole wheat flour
  • 2 grams instant yeast
  • 22 grams salt
  • 1/4 cup black cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup brown cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup cocoa nibs (optional)

Method

On the day of baking, feed your sourdough start per your recipe, but use the chocolate beer instead of water. My sourdough starter is a mizture of 20% wheat and 80% white flour with 80% hydration.

After the levain has risen (mine takes about 6-8 hours), measure 740 grams of white flour, 60 grams of whole wheat flour and 620 grams (nearly 2 cans) of the chocolate beer heated to 90-95 degrees in a 12-quart container. Mix together, cover and rest for 20-30 minutes.

Add yeast, salt, cocoa powders and cocoa nibs. Mix by hand or with a stand mixer for more even coloring. Add 360 grams levain to mixture and incorporate all ingredients together. Cover and allow to bulk rise to triple volume (5 hours), folding dough 3 times during the first 2 hours.

When the dough is triple its original volume, divide into two equal parts on lightly floured surface. Form each half into two medium tight balls. Lightly flour top of loaves and proof in floured basket or bowl in the refrigerator, covered for 12 hours.

Bake in pre-heated 4-quart covered Dutch oven at 475 degrees for 50-55 minutes, removing lid after 30 minutes.