chocolate espresso

Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Resting Time: 12-24 hours (sourdough fermentation) + 4-6 hours (proofing)
Baking Time: 40-45 minutes
Total Time: 16-30 hours


For the sourdough:

  • 1 cup active sourdough starter
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 3 1/2 cups bread flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 tablespoon instant espresso powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt


  1. Prepare Sourdough Starter:
    • In a large mixing bowl, combine the active sourdough starter and lukewarm water. Stir until the starter is dissolved in the water.
  2. Mix Dry Ingredients:
    • In a separate bowl, sift together the bread flour, cocoa powder, instant espresso powder, and salt.
  3. Combine Wet and Dry Ingredients:
    • Gradually add the dry ingredients to the sourdough starter mixture, stirring until a shaggy dough forms.
  4. Knead the Dough:
    • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 10-15 minutes, or until the dough becomes smooth and elastic.
  5. First Fermentation:
    • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover it with a damp cloth or plastic wrap, and let it ferment at room temperature for 12-24 hours, or until it has doubled in size and bubbles appear on the surface.
  6. Shape the Loaf:
    • After the first fermentation, gently deflate the dough and shape it into a round loaf. Place the loaf seam-side down in a floured proofing basket or bowl lined with a clean kitchen towel.
  7. Second Proofing:
    • Cover the loaf with a damp cloth or plastic wrap and let it proof at room temperature for 4-6 hours, or until it has increased in size by about 50% and holds an indentation when gently pressed with a finger.
  8. Preheat Oven:
    • About 30 minutes before baking, preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). Place a Dutch oven or baking stone in the oven to preheat as well.
  9. Bake the Bread:
    • Carefully transfer the proofed loaf to the preheated Dutch oven or baking stone. Score the top of the loaf with a sharp knife or razor blade.
    • Cover the Dutch oven with its lid or place a heatproof bowl over the loaf to create steam during baking. Bake for 20 minutes.
  10. Remove Lid and Finish Baking:
    • After 20 minutes, remove the lid or bowl to allow the crust to brown. Continue baking for another 20-25 minutes, or until the loaf is deep brown and sounds hollow when tapped on the bottom.
  11. Cool and Enjoy:
    • Remove the loaf from the oven and let it cool on a wire rack for at least 1 hour before slicing. Enjoy your chocolate espresso sourdough bread with your favorite spreads or as is!

Note: Adjust the fermentation and proofing times based on your sourdough starter’s activity and the ambient temperature in your kitchen.

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