Cocoa Chocolate Coffee Sourdough Bread, Delayed Fermentation Method
The triple “C”, as I like to call this loaf.
I recently taught myself how to brew coffee in a French press, just to bring this loaf into fruition. Heck, I wanted to go as far as grinding my own coffee beans, but I didn’t have a proper grinder. Moreover, I’m not a habitual coffee drinker, let alone a coffee connoisseur, and my lack of knowledge about coffee proved to be a major hurdle.
Robusta or arabica? Light roast, medium roast, or dark roast? Finely ground or coarsely ground? I don’t know, but I’d love to collaborate with coffee fanatics to produce a stellar coffee sourdough loaf.
(This post was submitted to YeastSpotting.)
The primary objectives for the cocoa chocolate coffee sourdough bread were the following:
- somewhat firm, dark brown crust
- dark brown, medium soft, very open crumb
- batard (oblong) shape
- faintly bitter-sweet taste
- mild to moderate cocoa odour
Inspired by a blog post from The Fresh Loaf, the following adjustments were made to the original recipe:
- removed milk powder, cranberries, walnuts, orange peel, and instant yeast
- removed bread flour and whole wheat flour
- added soaker and rye flour
- increased all-purpose flour and honey amount
- substituted water with coffee
- implemented different techniques and procedures
Additionally, if available, I’ve listed the brand names of food products used in my baking experiment (please refer to the tables below). Disclaimer: This isn’t an endorsement. I’m simply indicating the names of branded products used in my baking experiment.
Yield: 1 cocoa chocolate coffee sourdough bread (loaf)
Total Prep Time: N/A
Total Bake Time: 60 minutes
|Pre-ferment: White Sourdough Starter|
|All-purpose flour / Plain flour, Unbleached, Enriched, Chilled||80 g||Gold Medal|
|Mineral water, Room temp.||60 g||Mineré|
|White sourdough starter, 75% hydration||20 g||N/A|
|Ground coffee beans||13 g||Mondulkiri Coffee|
|Mineral water, Below boiling point||250 g||Mineré|
|All-purpose flour / Plain flour, Unbleached, Enriched, Chilled||322 g||Gold Medal|
|Medium rye flour / Type 1150 rye flour, Chilled||36 g||Ireks|
|Coffee, Iced, Strained||222 g||N/A|
|White sourdough starter, 75% hydration||120 g||N/A|
|Natural cocoa powder||18 g||Van Houten|
|Roasted sea salt||7 g||Hakata Noshio|
|100% pure honey||23 g||Galae|
|Extra virgin olive oil||18 g||Campagna|
|Dark chocolate, 70% cocoa||54 g||Lindt|
|All-purpose flour / Plain flour, Unbleached, Enriched||N/A||Gold Medal|
|Mineral water, Room temp.||N/A||Mineré|
|Extra virgin olive oil||N/A||Campagna|
|All-purpose flour / Plain flour, Unbleached, Enriched||N/A||Gold Medal|
|Rice flour||N/A||Squirrel Brand|
|Countertop convection oven, Refrigerator, Digital scale, Electric kettle, French press, Pump spray, Ice cube tray, Parchment paper, Plastic wrap, Plastic bag, Sheet pan, Bowls, Mixing bowls, Strainer, Bread knife, Scissor, Razor and Skewer (Lame), Spatulas, Spoons, Whisk, Oven mitts, Towel, Table cloth (Couche), Unglazed clay tiles (Baking stone), Wire rack, Cutting boards|
Warning: Do not attempt my “recipe” (i.e., experiment) without considering the following; variations in room temperature, humidity, altitude, food products, kitchen utensils and equipment, techniques and methods, amongst other factors, will influence the outcome of your baked goods.
Before I began, I measured, prepared, and organized my ingredients and kitchen equipment. This includes:
- feeding the sourdough starter every twelve hours or so for several days
- pouring mineral water into the ice cube tray and freezing it overnight
- brewing coffee in a French press
- pouring ice cubes into the lukewarm coffee, waiting ten minutes, then straining the coffee
- mixing the soaker ingredients and chilling it at 0°C / 32°F for approx. eleven hours
- lining the rack of the oven with unglazed clay tiles
- cutting out a sheet of parchment paper
- dusting the table cloth with rice flour
- chopping the dark chocolate with a serrated bread knife
Step 1: *Wakes up with heavy eyelids.*
So… sleepy… Must get up…
About eleven hours since her last meal (refer to Sourdough Starter recipe), my beloved sourdough starter burped throughout the night, trapping small pockets of gas within her flesh.
Step 2: When the sleepy fog of my vision cleared, I removed the soaker from the refrigerator and laid the mixing bowl upon my counter. Enamoured by the faint aroma of coffee, I plucked and nibbled a piece of the soaker. Surprisingly, it wasn’t bitter.
Note: The soaker was chilled for approx. eleven hours at 0°C / 32°F.
Step 3: After weighing and organizing the ingredients, I assembled the starter, soaker, and mixing bowl.
Step 4: Next, I transferred the starter and soaker into the mixing bowl, then implemented the pincer method to combine the two ingredients.
Step 5: Once the starter and soaker were mixed to my satisfaction, I retrieved the following ingredients: cocoa powder, honey, olive oil, and sea salt (refer to Final Dough recipe).
Step 6: Afterwards, I poured the said ingredients onto the dough (i.e. the combined soaker and starter), briefly hand-mixed the ingredients, then initiated the French kneading method.
Step 7: “Well, that’s a lot darker than expected.”
Five minutes of French kneading transformed the dough into a tacky, homogeneous, brown blob.
Step 8: Following that, I coated a separate mixing bowl with extra virgin olive oil, transferred the dough into the oiled mixing bowl, stretched and folded the dough, inserted the mixing bowl into a large plastic bag, then rested the dough at above room temperature for thirty minutes.
Step 9: To the sink I go—to scrub, to rinse, to wash the used kitchen equipment.
Step 10: Subsequent to the dough’s thirty minute rest period, I dispersed the chopped dark chocolate onto the dough, implemented another stretch and fold, reinserted the mixing bowl into the plastic bag, then rested the dough at above room temperature for another thirty minutes.
Step 11: Following step 10, with the exception of adding chocolate, the dough was stretched and folded another three times—a total of five stretch and folds.
“Oh *expletive*, I forgot to do something!”
Lifting and cradling the dough in one hand, I lightly doused the mixing bowl with extra virgin olive oil, then placed the dough back into the mixing bowl. Shortly thereafter, the mixing bowl was sealed with plastic wrap, then chilled at 0°C / 32°F for nearly thirty-two hours.
Step 12: After loading the dough into the refrigerator, I took a quick shower, dressed up, and hurried to a public screening at Sofitel. The event featured a series of short films produced by young students from Southeast Asia. Further, one of the host was my friend, who I also refer to as my baking partner, taste tester, and test subject.
Having said that, I wouldn’t dare miss the screening.
Step 13: About thirty-one hours later, the dough was removed from the refrigerator, then rested at above room temperature for thirty minutes.
As you can see above, during refrigeration the dough had doubled or tripled in volume.
Step 14: After thirty minutes, the following was executed:
- lightly dusted the counter with all-purpose flour
- gently pried the dough onto the counter
- shaped the dough into a batard (and failing miserably)
- transferred the dough onto parchment paper
- enclosed the dough with a pre-dusted table cloth
- placed household objects adjacent to the table cloth
- tented the dough with a plastic bag
- proofed (i.e., rested) the dough at above room temperature for one hour
Further, the oven was preheated to 250°C / 438°F, containing a rack lined with unglazed clay tiles (middle slot) and a baking tray with a towel soaked with boiling water (lower slot).
Step 15: As soon as the dough was proofed for an hour, I removed the table cloth, lightly sifted all-purpose flour onto the dough, then, with a homemade lame, repeatedly slashed the dough lengthwise.
Thereafter, I maneuvered the dough onto the preheated clay tiles, poured extra boiling water into the towel-filled baking tray, then baked the dough at 220°C / 428°F (convection off) for approx. fifteen minutes.
Note: I burnt the side of my thumb. Somehow I neglected the fact that the oven door was tremendously hot.
Step 16: Fifteen minutes later, I removed the towel-filled baking tray from the oven, re-positioned the tile lined rack into the lower slot of the oven, then continued baking the loaf at 210°C / 410°F (convection on) for a total of forty-five minutes, while rotating the loaf every fifteen minutes.
Step 17: *Wash, wash, wash.*
Step 18: Baked for a total of one hour, the loaf was removed from the oven and cooled on a wire rack for over twelve hours.
Note: When I awoke the next morning, my nose was greeted by the smell of cocoa.
After twelve hours of being baked, the crust of the loaf was rather firm, whereas the crumb was modestly soft, springy, faintly moist, and cool to the touch. Emitted by both the loaf’s crust and crumb, the distinct aroma of cocoa was perceived, most readily when the loaf was in near proximity to the nose. Further, the crumb itself tasted subtly bitter, with very faint notes of sweetness and butteriness. However, the dark chocolate disrupted the overall flavour by casting a bitter-sweet, off-tangy taste.
Note: The cocoa chocolate coffee sourdough bread was stored at above room temperature.
Normally, my loaves are less than satisfactory if I adapt a recipe too heavily. However, the triple “C” was an exception. It wasn’t too bad, not too great either, but successful in some respects. For instance, sharp bitterness didn’t dominate the taste of the loaf.
I ask myself, how do I craft a sourdough loaf with more pronounced flavours of coffee? The first answer that pops into my mind is to reduce or eliminate all ingredients with strong flavours—cocoa powder, for example. Other ideas include producing my own coffee extract, as well as using better quality (i.e., flavourful) coffee beans.
There are too many variables I can play with, so the key to my success, I think, will be my patience and diligence.
That’s all, ladies and gentleman. Farewell and have a happy baking. :)
P.S. If you know a thing or two about coffee, please feel free to contact me and provide any tips or suggestions. You’ll certainly have my gratitude.