Andrea is a home baker who loves to perfect challenging cakes, breads, and the like. She is on a quest to find the perfect flavor combos.
Mint Chocolate Sourdough Bread
Sourdough can make for excellent sweet bread. This bread pairs well with a cup of tea. You could use it for a pudding.
The bread smells heavenly. It has the delightful aroma of mint, chocolate, and cooked sourdough.
You could use this bread for a sandwich. I'd recommend strawberries or apple slices and some jam or cream cheese. The bread has elements that make it more appropriate for dessert or a snack.
Yield: This recipe produces a small loaf. I recommend making two loaves if you're planning for an event. It's also a good idea to bake two loaves, so you can explore slight adjustments.
Before you begin: This recipe assumes you already have a sourdough starter.
|Prep time||Cook time||Ready in||Yields|
9 hours 45 min
10 hours 30 min
1 small loaf
- Prep for the first rise: 25 minutes
- First rise: 5 hours
- Second knead: 15 minutes
- Second rise: 4 hours
- Bake time: 45 minutes
I suggest making this bread on a day where you're planning to stay home and aren't too busy. It's best to start in the morning or early afternoon if you're a night owl.
Keep in mind, sourdough can be finicky. It's possible that your rise and proof times will take longer than what's suggested. You may also have a longer bake time.
Sourdough bread takes longer than breads with yeast. It requires care to get it to rise and keep its height. You have to be comfortable with putting in some strength to get a good knead.
A dusting mix of flour and semolina stops the dough from sticking and prevents it from spreading.
Consider Season and Temperature
Sourdough is sensitive. The starter is a living material that you have to feed and nourish. It is more variable than yeast.
Sourdough has a distinct tang and crumble to it. It is moist and doesn't mold readily.
Your starter will be more active in summer than in winter. Your home environment will influence the rise of your bread. If you keep your home fairly warm, your bread will rise faster. If you live in a cold home with a lot of stone, it might take a full day for your bread to rise.
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During winter, when adding water it should be on the warmer side. It shouldn't be scalding hot. It should be warm enough that you could wash your hands in it comfortably.
During summer, add cooler water. Your starter is more active in summer, so cooler water can help balance this out.
- 1 1/2 cups white flour
- 1/4 cup cocoa powder
- 1 cup + 1 tablespoon sourdough starter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 cup tepid water
- olive oil, for oiling
- 1 1/2 cups mint chocolate chips
- 1 to 2 tablespoons mint spice
- semolina flour, for dusting
- Combine the flour, cocoa powder, starter, and salt in a large mixing bowl. The water will vary based on your flour and the thickness of your starter. Add water in increments and mix it into the dry ingredients by hand. If the dough is still stiff, continue to add water to get a soft dough.
- Pour a teaspoon of oil or so onto a work surface. Lightly flour the surface. Tip the mixture onto it. Knead for 10-15 minutes until the dough is soft, elastic, and smooth. When it is stretchy and has soft, smooth skin, it is ready.
- Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a towel. Let rise for 5 hours, or until it has doubled in size. The ideal temperature: 71-75°F. Store in the oven if it's cold in your home. Don't store somewhere that's below 60°F or higher than 77°F.
- Mix together a 1/2 cup of white flour and a 1/2 cup of semolina flour for dusting. Scatter a generous amount of the combined flours on a work surface. Place the dough onto the dusted surface. Push the dough down with the heels of your hands and knuckles. Press with your fingers to knock out air. Add mint chocolate chips and mint. Knead them into the dough. Fold the dough into itself several times, this will strengthen the structure.
- Graciously dust a bread loaf pan or banneton with the flour mix. Roll the dough into an elongated shape that will fit in the pan. Place the dough in the tin seam side down.
- Place the loaf pan in a spacious plastic bag. There should be enough room so that when the dough rises it won't touch the plastic. You could use a clean trash bag. Let the dough rise for at least 4 hours, or until it has doubled in size. When ready, the dough will spring back when you push it. Don't skip proving: it's important for structure and flavor.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Place a roasting tin on the bottom rack.
- Line a baking tray with baking parchment. A good non-stick tray will also do the trick. Dust liberally with the flour mix. Flip the loaf pan on the baking tray. If things have been dusted properly, the dough should fall out just fine. If not, you may have to assist it, but do avoid getting air into the loaf.
- Pour four cups of water onto the roasting pan. It will make steam and help the bread to form a sophisticated crust.
- Bake for 45 minutes. It should sound hollow when you tap its base. Its internal temperature should be around 190-210°F. Let it cool down on a wire rack. If the bread is under that range, put it back in the oven for another five minutes and then check its temperature again.
Troubleshooting the Dough
- Too stiff: If your dough after kneading feels too stiff, wet your fingers with water and press into the dough.
- Too wet: If your dough feels too wet, keep kneading. If it's still problematic after 10 minutes, add a small amount of flour to toughen it up.
- Mint chocolate chips: If you don’t have these, you could substitute regular chocolate chips. By the way, I used Andes mints for my mint chocolate chips. You can usually find these in stores in the baking aisle.
- Mint spice: Mint tea will work in a pinch.
- White bread flour: If you don't have this type of flour, all-purpose flour will be just fine.
- Salt: Sea salt instead of regular salt will give the bread a more distinguished flavor. Sea salt pairs well with chocolate. I would use half sea salt and half regular salt since the recipe calls for a lot of salt.
Mint chocolate-flavored things are usually green. If you want a green color in the middle, after kneading and shaping, create a pool in the dough and put green food dye there. Fold over the dough, but don’t go wild if you want the outside to remain brown.
If you want the entire bread to be green, which is going to look unusual one way or another, I would add the food coloring when you add water. This is going to get really messy since you'll be working with the dough by hand.
You don't want to overdo dusting. If you have too much flour on your dough, it will cake on and be unpleasant. You could scrape off the extra flour with a knife, but this is kind of wasteful of your flour and time.
One trick I use to flour dough is to put it in a tea sifter and then gently shake it over the dough. Getting it just right will give your bread the right crumb texture.
I recommend when shaping the dough for the final proof to get it into a more elongated square than a full-fledged rectangle. If you want your bread to have height, having more of it pressed into a squarish shape will help achieve this. The longer your bread, the flatter it will be. You could also form your dough into a circle.
Chilling the Dough
- Option 1: Allow the dough to rise in your kitchen at room temperature. Refrigerate it for up to 24 hours. Remove it to room temperature 3 hours before baking. Let it stand until it has doubled.
- Option 2: Let it rise at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours or until it has doubled. When gently pressed, it will slowly fill in. Refrigerate up to 24 hours. Remove 30 minutes before baking.
Before turning off your oven and putting the bread on a wire rack, I would make sure the bread has reached 190-210°F. If you're slightly under that range, put it back in the oven for another 3-5 minutes. Check to make sure the outside doesn't show signs of an overbake.
Do not bake your bread past 210°F. This will likely warp the bread.
I recommend keeping the bread in a bread box or a large plastic container. If you put the bread in your fridge it will get hard, but it will have less chance of spoiling. If you leave the bread out on a counter with no cover, it will dry up and go stale on you.
© 2022 Andrea Lawrence