Chocolate Sourdough with Walnuts and Raisins

My first sweet sourdough!

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I think that this is a bread that will satisfy both those who have a sweet tooth and those who don’t really like sweet things.

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The dough itself is on the bitter side because of the cocoa powder, but this also gives it a rich chocolate flavour. And of course you get the little pools of melted chocolate within which are to die for.

Chocolate Sourdough with Walnuts and Raisins (2)

And then you get the classic chocolate complement of aromatic, crunchy walnuts and plump, sweet raisins just to add a bit of textural variety to the bread.

I also don’t know why my crust looks purple.

Chocolate Sourdough with Walnuts and Raisins (1)

The crumb itself was really soft and moist. The crust is a little on the chewy side though, which was described in the original recipe as well. If you like your crust a little bit more crispy, a good toasting is the solution to all of your life’s problems.

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And when you toast it and add cream cheese? NEXT LEVEL.

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I got the recipe from here, but used my own timings.

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 50g malted milk powder, optional (ie ovaltine, I just thought it’d taste good)
  • 50g sugar
  • 150g sourdough starter (mine was at 100% hydration, see notes)
  • 400g water
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 8g salt
  • 65g chopped walnuts
  • 65g raisins, soaked in water for at least an hour
  • 150g semi-sweet chocolate chips (see notes)

Method

  1. Mix the flour, cocoa powder, and sugar together. Then stir in the sourdough starter, water, and vanilla extract until well combined.
  2. Cover with plastic wrap and autolyse for 1h (just let it sit).
  3. When the dough is done autolysing add the salt, chopped walnuts, raisins, and chocolate using the pinch and fold method.
  4. Stretch and fold your dough four times over the next 2 hours (so every 30 mins).
  5. Cover the dough and let rise in the fridge overnight.
  6. In the morning, turn your dough out into a well-floured banneton. Shape your dough by basically pulling the dough from the sides of the ball towards the center.
  7. Cover and let rise for about 2 hours.
  8. 15 mins before baking, preheat your oven to 260°C with a baking tray half-filled with water at the bottom of the oven to create a steam oven.
  9. Tip out your dough onto a lined baking tray. Score your bread if you want with either a bread lame or the sharpest knife in your kitchen.
  10. Place the bread in the steam oven. Mist the oven generously with a spray bottle to generate more steam. Bake at 260°C for 30 mins. Then reduce the temperature to 200°C and bake for 20 mins or until done. Bread is done when it is well browned and when you tap it it sounds hollow.
  11. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Notes

  • My starter was at 100% hydration. This bread was about 70% hydration. If you have no idea what I’m talking about check out my previous recipe on classic white sourdough.
  • I soak raisins beforehand so that they’d remain plump after baking.
  • Use chocolate chips not chopped chocolate. The original recipe source tried using chopped chocolate and it just melted into the dough, so you don’t get the pools of chocolate which is honestly the whole reason why you’re eating this bread in the first place.
  • Autolysing just means letting your flour sit with the water before you add any salt or yeast. This is supposed to make the bread easier to handle and have better structure and taste since the flour absorbs the water or something. More here.
  • Turning and folding means you don’t knead the dough. It’s just an alternative method to build structure in the dough usually used for higher hydration sourdoughs, but it can be used for any bread really. Up to your personal preference.
  • Scoring helps direct the shape your bread will rise when baked. And it looks pretty.
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Blue Cheese, Mozzarella, Pear, Thyme, and Walnut Sourdough Pizza

A quick recipe this time!

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I just really like weird combinations of flavours that unexpectedly merge to form a beautiful friendship with mutual love and respect.

Blue cheese walnut mozarella thyme pear pizza

In this case it’s the Sweetness of Pear, Saltiness of Blue Cheese, Aroma of Thyme, and Crunch of Walnuts that really makes this a special pizza. And the Mildness of Mozzarella?

If the picture is missing thyme, it’s because I forgot it. I added it in subsequent reheatings of pizza though so I can vouch that it definitely tastes better with the thyme.

I made this using my standard sourdough pizza base recipe and got the idea from this reddit post.

Ingredients (makes 1 medium thin crust pizza)

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter (mine was 100% hydration)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 150g all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • Some walnuts, some pear (depending on the type of pear you use, you might need to pre-cook the pear to let it soften sufficiently first), blue cheese, mozzarella, thyme. Just however much you want really.

Method

  1. Mix the sourdough starter with the water, flour, salt, and yeast (make sure the salt and yeast are placed at opposite ends of the bowl).
  2. Knead until smooth and elastic. Grease the ball of dough and place in a greased container.
  3. Cover the container with cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 2-4 hours.
  4. Coat a pan with olive oil. Flatten the dough onto the pan. Cover, and let rest for 15 mins. It will start to shrink back a little, just press the dough to the edges of the pan again.
  5. Cover and let the dough rise until it’s as thick as you like.
  6. Preheat your oven to 230°C. Bake the crust for 4-5 mins, then top and bake for an additional 8-10 mins or until the toppings are done as you like.
  7. Remove from the oven and loosen the edges of the pizza with a knife. Carefully lift it onto a cooling rack to keep the bottom crisp. Or you could just eat it straight away from the pan.

Notes

  • 100% hydration means my starter was equal parts flour and water by weight.
  • To see how I started my sourdough starter, see this post.

Sweet Potato Sourdough

When you think to yourself that normal bread just isn’t orange enough.

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This bread was a journey to bake. It starts off with baking off some sweet potatoes in the oven. Or rather baking it for 20 mins, then realising it’d cook faster in the microwave.

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This was the first sourdough I made after a 2 month break and woah was I out of touch.

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I didn’t flour the banneton well enough so the dough collapsed when I tried turning it out.

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So I tried saving it by placing it in my ratchet-ass “Dutch oven”… or basically my only oven-safe saucepan.

It worked quite well! It managed to rise despite the initial deflation. Like my spirits during the last examination. Unlike me after the examination however, the bread did not develop a crusty exterior. Probably because I forgot to heat up my “Dutch oven” first before putting the bread in it, and the lid was not tight at all so it couldn’t trap steam.

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There’s the crumb shot, don’t mind my hacking job with the knife. This dough was quite high hydration (although I have no idea how to calculate the percentages with sweet potato. Is sweet potato dry or wet?) so there’s quite large air bubbles. You could actually taste the sweet potato in the bread! Thought it made it a bit tastier.

I loosely based the recipe off this, but I used my own timings, and added some wholemeal flour. And mine was a sourdough. And I used orange sweet potato not purple sweet potato. The person who wrote the original recipe said her addition of purple sweet potato added a “faint and almost floral fragrance in the back-note” which is taking too much of an artistic liberty if you ask me. It just tastes like sweet potato, mate.

Ingredients

  • 135g sourdough starter (mine was at 100% hydration, see notes)
  • 80g wholemeal flour
  • 452g strong white flour
  • 400g water
  • 225g cooked sweet potato flesh (just microwave it it’s faster)
  • 13g salt

Method

  1. In a large bowl, mix the sourdough starter, flours, and water. Cover with plastic wrap and let it autolyse (see notes) for 30 mins.
  2. After 30 mins, add the sweet potato flesh and salt. Mix using the pincer method.
  3. Stretch and fold your dough for about 5 mins or until the dough starts to develop some elasticity. Then stretch and fold 4 times over the next hour (every 15 mins).
  4. Cover the dough and let it rise in the fridge overnight.
  5. In the morning, place the dough into your banneton (flour very well before use, this dough is quite sticky). Shape your dough by basically pulling the dough from the sides of the ball towards the center.
  6. Cover and let rise for about 2 hours or until slightly increased in size.
  7. If not using a Dutch oven (as I’d planned),
    • 15 mins before baking, preheat your oven to 260°C with a baking tray half-filled with water at the bottom of the oven to create a steam oven.
      Tip out your dough onto a lined baking tray.
    • Score your bread if you want with either a bread lame or the sharpest knife in your kitchen.
    • Place the bread in the steam oven. Mist the oven generously with a spray bottle to generate more steam.
    • Bake at 260°C for 30 mins. Then reduce the temperature to 200°C and bake for 20 mins or until done. Bread is done when it is well browned and when you tap it it sounds hollow
  8. If using a Dutch oven (as I sort of did),
    • 30 mins before baking, preheat your oven to 260°C and place a Dutch oven in the oven while it preheats.
    • When the dough is ready, tip out onto some baking paper. Use the baking paper to help carefully lower your dough into the Dutch oven. Score the bread if you want.
    • Cover and bake for 30 mins, then remove the lid and bake for about 15 mins.
  9. Let bread cool about 15 mins before cutting into it.

Notes

  • My starter was at 100% hydration. Basically means equal weight of flour and water. If you have no idea what I’m talking about check out my previous recipe on classic white sourdough.
  • Autolysing just means letting your flour sit with the water before you add any salt or yeast. This is supposed to make the bread easier to handle and have better structure and taste since the flour absorbs the water or something. More here.
  • Turning and folding means you don’t knead the dough. It’s just an alternative method to build structure in the dough usually used for higher hydration sourdoughs, but it can be used for any bread really. Up to your personal preference.
  • Scoring helps direct the shape your bread will rise when baked. And it looks pretty. But my sourdough was so collapsed from my banneton mishap that I didn’t want to score it.

Onion and Sage Sourdough

This bread basically tastes like stuffing.

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So you start off with some sweet, softened onions and fresh sage. And then throw in some dried sage as well because why not.

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Leave your dough for a cold overnight fermentation in the fridge to get that bread flavour.

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Tip it out and admire the pretty rings your banneton made on the dough.

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Get excited about the bread lame (some fancy-ass bread scoring knife) that your flatmate got for you for Christmas. And then get disappointed about the poor scoring job you did anyway (see notes).

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But then it was all worth it in the end because you get an unbelievably soft crumb, paired with a crisp caramelised crust, with the subtle sweetness from the onions and the aroma of the herbs.

This bread is fantastic paired with soup (or on its own), and freezes well too. Just slice the bread up and freeze the slices, and then toast the slice off when you’re ready to eat.

I got the recipe from here but followed my own timings and temperatures. I also did not use a Dutch oven because I don’t have one (sad). I also omitted the whole wheat flour because I ran out (sad).

Ingredients

  • 500g strong white bread flour
  • 350g water
  • 125g sourdough starter (mine was at 100% hydration, see notes)
  • 10g salt
  • 1 large white onion
  • About 20g sage
  • 1 tbsp dried sage

Method

  1. Mix the flour, water, and starter in a bowl and cover with cling film. Let autolyse for 30 mins (basically just let it sit, see notes).
  2. Meanwhile, chop up your white onion and soften over medium heat. Set aside and let cool.
  3. Chop up your fresh sage. Set aside.
  4. When your dough is done autolysing add salt, onion, and the fresh and dried sage. I mixed using the pincer and fold method.
  5. Stretch and fold your dough four times over the next 2 hours (so every 30 mins).
  6. Cover the dough and let rise in the fridge overnight.
  7. In the morning, turn your dough out into your banneton. Shape your dough by basically pulling the dough from the sides of the ball towards the center.
  8. Cover and let rise for about 2 hours.
  9. 15 mins before baking, preheat your oven to 260°C with a baking tray half-filled with water at the bottom of the oven to create a steam oven.
  10. Tip out your dough onto a lined baking tray. Score your bread if you want with either a bread lame or the sharpest knife in your kitchen.
  11. Place the bread in the steam oven. Mist the oven generously with a spray bottle to generate more steam. Bake at 260°C for 30 mins. Then reduce the temperature to 200°C and bake for 20 mins or until done. Bread is done when it is well browned and when you tap it it sounds hollow
  12. Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Notes

  • My starter was at 100% hydration. This bread was about 74% hydration. If you have no idea what I’m talking about check out my previous recipe on classic white sourdough.
  • Autolysing just means letting your flour sit with the water before you add any salt or yeast. This is supposed to make the bread easier to handle and have better structure and taste since the flour absorbs the water or something. More here.
  • Turning and folding means you don’t knead the dough. It’s just an alternative method to build structure in the dough usually used for higher hydration sourdoughs, but it can be used for any bread really. Up to your personal preference.
  • Scoring helps direct the shape your bread will rise when baked. And it looks pretty.

Rainbow Veggie Sourdough Pizza

Taste the rainbow.

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Sneak some vegetables into your diet using the vehicle of pizza.

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Anything tastes good if you add a bomb tomato sauce, cheese, and carbs to it. AND I added some roasted garlic as well, so you get that earthy rich undertone.

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And you know it’s healthy if there’s loads of colours in it.

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The base is a sourdough pizza, which is supposedly easier to digest (don’t ask me how). It also lends a tangy note to the dough, adds a little something to the flavour profile.

(Just watch me photoshop out my messy kitchen)

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I got the idea for the rainbow pizza from here, and used the same pizza dough recipe as my previous sourdough pizza. The recipe for the pizza dough gives a really crunchy pizza that’s not too heavy.

Ingredients (makes 1 medium thin crust pizza)

Dough

  • 1/2 cup sourdough starter (mine was 100% hydration, see notes)
  • 1/4 cup warm water
  • 150g all purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast

Toppings

  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 orange pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1 red onion
  • About 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Sauce

  • 1 package chopped tomatoes (about 390g)
  • 1 white onion
  • Splash of red wine (I used Merlot)
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 1 medium bulb of garlic
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs

Method

Dough

  1. Mix the sourdough starter with the water, flour, salt, and yeast (make sure the salt and yeast are placed at opposite ends of the bowl).
  2. Knead until smooth and elastic. Grease the ball of dough and place in a greased container.
  3. Cover the container with cling film and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 2-4 hours.

Toppings

  1. While your dough is rising, cut up the peppers and red onion into strips. Cut the broccoli into florets.
  2. Bake the vegetables for 15 mins at 180°C just to get it partially cooked.
  3. Break off half of the garlic bulb, leaving the cloves in their skins. Cover in foil and bake at 180°C for 30 mins to caramelise it.

Sauce

  1. Chop the white onion up into small pieces and fry over medium heat until softened.
  2. Add the remaining half of the garlic bulb (chopped), and fry until aromatic.
  3. Add the package chopped tomato and a pinch of sugar. Add the mixed herbs.
  4. Add a splash of red wine. Cook over low-medium heat until sauce is reduced to desired consistency (not too liquidy basically).
  5. Season to taste.

Assembly

  1. When your dough has risen, coat a pan with olive oil. Flatten the dough onto the pan. Cover, and let rest for 15 mins. It will start to shrink back a little, just press the dough to the edges of the pan again.
  2. Preheat your oven to 230°C. Bake the crust for 4-5 mins.
  3. Smush the roasted garlic onto the baked crust. Top with the tomato sauce. Then top with the cheese. Then arrange your vegetables on top of the cheese layer in a rainbow pattern.
  4. Bake for an additional 8-10 mins or until the toppings are done as you like.
  5. Remove from the oven and loosen the edges of the pizza with a knife. Carefully lift it onto a cooling rack to keep the bottom crisp. Or you could just eat it straight away from the pan.

Notes

  • 100% hydration means my starter was equal parts flour and water by weight.
  • To see how I started my sourdough starter, see this post.
  • Avoid putting the cheese too close to the edges to avoid sticking the pizza to the pan.