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Tuesday, 5 April 2016

Baking Italian Pane al Cioccolato with a Sourdough Starter

What to do when your Sourdough starter has grown to the point where you HAVE to use it, but you really crave some sweet chocolate? Bake an Italian Chocolate Loaf! Today's recipe is one that I adapted from one of my favorite recipe books so I could use my sourdough starter. As always, I will give advice for using other raising agents in the recipe.

Here is the recipe as it appears in the book.

This is the book I adapted the recipe from.

Start by mixing all your dry ingredients together: 3 cups (750 ml) White Bread Flour, 1,5 tablespoons (20 ml) cocoa powder, 1/2 teaspoon (2,5 ml) salt, 2 tablespoons (25 ml) sugar,
Option 1: If using Active Dry Yeast, dissolve 1 packet in 1 cup (250 ml) lukewarm water and the 25 ml sugar.
Option 2: If using Instant Yeast, add one packet to the dry ingredients.

Add 2 tablespoons (25 ml) melted butter.

Add 1,5 cups (375 ml) sourdough starter and lukewarm water to the dry ingredients. Add the water a little bit at a time as you bring the dough together to avoid getting the dough too wet.

Knead the dough for about 10 minutes to spread the sourdough evenly throughout the dough and to ensure it turns into an elastic ball.

Place in a bowl and cover with plastic.

Let it rise in a warm dry place for a few hours until about double in size.

The recipe calls for using semi-sweet chocolate, but I only had white chocolate in the house. Weigh 85-100 g off in a scale.

Prepare a round cake tin with non-stick spray and coat it with flour.

Knock the dough back. Break the chocolate into small pieces and knead it into the dough.

Put the dough in the cake tin, cover with plastic and allow to rise a second time.

Preheat the oven to 200°C and bake for 10 minutes. Then reduce the heat to 180°C and continue baking for another 25-35 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack. Brush the bread with melted butter. Cover with a damp cloth to prevent a hard crust from forming.

Serve with butter and enjoy!

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