Posted on 14 Comments

Hot Cocoa Sourdough Bread

It was snowing earlier this week, and we went outside to play snowballs. It was so fun, and afterwards the kids, of course, asked me to make some hot chocolate. While making it I had an idea of making a loaf of sourdough bread that would taste like hot cocoa.

Here it is. I used dry milk powder and cocoa powder, to sprinkle it during the lamination step.

Oh boy…. It came out delicious.


Sourdough Starter 


  • 270g bread flour (90%)
  • 30g stone ground whole wheat flour (10%)
  • 207g water (69%)
  • 30g (10%) cold water added along with salt, total hydration, 79%
  • 60g levain (20%)
  • 6g salt (2%)
  • 15 g cocoa powder
  • 15 g dry milk powder
  • 15 g sugar
  • water to spray the cocoa mixture



  • 7 am add starter to the water and whisk together, add flour, mix well, cover loosely, let it sit at a room temp 74-78F for about 8-10 hours until starter reaches its peak (at least triples in volume).
  • Learn how to make starter from scratch here.


  • 5 pm mix water with flour and cover, let it rest 1 hour for autolyse.
  • During the autolyse the flour absorbs the water, becoming fully hydrated. This will activate gluten development.
  • 6 pm add sourdough starter. 
  • Mix on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 min, or KitchenAid on speed 3 for 3-4 minutes until well incorporated.
  • Cover, let rest for 30 min.
  • 6:30 pm add salt and extra water. 
  • The process of adding extra water is called bassinage, it helps to tighten up gluten. Mix on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 min, or with KitchenAid on speed 3 for 5-6 minutes until well incorporated. The dough should come up together, but still be sticky on the bottom.
  • Continue gluten development and structure building by performing stretches and folds during the warm fermentation period.
  • Leave to rest 30 minutes. At 74-78F /23-26C.
  • Meanwhile mix together cocoa powder, dry milk powder and sugar.
  • 7 pm spray your work surface with water, wet your hands to perform lamination.
  • Lamination is the process of stretching the dough as thin as you can without ripping it.
  • Spread the cocoa mixture all over the dough spray cocoa with some water with the spritzer (cocoa and dry milk tend to take hydration away from the dough, that’s why we have to spray some water on it), fold and it let rest for 45 minutes.
  • 7:45 pm 1st stretch and fold.
  • 8:30 pm 2nd stretch and fold.
  • 9.15 pm 3rd stretch and fold

After the final stretch let the dough proof for 30 minutes at 76-80F/ 23-26C. You should see some bubbles on the surface, the dough has to become lighter and puffy. We are looking for 50% rise. 

Preshaping Sourdough 

  • 9:45 pm transfer the dough on to a work surface and dust its top with flour. Flip the dough over so the floured side faces down.
  • Fold the dough onto itself so the flour on the surface remains entirely on the outside of the loaf. This will become the crust.
  • Place the dough round on a work surface and let it rest for 30 minutes uncovered.

Shaping Sourdough 

  • 10.15 pm dust the dough with flour. Use a dough scraper to flip it over on to a work surface so the floured sides face down.
  • Starting with the side closest to you, pull the right 2 corners of the dough to the left, then fold them up into half of the dough. Repeat this action with the other side too.
  • Finally, roll the dough. Shape it into a smooth, taut roll.
  • Transfer the roll, seam side up, to a prepared proofing basket (loaf pan with kitchen towel).
  • Cover it with plastic and return the dough to the 80F (27C) environment for 15 minutes.
  • Then transfer the dough to rise for 14-24 hours in the refrigerator.


Next morning

  • Preheat your oven to 500 F, place a cast iron pan with the lid inside for 45 minutes -1 hour.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge. 
  • Flip it over on a parchment paper, score it with a sharp knife or a scoring lame. 
  • Transfer it on to the hot cast iron pan, cover with the lid (to create steam for a beautiful and crunchy crust).
  • Bake at 500F for 15 minutes with lid on.
  • Remove the lid, lower temperature to 450F. 
  • Bake for 20 more minutes until golden brown.

Enjoy your hot cocoa sourdough bread!

14 thoughts on “Hot Cocoa Sourdough Bread

  1. Another great recipe, Natalya…

    1. Thank you 🙏

      1. Hi Natasha, if I already have a sourdough starter, do I need to do the part of the recipe that says sourdough starter or can I be used my existing starter? Thank you.

      2. You have to prepare starter for baking night before. Follow your regular proportions for feeding 🙏

  2. Thank you 😊

    1. 🙏

  3. I’m trying it now 🤪

    1. 🙏

  4. It was so good!

    1. 👂

    2. 🙏🙏🙏

  5. Hi Natalia

    Looks good will give it a go. Why did you mix the powder in via lamination instead of adding it in at the mixer stage e.g. with starter or with the salt?

    Also have your tried adding it in liquid form and did it work? E.g. adding cool chocolate drink instead of water?


  6. what difference does it make to mix the cocoa with the laminate and not before with the dry ones?

    1. It’s hard to mix the dough with addition of cacao.

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