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chocolate walnut soudough loaf

I have obviously been playing with tea cakes lately.  I have been looking through my array of cookbooks and found a recipe for a yeasted chocolate loaf.  This sounded lovely to me, especially since it was not going to be very sweet.  I am liking flavor, flavor that has depth more then sweet lately.

Of course, I switched up a few things.  I used sourdough.  I used onyx cocoa powder.  I added a bit of whole wheat and rye flour.  I added some mini chocolate chips.  The only true sweetness comes from the chocolate chips.  This bread as toast has been going on my walks with me.  

A slice of toast, a cup of tea, a walk after work.  Life is very good. 

chocolate walnut sourdough loaf

Note:  I adapted Tessa Kiros' recipe from her book Apples for Jam.  The recipe is quite good with no changes but I can never leave anything alone when it comes to cooking.

sourdough starter

3/4 cup water

1 cup whole wheat flour

2 tablespoons white sugar

1 1/4 cup milk

3 cups white flour (I used a heritage French)

1/2 cup rye flour

1 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons room temperature butter

1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

The night before, in a large bowl, mix the starter, water, whole wheat flour.  Cover and let get bubbly in  warm place.  Take a bit of the starter out for the next tim.

To the starter, mix in the sugar, milk, cocoa, salt, rye flour, and 2 cups of the white flour with a wooden spoon.  This should be coming together into a soft dough.  When it is too hard to stir, take a dough scraper and push it all together.  

I have been using a technique called rolling and tucking, which is very close to my own kneading method.  (I am having fun with my Christmas present to myself.)  Bring the dough to the middle of the bowl, in a roll shape.  Turn the seam to the top and "tuck" or knead to the end.  Turn ninety degrees, roll the seam to the top, and "tuck" again.  Dust with the reserved flour if the dough is too sticky.  I get four to five "tucks".  I have been doing this a long time.  When the dough is smooth, place in a cleaned bowl, cover and let rise for 45 minutes.

While the dough was rising, I toasted my walnuts.  350 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 to 10 minutes.  Watch them closely because they go from golden to burn very quickly.

At this point, I did a stretch and fold, which is pat the dough into a large rectangle on a clean counter.  Fold one of the smaller ends to the middle.  Put the other over to the center.  Fold the last ends to the middle and shape into a ball.  Put back in the bowl and let sit for 45 minutes.

After 45 minutes, pat the dough into a rectangle again on a clean counter.  Smear it with the butter.  Use the roll and tuck method to incorporate the butter.  It will take 8 to 12 roll and tucks.  I like this better the smearing the counter with butter and kneading it it.  If you need to, dust the surface with more flour.

Stretch the dough out into a rectangle again.  Cover with the walnuts and mini chocolate chips.  Do two roll and tucks to incorporate the nuts and chocolates.  Put back into a cleaned bowl, cover, and let sit for about 45 minutes.

Butter a loaf pan.  I have also been adding a liner of parchment paper to the long side and buttering it.  It makes for easier removal.  Turn out the dough and shape into a loaf.  Place seam side down into a loaf pan.  Cover and let rise until puffy and doubled.  About an hour.

When proofed, bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour.  Using onyx cocoa powder will make it hard to tell if it is burning, so use your nose.

Not the best picture and you cannot see me on a walk with it, but so good.  Not very sweet.  Very dark.  When made into toast, salted butter smeared on top adds to the flavor.

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