bread · Italian recipe · sourdough

Pane al Cioccolato… Senza Cioccolato

Here is a bit of Italian cuisine art to add to your kitchen! It’s kind of weird, perhaps, to combine cioccolato and sourdough in a bread recipe, but I will tell you that it was actually a very good idea! It’s just that I baked this bread senza cioccolato, which means, yes, without chocolate =)

As I needed a recipe for a black bread with my rye sourdough culture, I decided to try this one but alter it so that it won’t be too sweet. Apart from omitting actual chocolate in the recipe, I guess I also diminished the amount of honey and added some ground coffee. This bread is amazing, actually, as it keeps very well and has this cocoa flavour to it, very nice!

Pane al Cioccolato  adapted from – will make a very soft and chocolaty loaf with or without chocolate =) ATTENTION: requires sourdough starter and quite a lot of time!


  • Biga Naturale (or starter):
    • 28 g 50% hydration sourdough starter – I used my rye sourdough
    • 32 g (1/4 cup) bread flour – I used all purpose flour
    • 18 g water, at room temperature
  • Final Dough
  • All of the biga naturale
  • 393 g (3 cups) bread flour + I also added some rye & wheat bran+ ground wheat germ
  • 248 g (1 1/8 cups) water
  • 71 g (4 Tbs) honey
  • 1 Tbs vanilla extract
  • 25 g (4 Tbs) cocoa powder + I added some ground coffee
  • 1/4 tsp instant yeast
  • 10 g (1 Tbs) kosher salt
  • 78 g chocolate chips – here I decided to swap the chocolate for … pumpkin seeds=)


Method (copy-paste from the original recipe)

Mix the ingredients for the biga naturale together in a bowl until everything is evenly distributed.
Cover with plastic wrap and a towel and allow to sit at room temperature for 8 hours.
In the bowl of your electric mixer- or use your hands, which I did!, mix together all the ingredients for the final dough, except for the chocolate chips!
Knead by machine for 8-10 minutes. – again, hands.
Allow the dough to rest for 5 minutes.


Dump the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and knead in the chocolate chips by hand, until well incorporated.
Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover, and allow to sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
Shape into either a boule or batard (a round or an oval) and allow to sit at room temperature for 3 hours (covered).
Preheat your oven and baking vessel to 200 ‘C. – I used parchment paper + preheated inverted baking tray, which I use to simulate a baking stone =)

Score your bread with a few slashes in whatever pattern you like.
Bake the bread for 20 minutes covered (I used my round glass heat-proof pan), rotate the loaf, and bake another 15-20 minutes uncovered.
When done, remove bread to a cooling rack and allow to cool for at least 1 hour.

So, whether with or without chocolate, more or less honey, this bread is something new!

Enjoy baking and keep to the spring mood! It’s in the air (if not in the weather=)



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