Coconut Chocolate Coffee Sourdough (with regular yeast variation)

As promised, here is a sweet sourdough bread recipe: coconut, chocolate chips, and coffee all come together for a yummy treat. Special enough to make me smile when we have some for breakfast, but not too sweet to make you feel like you're making an excuse to eat dessert (I'm not the only one, right?). 

The recipe came about from my varying up my go to sourdough base recipe. (I'll share that one soon, plus how to turn it into focaccia!) Why I love this base recipe is because the oil keeps the crust softer and easier to cut (and bite...) while the touch of sugar helps the loaves to brown beautifully. 

If you're new to sourdough, I can't invite you warmly enough to try it out. The loaves are so satisfying and incredibly delicious! Maria posts a good intro bread recipe here. But, if you aren't quite ready to make the plunge, I've provided a regular yeast variation at the bottom. What's the difference between the two? The sourdough loaves have more chew and complexity of flavor whereas the regular yeast loaves have a softer crumb and flavor, almost reminiscent of a donut. 

coconut chocolate coffee sourdough

Makes two small round loaves*

Ingredients:

[For the Biga]:

  • 4.5 oz active starter
  • 5 oz water
  • 6 oz flour

[For the Soak]:

  • 3 oz unsweetened, shredded coconut*
  • 3 oz brewed coffee
  • 1/2 tsp finely ground coffee
  • 1 tbs brown sugar

[For the Autolyse]:

  • 9 oz flour
  • 6 oz water*
  • 1 tbs brown sugar

[For Final Dough]:

  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips

[To Finish]:

  • Finely ground coffee (~1/2 tbs)
  • Unsweetened, shredded coconut (~1 tbs)

Directions:

  1. Mix Biga: Add all the biga ingredients to a large bowl (or my preferred container) and mix well. Cover and let rise for four hours, or until bubbly and at least doubled.
  2. Mix Autolyse & Soak: One hour before the biga is done rising, add all the autolyse ingredients to a small bowl (or this). Mix well, then cover and let rise. Meanwhile, in a separate small bowl, add all the soak ingredients and mix well. Cover and let sit.
  3. Mix Final Dough: When biga is done rising, add to it the autolyse, soak, and salt. Mix well. (I like to use my hand and pinch my four fingers to my thumb like forceps until everything is evenly incorporated.) Add chocolate chips once the dough is uniform. Stretch and fold to knead and evenly distribute the chips throughout the dough.
  4. Stretch and Fold: For the first part of rising, stretch & fold the dough every 30 min, four stretches & folds each time (North, South, East, West) for a total of 6 times. This dough tends to be wet and more slack. The extra stretches & folds are important for the final loaf to keep its shape.
  5. Bulk Rise: After stretching & folding is done, let the dough rise until bubbly and at least doubled. This should be 4-6 hours after the final dough was mixed together. 
  6. Shape Loaves: Once dough is done rising, turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide into two pieces, then shape into boules, providing ample surface tension. Gently pop any larger air bubbles that form directly under the skin of the surface. Gently coat surface with finely ground coffee and shredded coconut. At this point, either place boules into lined bannetons sprinkled with finely ground coffee and shredded coconut or into small round pans (6-8 in) greased with oil and coated with finely ground coffee and shredded coconut. 
  7. Final Rise: Cover boules (these are handy) and let rise for 2-4 hours, until puffy with some bubbles around the edges. Or, place directly into the fridge to rise overnight.
  8. Bake Loaves: When ready to bake, preheat oven to 450. When oven is preheated, transfer boules from bannetons onto a squares of parchment paper and place each loaf into separate dutch ovens (or cast iron skillets put on top of each other to form a dome or a pizza stone). If boules rose in cake pans, just let them be. Either way, slit loaves with lame or extremely sharp serrated knife or a pair of scissors. Place loaves in oven on the middle rack (Important! With the sugar in the dough, these can get too toasty if closer to the bottom of the oven) and bake for 20 minutes covered. After 20 min, remove lid (if using one), and bake for 15-20 minutes more. Loaves should be nicely browned and sound hollow to a knock on their bottoms. 
  9. Cooling: Remove from dutch oven and let cool completely on wire rack before slicing. Or, if you used a circle pan, let them cool for about 5 minutes (to help it loosen them up) then remove and let cool (if they sit in the pan too long, the bottoms will get soggy). Enjoy! 

Notes:

  • This bread could easily be made into a single bigger round loaf. Nothing will change with the recipe or method, just keep in mind your bread knife might not cut across the entire loaf! Unless you're lucky enough to own a 12 inch or longer bread knife. 
  • If you only have sweetened coconut, use that instead. You may want to cut down the sugar at least by half (nix it from the soak). The coconut on top of the loaves might get a bit more toasty too.
  • This dough can be very slack. It might be a good idea to add an ounce less of water to the autolyse initially. When mixing up the final dough, you can add the ounce back if the dough needs it. It can also vary depending on your flour. When I've used a flour that adds back more of the wheat (so, not a true white flour), it absorbs more water and a slack dough is not much of an issue.

Regular yeast variation

Follow the same recipe above, except use 7.25 oz water, 8.25 oz flour, and 1/4 tsp active dry yeast for the biga (essentially, you are replacing the 100% hydration starter with equal parts water & flour plus the active dry yeast). The soak is still good to do at least 30min before mixing up the final dough to help soften the coconut. There is no need for an autolyse, so add all of those ingredients plus the soak, 1/2 tsp active dry yeast, and the salt to the biga when it is done rising. This dough is firm enough to be kneaded and should be either by hand or in a stand mixer. The dough should be smooth and supple. Add chocolate chips to the last minute or so of kneading. 

Once kneaded, let dough bulk rise in a greased bowl until doubled, 1.5-2 hours. Shape boules as directed above (either in bannetons or pans) and let rise until 1.5 their original size, 1-1.5 hours. Bake as directed above. 

One sourdough loaf (behind) baked in a 7in circle pan, and the other (front) rose in a banneton and baked in a dutch oven.