Bread Diaries Day 9: Two-toned matcha chocolate sourdough bread

Day 0 | Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7 | Day 8

This episode of Bread Diaries brings some fun with sourdough flavors and colors. I recently ordered a bag of matcha and thought it would be perfect for creating green sourdough. And because just green sourdough is boring, I decided to mix it in with some dark brown (i.e. chocolate) sourdough.

My goal was to create a visually stunning loaf with 2 strong colors, and for the flavors to come through strongly. I wanted it to be beautiful AND delicious, which I’m sure is what every mother hopes for their child.

The process

I used my favorite no-knead process and ratios to make this loaf. When I was tweaking the ingredient ratios, I debated whether I should replace part of the flour with cocoa / matcha powder, or if I should just add the cocoa / matcha powder and then add a little water. I decided to go with the second option to ensure that I would have enough protein from the flour. The original recipe is at ~67% hydration, so I just added extra water based on that ratio. For example, I added 30g of cocoa powder,  so needed 20g of water (67% * 30g) to compensate.

I also decided to make the loaves distinctly sweet to balance out the bitter cocoa powder and matcha. That meant mooooooooore sugar!!

Here are the ratios I landed on:

Chocolate sourdough ingredients

  • 115g starter at 100% hydration
  • 220g lukewarm water
  • 300g bread flour (King Arthur unbleached)
  • 1 tsp diastatic malt powder
  • 6g salt
  • 30g granulated sugar
  • 30g cocoa powder

Matcha sourdough ingredients

  • 115g starter at 100% hydration
  • 215g lukewarm water
  • 300g bread flour (King Arthur unbleached)
  • 1 tsp diastatic malt powder
  • 6g salt
  • 30g granulated sugar
  • 20g matcha

Another decision I needed to make was how to combine the two colors. I decided to make two different color doughs, bulk ferment them separately, then combine during shaping. I cut each colored dough into 4 pieces, then either layered a green and brown piece on top of each other, or twisted them together.This led to very distinct separation of the colors. I’m not sure if this was the best decision, for reasons I’ll detail below.

Alternatively, I could have mixed the two doughs and then let them bulk ferment together, with the colors potentially mixing as a result of coil folds. Or, I could have laminated the doughs together before shaping.

Process (this is not a recipe, just a guide. Your bulk ferment times will differ depending on temperature and humidity)

  1. At 2:30pm, suddenly decide I MUST MAKE SOURDOUGH! Fed starter 120g all-purpose flour and 120g lukewarm water. Probably around a 1:2:2 ratio of starter to flour to water.
  2. By 6:30pm, starter had more than doubled in size. So I mixed all ingredients in a medium bowl for the cocoa bread, then all ingredients in a medium bowl for the matcha bread.
  3. Perform 6 sets of coil folds every 30 – 45 minutes until about 10pm. Then stick in the fridge.
  4. At 6pm the next day, remove from fridge. Divide both doughs into 4 pieces, so there are 8 total piecesl
  5. Combine a green and brown piece until you have 4 combined pieces. Try to keep the side that was on top during coil folding on the outside.
  6. Shaped into a rough ball using the envelope method and let each ball rest with the seam side up for a few minutes. Turned so seam side was on the table, and used hands to pull the dough across the surface of the table to develop tension and form into a boule.
  7. Placed boules in bowls covered with floured kitchen towels and placed back in the fridge.
  8. Preheated oven with empty Dutch Oven inside to 500F
  9. Once oven was preheated, scored first loaf and baked with lid on for 20 minutes. Reduced temperature to 450F and bake with lid off for 12 minutes. Repeated with remaining loaves.
  10. Waited 2 hours before slicing.

Total bulk ferment time: 4 hours at about 80F (my best guess) + ~18 hours at about 40F

The results

They came out looking super nice, both on the outside and inside. The taste was subtlely sweet with definite tones of cocoa powder and matcha. It was a nice balance, and I loved eating these with cookie butter. I even turned one loaf into French toast, which was also marvelous.

Depending on how I combined the colors, the inside of the loaf came out with different patterns.

Some things to note:

  • The trickiest part was combining the 2 colored doughs during shaping. Next time, I want to try and do it during bulk ferment to see what happens.
  • The seam between green / brown dough was where the loaf was weakest, and thus, if I did not score there, the loaf naturally would burst there in the oven.
  • For some reason, the matcha loaf was stickier and wetter than the cocoa powder loaf. It didn’t make a difference for the end process.

I definitely want to try different colors, like butterfly blue pea. I think my next sourdough bake will be something a little more traditional though.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: