top of page

#24 Sourdough - Chocolate Swirl

Updated: Aug 21, 2021

Chocolate Swirl Sourdough Bread

This post is for the experienced bakers who have the basic knowledge of sourdough bread.

I made this loaf with a friend virtually as a catch up on our Sourdough Fad. She suggested on a chocolate swirl and having been lazy as a toad recently from the cold, I decided to break out from my cocoon and come back to Sourdough making again. This loaf could have had a better swirl as I decided to do a couple more coil fold than necessary as the dough was feeling a little slack like myself. If you are expecting to have a better swirl, do more stretch and folds before lamination then do just one coil fold before pre shaping. Nevertheless, this dough come out with a great crumb and is super soft. I would definitely come back to this again when winter is over.


So, here is a little note from my experience.....


Yield: 1 Loaf

If you are refreshing your Starter

30 g Starter

60 g Water 27°C

15 g Organic Cocoa Powder

75 g White Baker's Flour

(This starter take approximately 12 hours to peak)

Note: If you haven't been feeding your starter frequently, it is recommended that you feed the starter twice a day every 12 hours at least three days prior to making the sourdough and keep them at room temperature.


30 g Whole Wheat Baker's Flour

30 g White Baker's Flour

60 g Water 27°C

60 g Ripened Starter

This is a 1:1:1 ratio Levain and takes approximately 4 to 5 hours to peak. The time taken can be shorter or longer depending on the ambient of your kitchen.

White Dough

150 g White Baker's Flour

130 g Water 37°C

30 g Levain - at its peak

4 g Fine Salt

Chocolate Dough

120 g White Baker's Flour

20 g Organic Cocoa Powder

130 g Water 37°C

30 g Levain - at its peak

4 g Fine Salt


Work Flow

6 am - Prepare Levain & Autolyze

Prepare Levain by adding in all the ingredients together and mix until well combined. Leave in a jar with the lid slightly loose. Tie a rubber band around the Levain of the Levain to monitor activity.

At the same time, autolyze both whole wheat dough and all white dough both in separate bowls. To do that, add the required water and flours for each dough and mix them separately until a shaggy dough is formed. Cover both bowl and leave to rest until the Levain is ready. This means that you will have one bowl for the plain dough and another dough for the chocolate dough.

Note: The Levain used in this recipe is 100% hydration and will take roughly around 4 to 5 hours depending on the ambient of your kitchen.

If you have not been feeing your starter frequently, it is recommended that you feed them twice a day at a (1:2:3) / (Starter: Water: Flour) ratio. So this means you will need to feed the starter every 12 hours at least 3 days prior to making the sourdough.


11 am - Add Levain

5 hours later

To test if the Levain is ready, gently scoop a small amount of the levain and drop it into a jug of water. If it floats, it means that it is ready. If it sinks, you will need to leave the levain to mature for a little longer and test again at 1 hour intervals. Be careful not to be too rough with the levain as this can knock the air out and the levain will sink into the water even though it is ready. You want to look for an increase in volume of atleast twice or thrice its original volume and the top has domed slightly.

Add the required Levain in each dough by pinching and mixing into the doughs. Cover both doughs and rest for 30 minutes


11:40 am - Add Salt

30 minutes after adding in the Levain

Add in the salt like you would with the Levain until there are no grainy bits of salt into both the dough. Cover and rest for an hour.

The bulk fermentation process starts the moment the salt have been incorporated into the dough

12: 50 First Stretch and Fold

Gently stretch the dough from each corner and fold it over to the opposite end and continue to do so until you have turn the bowl fully twice.

Repeat the same process for the chocolate dough.

Cover both bowl of dough and leave to rest for 30 minutes.


1:20 pm Second Stretch and Fold

30 minutes later

Perform the second set of stretch and fold like before but this time only go around the bowl in one full turn. Cover both doughs and leave to rest again for another 30 minutes.


1:50 pm Third Stretch and Fold

30 minutes later

Perform the third set of stretch and fold going around the bowl in one full turn. Cover the doughs and leave to rest for 30 minutes.


1:20 pm - Laminate and First Coil Fold

30 minutes later

Spray your work surface with a small amount of water to the space that you will be stretching the dough onto. Transfer the all white sourdough on to the wet bench and very slightly stretch it out flat in to a rectangle. Now place the chocolate dough and stretch to the similar size as the white dough and place it covering 1/3 of the top of the white dough. Fold the top to the centre then once again towards bottom end. Fold the right end over the centre then the left ends over the opposite end.

Now perform the lamination by folding the top ends towards the centre, then fold the bottom ends over to fully cover the top. Repeat the same for the other two ends on your left and right. you will now have a square shape. Do a coil fold on four sides then transfer the dough onto a lightly oiled container.

Lightly spray a deep dish or container with oil, then transfer the dough on to it. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.

1: 50 pm - Second Coil Fold

Perform the first coil fold by first wetting your hands slightly then reaching both your palm down under to the centre of the dough until the tip of your fingers meet. Gently lift the dough up. As you do this, the both ends will start to pull away from the base of the container. Let the both ends fold over onto each other. Turn the container 90° and repeat the coil fold once more for the other two opposite ends.

Cover the dough and let it rest for 30 minutes. At this point, the dough should be sitting at around 24 to 26°C.


2:20 pm - Third Coil Fold

30 minute after the First Coil Fold

Repeat the process like you would for the First Coil Fold.

Cover the dough and let it rest for the final hour untouched.


3:30 - Final Shaping

1 hours after the last Coil Fold

Transfer the bulk fermented dough on to a floured work surface and shape the dough. Straightway, place the dough into a proofing basket with the seam side facing out.

Dust the seam sides with some flour. Cover the dough and leave it at room temperature for another hour before placing in the fridge to retard overnight for baking in the morning the next day.


Next day........

6:30 am - Pre heating the oven

The next morning - 13 hours after shaping

An hour prior to baking, place the cast iron pot with its lid into the oven then heat the oven to 230°C.

At this point, the dough is still in its proofing basket in the fridge.


7:30 am- Scoring and baking

1 hour after oven pre heats

Remove the dough from the fridge and tilt it over on to a parchment paper and remove it from its proofing basket.

Dust the dough (optional) and score. Place the dough into the hot cast iron pot be careful not to burn yourself. Cover with the lid and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes, turn the heat down to 210°C, remove the lid and continue to bake for a further 30 minutes or until it reaches the desired crust colour.

Once the dough are baked, remove the loaf immediately onto a wire rack to fully bake to prevent the base from sweating. Let the dough cool for a full hour before cutting.


Video Summary



Christean N.
Christean N.

Hi Sandy , Dutch cocoa powder will work just as well 🙂.

Sandy Chong
Sandy Chong

Thanks so much Christean, enjoy your day!😊


Sandy Chong
Sandy Chong

Hi Christean, thanks for sharing 👍🏻 do you think Dutch process cocoa powder will work?

IMG_9714 (RESIZED)_edited.jpg

Baking Blog

bottom of page