Sourdough Orange Chocolate Bread

Sourdough Orange Chocolate Bread. Take a healthy bubbling starter. Enjoy the no-fuss, no-knead preparation. Let the dough do its own thing in an overnight rise. A simple shaping, then into the oven for a morning bake.

The result: a springy and enticing loaf, ready to share the breakfast or brunch table with friends, coffee and smiles.

A surprising mix of flavours? Yes, but they work together! With the dark chocolate bite, and just a hint of orange, the loaf is tasty whilst not being over-sweet.

  • Served just as is, it is moist enough to easily carry an unadorned presentation.
  • Put it with cheese, and wait for a range of flavours to hit the taste-buds.
  • Smidge it with butter for a particular added indulgence.

Baked in – well actually baked on – my Le Creuset cast iron skillet, this is one of the ‘out of the ordinary’ loaves I make for small groups of family and friends. Agreed, it’s not an everyday standby. But according to those who’ve tasted it, it’s a definite plus – especially with a soft goat’s cheese spread lightly on a freshly cut slice.

The sourdough orange chocolate bread in this foto is shaped as a boule – the french term for a rounded, ball shaped loaf. It could equally be presented as a longer oval, or perhaps as individual rolls – tho’ I haven’t tried that out yet.

This was the first time that I’ve used a traditional lame with notable success – i.e. I’ve used one before, but only ended up with with so-so slashes. I invested in a neat model from the Netherlands.

It was interesting to see how the oven spring (that first rise in the heat of the oven) caused the bread to move slightly out of the rounded boule shape, and expand into the two lips on the sides of the skillet.

And it was gratifying to see how equilaterally consistent that expansion was!

Sourdough Orange Chocolate Bread

Prep Time: 16 hours

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Servings: 1 loaf

Sourdough Orange Chocolate Bread


  • 300g white bread flour
  • 120g fed starter @100% hydration - equal amounts of flour and water
  • 200g water
  • 6g salt
  • 75g dark chocolate with orange, fine chopped, but not grated
  • I use the J.D. Gross™ Ecuador 70% from our local Lidl™ store
  • 20ml honey


  • Preparation and 1st Proving
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a large shallow-sided bowl.
  • Fold the dough as follows:
  • - Think of the dough in quarters.
  • - Take a firm hold of the outer edge of one quarter.
  • - Stretch the dough out and up, then fold it back over the main body of the dough.
  • - Rotate the bowl a quarter turn, and repeat the stretch and fold. Complete 2 complete circuits.
  • Cover the bowl and rest the dough for 45-60 mins.
  • - For covering the bowl, everyone has their preferences - I use a damp cotton tea towel.
  • Repeat the fold and rest cycle 3 more times.
  • After the last fold, cover the bowl and place it in the refrigerator.

  • Overnight Rise
  • Leave the dough to rise in the fridge overnight.

  • Second Proving
  • Next morning, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured working surface and let it rest for 30 mins.
  • Shape into a boule.
  • Cover the dough with a large bowl or plastic film, and leave it to rise for +/- 90mins.

  • Baking
  • 60 mins into the rising time - 30 mins before baking - place the cast iron skillet in the oven and heat to 220º.
  • Slide the boule onto the cast iron skillet and bake at 220 for 30mins.


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