• #KingOfTheSourdough 2016

    #KingOfTheSourdough 2016

    For the last few years we have hosted a #KingOfTheSourdough competition, sourdough bakers from around the country enter their best bakes. Each week we declare a weekly winner. These winners then come and bake with us at our Cookery School and we crown a King or Queen. This years competition will begin in May 2017.

    Last year we were wowed by Sarah's Chocolate Sourdough loaf, loaded with cocoa, whole chocolate chunks and beautiful boozy raisins, it was marvelous. The judges, Tom Herbert, Henry Herbert and previous winner Euan Greig were blown away by it.

    Sarah then went onto win the World Bread Awards Gold Award for her country sourdough. 

    Sarah has kindly shared her recipe with us. 

    Chocolate Sourdough encrusted with chopped hazelnuts and cocoa. (makes 2 loaves)



    • 460g Strong white flour
    • 60g Spelt flour
    • 60g Good quality cocoa (I used green and blacks or cacao barry)
    • 180g Active starter (100% hydration)
    • 450g Warm water
    • 1 tsp Vanilla extract
    • 50g Soft brown sugar
    • 15g Honey
    • 12g Salt
    • 110g Coarsley chopped blanched hazelnuts and extra chopped hazelnuts for coating the dough at the end
    • 160g Sultanas or Raisins soaked overnight in 30g cointreau
    • 130g Chopped dark chocolate


    Mix the flours and cocoa.
    In a separate bowl mix the starter, water and vanilla extract.
    Add the flour/cocoa and autolyze for 20-30 mins.
    Add the salt, sugar and honey mix it in before 5-10 mins of slap and fold (until it comes together nicely)
    Rest for 30 mins.
    At this point combine the raisins, chocolate, nuts and mix into your dough with a series of stretch and folds to incorporate.
    Bulk proof for 2 ½-3 ½ hours with 4-5 stretch and folds depending how your dough is progressing (you need to treat this dough gently).
    You want the dough to have increased by at least a 1/3 (it can be quite tricky with all the bits in!)
    Divide into 2, preshape, rest for 15-20 mins before your final shaping.
    Have a plate ready with chopped hazelnuts on.
    Line your banetton with a muslin and dust with cocoa.
    Do the final shaping of your dough.
    Spray the dough lightly with water, this helps to stick the nuts, roll the dough on the plate of nuts.
    Place into the banneton, cover and leave overnight in the fridge.
    In the morning turn your dough out ready to bake, give another dusting of cocoa, score and place in the oven, with your preferred baking method.
    You have to be very careful with this bread as you don’t want the nuts to burn.
    If baking in a dutch oven take the lid off after 30 mins and leave for another 10-15 minutes taking great care as to not burn your loaf.

    I bake in a dutch oven, with the oven temp at 260.

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