Complete Chocolate Lover’s Guide for the San Francisco Bay Area

chocolate bread

Chocolate Bread by Thorough Bread


Bread & chocolate for the truly ambitious DIY-er.

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A toothsome, “unsweet,” chocolate sour dough, Pan de Cioccolate, is available Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays (this may have changed due to popularity — I was there on a Wednesday) at Thorough Bread Bakery and Pastry, 248 Church Street, SF.

Hoping to share the recipe, I ordered what I thought would be their cookbook. Well… I got a VERY heavy textbook. A beautiful, encyclopedic, highly touted reference/text book for bread, pastries, and even chocolate making, written by Michel Suas, founder of the San Francisco Baking Institute and Thorough Bread and Pastry, published by Cengage Learning (ISBN: 141801169X, © 2009).

Although the recipe “formula” follows, I highly recommend buying it at the bakery. There are some other amazing chocolate and other-than-chocolate treats the likes of which I have never tasted before. Feather-light pastries… mysteriously delicate… how do they make them?

(And for those who have read Muriel Barbery’s “Gourmet Rhapsody” and wonder about chouquettes without flying to Paris, you can find them also at this bakery. Mmm…)

Here is the formula for those who are brave and ambitious:

Pan de Cioccolate “Formula”

by Michel Suas, “Advanced Bread and Pastry: A Professional Approach,” page 291-292

From SUAS, Advanced Bread and Pastry, 1E. © 2009 Delmar Learning, a part of Cengage Learning, Inc. Reproduced by permission.

Levain Formula

    • 1-1/8 oz. bread flour
    • 1 tsp. medium rye flour
    • 5/8 oz. water
    1 oz. starter (stiff)
    • Mix all the ingredients until well incorporated with a DDT (desired dough temperature) of 70˚F (21˚C).
    Allow to ferment 8 hours at room temperature 65˚.

Dough Formula

    • 13-7/8 oz. bread flour
    • 1-3/4 oz. water
    • 1-1/2 oz. honey
    • 1/8 oz. vanilla extract
    • 7/8 oz. cocoa powder
    • 1/4 tsp. osmotolerant instant yeast*
    • 3/8 oz. salt
    • 2-3/4 oz. levain (recipe above)
    2-3/4 oz. chocolate chips

* osmotolerant instant yeast is yeast designed to work in dough with a high sugar content.

Instructions for the final dough

  1. Mix all of the Dough Formula ingredients, except the chocolate chips, to a medium consistency, DDT 75˚F (24˚C) to 78˚F (25˚C).
  2. At the end of mixing, add the chips on first speed.
  3. First fermentation: 2 hours.
  4. Divide into 1 lb. (0.454 kg.) pieces.
  5. Preshape lightly into a ball.
  6. Resting time: 20 to 30 minutes.
  7. Shape into a boule or batard.
  8. Final proof: 2-1/2 to 3 hours at 80˚F (27˚C) at 65% RH (relative humidity).
  9. Score the loaf with 2 diagonal cuts.
  10. Steam for 2 seconds.
  11. Bake in a rack oven, 35 to 40 minutes at 400˚F (204˚C).

ENJOY — or go to the bakery and buy some, my definite preference!

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Published April 23, 2010