Friday, 10 June 2016

Malted loaf with chocolate, figs and brazil nuts

I met with a friend for a morning cuppa earlier this week and we were talking about what we were up for the rest of the day.  I had so many little silly jobs to do that all I could think to say was that I was making Malted chocolate, fig and brazil nut bread.  She sounded really impressed.  Oh yeah, I thought, that is pretty amazing I am making that bread.  If I saw it in a shop I would melt with wanting.

At the time it was just an idea.  Once it came out of the oven all nubbly and crusty with dark studs of chocolate and fig, I had a hard time waiting to taste it.  I have grown so blase about my usual white sourdough that the wait to try it is easier now.  This bread was so different.  Truth be told I was a little worried about how the chocolate would work as I don't think I have tried it in bread before.  I've wanted to.

I really love my plain old sourdough loaves but part of me wants something different.  My favourite overnight sourdough loaf recipe makes two loaves.  For some time I have been telling myself to do one plain for Sylvia and one with bits for me.  You can see the two doughs above.

This loaf was inspired by the We Should Cocoa blog event I am hosting this month that asks for recipes using chocolate and malt.  I got out my tin of malt extract and was a little horrified at the state of the tin, and the best before date being 2012.  Oops.  It had to go after I made the bread.  [For those who are not familiar with malt extract, it is dark thick syrup made from barley that makes claim to having lots of nutritional benefits.  I buy it in the supermarket.]  The figs were leftover since Christmas and the brazil nuts were lingering.  And chocolate makes everything taste better.  Even bread, it seems.

I am pleased to say the bread was a roaring success.  I really want to experiment with more chocolate in bread.  Sylvia is keen for me to try one that just has cocoa with no chunks.  (Curse this childhood aversion to bits!  Chunks are the best!)  I first of all ate a slice of bread with peanut butter for lunch.  I also enjoyed some with honey.  E and I talked about whether it would be good with cheddar cheese.  I think it might.  I would definitely eat it with cream cheese or jam.  In fact I would be happy to just keep eating it.  Forever!

If you would like to join in the We Should Cocoa event with a chocolate and malt creation, I would love to hear from you.  Check out more details at my We Should Cocoa announcement.  You have until 28 June 2016.

More malt recipes on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Easter caramel and malteser fridge cake
Finnish rye bread (with beer) (v) 
Malteser and milo mudcake
Milo weetbix slice
Tahini muesli bars (with malt syrup) (v)

Malted sourdough loaf with chocolate, figs and brazil nuts
Adapted from Green Gourmet Giraffe
makes 1 loaf

175g sourdough starter
275g water
9g salt
2 tbsp malt extract
1 tbsp golden syrup
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp mixed spice
125g figs, chopped
100g chopped chocolate (I used 70%)
50g brazil nuts, chopped
400g plain white flour
100g wholemeal flour
maize flour to dust surface

[A few hours before making the loaf, take sourdough starter out of the fridge and feed it so it gets nice and bubbly before you weigh it.]

In the late evening, at least half an hour before going to bed (or first thing in the morning) mix everything together.  It is easiest to mix everything except flour first and then add flour.  Use hands to mix if required.  Set aside covered with a tea towel for half an hour.  Knead in the bowl for about 1 minute.  Cover with greased clingwrap and leave at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours.

Scrape dough out onto a lightly floured board.  Shape into a loaf shape.  Place on a floured surface and cover with the lightly greased clingwrap.  (Maize flour is great here.)  Set aside to rise for 30 minutes.  While the loaves rise, preheat oven to 240 C, with casserole dishes heating if you are using them.

Slash the loaves and put in the heated casserole dishes with lids on (or on a tray or in a tin).   (They don't need greasing.)  Bake for 20 minutes with lid on.  Remove lid and bake another 20 minutes.  If crust needs more colour, reduce oven heat to 180 C and return to oven for another 10 minutes (mine was quite well browned without the extra 10 minutes).  Cool your loaf on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing.

NOTES: For more extensive notes on this method, go to my post on overnight sourdough bread.  For an alternative fruit bread see this one.  That loaf was a little dense so I used more water here which made it softer.  Use a good chocolate.  Other dried fruit or nuts would work well here.

On the stereo:
Talking with the Taxman about Poetry: Billy Bragg 


  1. You are brave indeed with these experiments -- this one sounds very successful. Our local and well-known bakery Zingerman's makes a chocolate sourdough bread and also a chocolate cherry bread. Both have chunks. Many of our family members love it; I prefer some of the more savory breads they make. Although they give baking lessons, I suspect I will continue to buy their bread rather than learn to make it.

    best... mae at

    1. Thanks Mae - How lovely for you to have a bakery with two chocolate breads - I wish I could taste them - and it is the best of both worlds if you can have lessons or buy the bread - I love a good savoury bread too and hope to try some of them too

  2. If I saw it in a shop I would melt with wanting too! What an impressive loaf Johanna - it sounds delicious and a brilliant contribution to your malt recipe round up.

    1. Thanks Kari - I was pleased with it - though I had so many other ideas for the malt WSC event that I was surprised this was the one I chose but I worried I might not have as much time as I would like to experiment

  3. What a gorgeous loaf of bread. And figs and chocolate are two of my favourite things.

    1. Thanks Cakelaw - I don't use figs and chocolate together much - only did in this instance as I had figs that were looking limp and I wanted to use them before they fell apart - was v glad I did

  4. I'm with you and Kari on this one Johanna! I would be dreaming about this bread, as a matter of fact it's almost time for bed now so it just may be in my dreams tonight!!!

    I agree chunks are better. Something tells me, Sylvia will learn soon enough, lol...

    I like the notion of the figs in this bread. I don't think I've ever had figs and chocolate, hmmmm...I think as Mae mentioned cherry and chocolate would really be interesting too. Oh the possibilities!

    I so want to join this event, Johanna. I'm going to mention it to another blogger. She's a huge chocolate lover too! I'm going to try real hard. I guess I'll have to get some of that malt extract too. Fingers crossed I can make it in time.

    Thank you so much for sharing, Johanna...Pinning:)

    1. Thanks Louise - am sure Sylvia will learn to love chunks - working on it, esp when I have the energy. I am not that familiar with figs and chocolate but it is a classic pairing if other recipes are to be believed. That's fine if you can't join the event but would love it if you can (and if you can help others know that is great too)

  5. What an innovative loaf, it sounds great! I'm working on my malty cocoa recipe as we speak. It will be posted soon. :)

    1. Thanks VegHog - I am looking forward to seeing what you come up with

  6. Oh! This sounds like my dream bread - and an even bigger incentive to get a sourdough starter. I wonder if it could be adapted without one?

    1. Thanks Lucy - I encourage you to get a sourdough starter on the go but if you can't then I am sure it could be done without a starter. I just took my favourite overnight sourdough recipe and added in the fun chunks and flavours - so I think you could take a regular overnight bread recipe like Jim Lahey's and add the chunks - I think it probably is easiest if you don't have to do lots of kneading. I haven't done this but I think soaking the fruit would help make sure it remains moist. I really must try it without sourdough (though the starter always wants to be part of everything)

  7. What a beautiful bread! So many yummy ingredients. I bet you couldn't wait for this to come out of the oven. I'd love to try it xx

    1. Thanks Charlie - yes this was full of good stuff that made the bread very alluring

  8. That's such a delicious combination of flavours in a loaf. It wouldn't last very long in my house!

    1. Thanks Joey - I had visions of an endless loaf of this in the freezer but it disappeared too quickly :-)

  9. what a great combination of ingredients-- I can see why it was a success!

  10. Woah! This looks so good Johanna. You had a streak of genius with this one (although this seems to be a regular occurrence with you haha ;p).
    "I really want to experiment with more chocolate in bread." I think you should!
    I find it funny that Sylvia doesn't like chunks in her food. I was the same way when I was her age (and until I was in my late 20's!), but never with chocolate! That's the best kind of chunk to have in something =)

  11. Ooh yes, I think I'd want to go on eating your bread for ever too, it sounds wonderful. I've only made two loaves with chocolate in before and neither of them with sourdough, so I have some catching up to do. A child who doesn't like chunks of chocolate? Really?


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