While baguettes are most often the simple, crisp and chewy white flour fare seen in many a bakery worldwide, there are certainly other options. Specially flavored baguettes may of course be made with several types of grains and cereals, and also fruits and nuts. There are probably about as many special baguettes as there are bakeries in France. I decided to go with chocolate. While I am not usually keen on putting chocolate into my bread, this particular application appealed to me. And these were certainly delicious, not very sweet, nor confusingly savory. They were simply delightful with a touch of butter.
500g all purpose or bread flour
20g cocoa powder
150g bitter-sweet, high quality dark chocolate - 70% cocoa
3g active dry yeast or quick rise yeast
2 Tbsp honey
Mix together the cocoa, salt, and flour in a large bowl. Add in the remaining ingredients and mix well for a few minutes to thoroughly combine and incorporate all the flour. Let rest for 10 minutes.
Over a period of about an hour, do 3 sets of stretch and folds, inverting the dough after each set.
Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator overnight for about 10-12 hours.
Turn out the dough onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide into 3 equal portions and shape into rectangles. Rest the dough for 15 minutes.
While the dough is resting, preheat the oven to 485ºF, with a 14 x 16 inch baking stone or steel on the top rack and a bread pan filled with hot water on the bottom rack for steam.
Stretch each dough rectangle slightly and fold into an oblong cylinder, sealing the seams along the length. With your hands, roll the cylinders gently, stretching them to desired length, about 16 inches. (Try to make sure there are no chocolate pieces sticking outside the dough, as they may get too dark toward the outer edges.)
Place the cylinders on a floured surface or baker's couche, seam side up, side by side. Cover with plastic wrap and prop from each side to ensure the baguettes hold their shape. (This can be done with a couche, a baguette mold, or a well floured tea towel.)
Proof at a room temperature for about 30 minutes.
Remove the plastic wrap, pull the baguettes apart. Transfer the baguettes and set seam side down onto parchment paper, brushing off any excess flour. Using a sharp knife, lame, or a razor blade, make 3-4 scores on each baguette. When scoring, use a swift and firm motion to ensure nice and clean cuts.
Open the oven, being mindful of the steam, and slide baguettes off onto the baking stone. Close the oven and reduce temperature to 475ºF. Bake for 15 minutes.
Rotate the baguettes and further reduce the temperature to 450ºF and continue baking for another 10-15 minutes, until golden brown and internal temperature is about 195-200ºF.
Be sure to check out the rest of the #BreadBakers baguettes:
- Chocolate Baguettes from A Messy Kitchen
- Gluten Free Artisan Baguette from Sneha’s Recipe
- No Knead Gluten Free Baguette from Cook with Renu
- Italian Pane Francese from Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Slow Rise Sourdough Baguette from Food Lust People Love