Lemon & Ginger Scented White Chocolate Sourdough #BreadBakers

Do you like chocolate?  Milk or dark?  Do you think white chocolate qualifies as chocolate?  I love chocolate, both milk and dark, and I don't mind white chocolate though I consider it very sweet.  It is indeed cocoa butter based when it is true white chocolate and not just a vanilla chip.  (I love the smell of cocoa butter.)  And while I like dark and milk chocolate, I actually tend to not prefer it in bread for some reason.  I.e., I'd typically go for the plain croissant over the pain au chocolat.  But although I am not the biggest white chocolate seeker, hubby loves it, and it goes beautifully with lemon and ginger, which I desperately love.  So that is what I chose for this month's Bread Bakers challenge.

This sourdough is just lovely, with no added sugar aside from the ample sweetness of the white chocolate and the small amount of candied ginger.  The crumb is perfectly chewy with a wonderfully thin and crispy crust from the Dutch oven cooking method.  The only tricky part of baking with white chocolate is the tendency of it to scorch at high temperature so I do suggest trying to bury the chunks or chips really well to avoid that.  My visiting mother got to try out this bread, toasted, for breakfast the next day.  "Mmmmm, oh my, oh... yum!" was the response.  She had three pieces.  It really is good bread.  Oh, and it sang for me.  I love when that happens.

Lemon & Ginger Scented White Chocolate Sourdough
makes 1 boule

500 g Bread Flour
375 g Water (If using all purpose flour, try starting with 350g)
50 g sourdough starter (active and bubbly)
90 g white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate (yes, you can use dark chocolate if preferred)
9 g sea salt
~20 g lemon zest* (1 large lemon, organic preferred, washed well prior to zesting)
20g minced candied ginger (~ 1½-2 tbsp)
optional pinch of yeast if your starter needs a little assistance

In the morning:

Mix the water and active starter together in a glass bowl or dough bucket.  Add the flour and salt and mix together to form a shaggy dough.

Cover the bowl and let it sit for around 1 hour.  This autolyse stage is flexible as to time and simply allows the flour to become hydrated.

After the dough has rested, bring it together into a ball: work around the edges of the bowl or container, pulling the dough from the outside, and stretching it up and over itself into the middle, until a smooth ball is formed. 

Over the next few hours, complete around 4-6 of these stretch and fold steps every 30-45 minutes.  The dough will continue to develop and become more shiny and smooth during this time.

After the 2nd stretch and fold, it is time to incorporate the add-ins over the next few folds.

Stretch the dough up and over itself 4 times. 

Once the pieces are incorporated and the dough has started to become springy and has aerated during the stretches, form the dough into a boule or batard.

Spritz a banneton or cloth lined bowl with water and dust well with rice flour.  Shape the dough into a tight oblong and place into the banneton smooth side down, so that the rough seam is on the top.  Cover lightly with a damp towel or greased plastic wrap and let rise until noticeably puffy but not quite doubled, 1-2 hours.  (Note that the loaf can also be cold fermented after forming and baked the next day by placing in a plastic bag in the fridge overnight.)

Once ready to bake the sourdough, preheat the oven to 232ºC/450ºF.

Place a Dutch Oven to preheat in the oven at the same time.  Leave at least 20 minutes longer than the time it takes to preheat to make sure the Dutch oven has also heated through and the oven temperature has stabilized.

Turn out the loaf very gently onto a piece of baking paper, seam/rough side down.  (You can pull up on the edges just slightly and anchor in the the center a bit more to tighten the loaf if desired, do this before turning out the loaf, just be careful not to deflate the loaf.)
Use a baking paper sheet that is large enough to use the edges as a handle to lower to dough into the Dutch Oven.

Score the bread as desired with a lame, clean razor blade or knife.  Try to score it fairly deep so that the dough opens up.

Carefully take the HOT dutch oven out of the oven. Place the sourdough into the pot using the baking paper as a handle.  Pour a couple tbsp water down the inside edge of the pan but on the outside of the paper.  Quickly put the lid on and place into the hot oven.

Bake for 30 minutes with the lid on at 232ºC/450ºF and then reduce the temperature to 204ºC/400ºF.  Remove the lid and continue to bake for another 10-15 minutes until the crust is a deep chestnut brown.

Remove the Dutch oven and immediately and carefully transfer the loaf to a wire rack to cool.

 Wait to slice the bread until it has fully cooled.  Then it may be reheated if desired. 

* zesting a lemon using a microplane zester could require up to 3 lemons to get to 20g, using a regular citrus zester will require about 1large lemon for 20g, however 1 large lemon will be sufficient either way.

Be sure to check out all the other delicious chocolate offerings:


#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.



  1. Love that you chose white chocolate. The flavor profile sounds amazing.

    1. The whole thing disappeared in two days. Definitely making it again!

  2. I LOVE it when my bread sings!!! This flavor combination is right up my alley, although I can't keep candied ginger around because I would eat it by the handful.

    1. I adore ginger but it is safe in my cupboard, fortunately! I think the Dutch oven method gives a greater chance for singing and will definitely be testing that theory...

  3. Such a gorgeous loaf, Kelly! You have motivated me to bake a sourdough loaf again.

  4. The loaf looks gorgeous! The lemon and ginger flavors along with white chocolate sounds addictive. I am bookmarking this recipe.


Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting, I love hearing from you! If you have any questions I will do my level best to answer them for you.