Who doesn't love a fudgy Brownie? And now you can try Brownie Bread! @marielesterbaker has developed this sumptuous sourdough. There's actually no chocolate in it at all - just good quality, nutritious ingredients including unsweetened cocoa, chopped hazelnuts and hemp flour. The bread is made entirely by hand.


200g ruchmehl-type wheat flour, or use 165 g bread flour and 35 g stoneground wheat flour

100g strong white bread flour

40g hemp

245g water + 10 g (left standing in a jug overnight)

75g sourdough starter (ripe)

8g salt dissolved in 10 g water

7g cocoa, unsweetened

20g hazelnuts (chopped finely)

Brown rice flour for dusting

METHOD (Please note that timings will vary according to the temperature in your own kitchen)

Stir the flours together in large bowl. Add the water (keeping the extra 10 g back). Combine until no dry flour remains at the bottom of the bowl. Autolyse (rest) for 90 minutes.

Add the ripe starter and mix well. Rest for 60 minutes.

Dissolve the salt in the remaining water and dimple into the dough. Mix hard for 4-5 minutes and then rest for 30 minutes.

Cut off 60g dough, place it in a separate bowl and work the cocoa into it (add a splash of water with the cocoa to make this easier). Rest for 30 minutes.

Stretch and fold the main dough and rest for 30 minutes.

Spray your work surface lightly with water. Dampen your hands and stretch the cocoa dough out thinly into a small sheet. Turn the main dough out on to the work surface. Stretch the dough out thinly into a rectangle, working from the centre outwards. Laminate the main dough with the cocoa dough and then the chopped nuts. Fold 1/3 of the dough towards you and then fold the 1/3 closest to you up on top of the other layer and then working from the short edge fold (roll) up. Place in a square high-sided bowl, cover and rest.

During the next 90-120 minutes perform 3 coil folds (so roughly every 40 minutes but try to do it when the dough has relaxed and spread), covering the dough when it is resting.

When the dough has visibly grown in size, feels light and looks puffy, and has fermentation bubbles on the surface, then turn the dough out onto the work surface and preshape. Rest for 20 minutes.

Shape into a batard, dust with brown rice flour and place into a lightly-floured banneton. Cover with a food cover.

Rest until proofed. Do the 'poke' test to check this - if the dough pings back quickly, leave it to proof for a bit longer - you want a slow ping back. If it doesn't ping back at all the dough is overproofed.

Place on the bottom shelf of the fridge overnight (fridge temperature: c5˚C).


Place a lidded cast iron casserole into your oven and heat for 60 minutes at 250˚C/480˚F/Gas mark 9.

Turn your dough out onto a piece of baking paper or mat on a peel (or similar). Brush off the old flour and dust lightly with brown rice flour or middlings. Score the dough using a lame: 1 large expansion score (plus 1 or 3 small wheat stalks if you like). Do take a look at the reels and posts of @marielesterbaker for method.

Transfer the dough to your casserole, keeping it on the baking paper/mat. Put 2 ice cubes  under the paper (one at either end). Bake for 20 minutes.Remove the casserole lid, turn the oven down to 220˚

C/425˚F/Gas mark 7. Bake for a further 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and casserole. Cool completely (for 2 hours) before slicing.

And enjoy!