STEP 1: Prepare the levain

    The day before baking, in the morning, mix the active starter with water and stir to combine. Add strong white flour, cocoa powder, and sugar and mix until fully incorporated. Cover with a towel and leave at room temperature to double in size (this can take around 4-6 hours).

    STEP 2: Autolyse

    In a large bowl, combine the chocolate levain with 450g of water (27°C/80°F) and stir to combine. 

    Add the three flours to the levain/water mix and combine using your hands, until the flour is fully incorporated. Cover the bowl with a towel and let the dough rest at room temperature for about 30 minutes.

    In the meantime, melt the dark chocolate. Place the chocolate in a small heatproof bowl. Set the bowl over a pot of simmering water, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is melted and smooth. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.

    STEP 3: Start bulk fermentation

    Add 12g of salt and the melted dark chocolate (make sure the chocolate is cooled down before adding to the dough) and use your hands to thoroughly incorporate the ingredients into the dough. Knead for a few minutes until it’s smooth and supple. Cover the dough with a towel and leave it at room temperature for 30 minutes. 

    STEP 4: Stretch & fold (4x)

    Perform four stretch & fold steps, 30 minutes apart.  Once you have completed the four stretch & fold sets, leave the dough to rest for another 1-2 hours.

    STEP 5: Pre-shape & Bench Rest

    Once the dough is ready, turn it onto a lightly floured work surface and cut in half using a dough scraper. Dust the top of the dough with a little bit of flour and gently shape the dough into a round.

    Repeat with the second dough. Cover with a towel and let rest for 30 minutes.

    STEP 6: Final shaping

    Shape the dough and place in the baskets. Cover and place in the fridge overnight (about 10-12 hours).

    STEP 7: Baking 

    The next morning, heat up the oven for about an hour to 250°C/480°F. 

    Remove the first dough from the fridge and score a desired pattern. Reduce the oven temperature to 230°C/450°F, place the dough in the Dutch oven and bake for 25 minutes with the lid on. Reduce the temperature to about 210°C/410°F, remove the lid and bake for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool down completely on a wire rack.

    Repeat the process with the second dough.


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