This white chocolate pecan sourdough bread is so good it tastes like it was meant to be cake! It has just a few simple ingredients and the goodness of natural yeast!
What is the difference between sourdough bread and regular bread?
Traditional sourdough bread contains only three ingredients. Flour, salt and sourdough appetizer. Instant or fresh yeast, milk, oils, eggs or sweeteners are not required.
- Sourdough bread is made with a sourdough starter, a fermented mixture of flour and natural yeasts that help the bread rise.
- Sourdough is a prebiotic, a nutrient that feeds the "good" bacteria in your intestines and improves digestion by increasing the availability of nutrients.
- Sourdough bread is usually easier to digest than regular bread because the fermentation process breaks down gluten, which can lead to gas and other digestive problems.
- Regular bread contains higher levels of phytic acid, which makes it more difficult to absorb the other nutrients in the bread. Sourdough contains lactic acid, which neutralizes the phytic acid content as it lowers the pH of the bread. As a result, sourdough bread contains higher levels of minerals that your body can digest.
How to make sourdough bread
Sourdough bread is one of those foods that you can really learn by making and practicing often. While the recipes for sourdough bread are similar, you can get completely different results depending on the method you use and different levels of user error.
One of the things I've found that is more variable with different sourdough recipes is the rise time. Some recipes call for an overnight increase, others call for an increase in the refrigerator, and some have longer second rise times. I've found that the easiest way for me to let it rise overnight is as far as timing goes.
Another variable is the baking time and my kids prefer a sourdough with a less crispy crust – that's how I came up with this recipe. Since this type of sourdough bread is more like a dessert, we want it to have a softer, tougher texture.
Can I use other nuts in this sourdough bread?
The first time I had a white chocolate pecan bread was from the Harmons grocery store. It was an artisanal bread and I thought it was the most amazing bread I had ever tried. I never actually tried to recreate it until I started making sourdough bread. For some reason, the combination of pecans and white chocolate goes so well with this bread.
Can you use nuts other than pecans? Yes of course! But in my opinion, pecans are the best. They are sweet, crispy, but not too hard and can be mixed wonderfully with white chocolate.
Can I use milk or dark chocolate instead of white chocolate in this recipe?
The short answer is: do what you want! The long answer is, I personally don't think milk and dark chocolate are that delicious in this recipe. The funny thing is, outside of this recipe, I actually don't really like white chocolate. It's way too cute for me But for some reason, when paired with the pecans and soft sourdough bread, it's the perfect amount of warm, sticky sweetness.
More of our favorite bread recipes
- 100 Gram Sourdough starter, actively bubbly
- 330 Gram water
- 10 Gram Salt-
- 500 Gram Flour*
- 1/4 Cup white chocolate chips
- 1/4 Cup Pechnuss pieces
- Using a food scale, measure the starter and water in a large bowl. Whisk together, then add salt and flour. I like to use a Danish batter whisk to mix until the batter comes together. Then I finish by hand until all of the flour is incorporated. It's definitely okay if it's still slightly sticky. Cover and let rest for approx. 5 minutes.
After it's rested, add the white chocolate chips and pecan pieces. Proceed to the next step.
Next, pull and twist the dough. Just moisten our hand a little so that the dough does not stick to it. Pull the dough up from the side, then fold it in the middle. Turn your bowl a quarter turn and repeat. This will add volume to your bread and make it easier to climb. Repeat after 30 minutes. The real experts say to do it four times in the first lesson (I never get that many in)
That next step is the mass increase. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel (I sometimes use a bowl lid that has only a small part broken open) and let it rise overnight at room temperature. This takes between 8 and 10 hours. The dough is ready when it no longer looks dense and has doubled in size.
After the mass has risen, you will shape the dough. Place your dough on a floured surface and shape it into a ball. I do this by placing both hands on the sides of the dough and moving in a small circular motion while putting pressure on the dough. Do your best to shape it into a tight round circle.
You will let the dough rise a second time. Line a Dutch oven with parchment paper and place your batter in the center. Put the lid on and let rise for another 1 hour 30 minutes. It can be a bit more or less depending on how warm the area is where it rises. The dough should look slightly puffy and bigger when it's done.
Preheat your oven to 450 ° F. Sprinkle the dough with flour and gently rub the surface with your hands. Make shallow cuts around the dough with the tip of a lame bread, small serrated knife, or razor blade. If you are an artist – go crazy with a beautiful design!
- Reduce the heat to 425 ° F. Place the Dutch oven on the middle rack and place a baking sheet on the rack underneath. This prevents the bottom of the bread from getting too dark. Bake covered for 45 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking for 10-15 minutes if you want a darker, crispier crust. When you're done, transfer to a grate. Let the bread cool down a little before cutting. Enjoy!
* I like to make half all-purpose flour and half bread flour, even though I've made this recipe with all types of flour and it always worked for me.