My love for chocolate sourdough runs deep, and I could probably pen and eat a whole book on the subject. Focaccia is no exception. This decadent chocolate focaccia is topped with cream cheese and chocolate hazelnut spread, which melt slowly into the dough once baked. My advice? Tear off a chunk and dunk it into the warm center. For an added bonus, this focaccia is baked in melted butter.
About the Dough: This dough will feel extremely stiff after mixing due to the cocoa powder. Additional water softens the dough, and once it finishes rising, it will become beautiful and supple. For best results, make sure to thoroughly combine the flour and cocoa powder first, before adding the rest of the ingredients. This will avoid zebra stripes running through your dough.
- Yield: 1 Skillet Focaccia
- 4 cups plus 2 tbsp (500 g) all-purpose flour
- ¼ cup (20 g) cocoa powder
- 1 tsp (5 g) fine sea salt
- ¼ cup (50 g) bubbly, active starter
- 10.66 cups (400 g) cool water
- 1 tbsp (20 g) honey
- 1 tsp (5 g) pure vanilla extract
- ½ cup (90 g) semi-sweet chocolate chips, plus extra as needed
- 5 tbsp (70 g) unsalted butter, melted
- 2 large dollops of Nutella, or chocolate hazelnut spread
- 2 large dollops of cream cheese
- Small handful of raspberries, pomegranate seeds, and strawberries
- Powdered sugar, to serve
- A few days before baking, feed your starter until bubbly and active. Store at room temperature until ready to use.
- Make the dough: In the evening, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, and salt together in a large bowl with a fork. Add the starter, water, honey, and vanilla. Mix to combine, then finish by hand to form a rough and shaggy dough. Cover the bowl and let rest for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Meanwhile, replenish your starter with fresh flour and water, and store according to preference.
- After the dough has rested, add the chocolate chips to the bowl. Gently knead to incorporate, about 1 minute.
- Bulk rise: Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise overnight at room temperature, 70°F (21°C), about 12 to 18 hours.
- Second rise: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat, or in the microwave. Pour the butter into a 10-inch (25-cm) cast iron skillet and swirl to coat. Cool for a few minutes before adding the dough. Remove the dough into the skillet, and then flip it over to coat both sides in the melted butter. Cover and let rest for about 1 hour or more, until very puffy. The butter may solidify during this stage, depending on the room temperature.
- Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).
- Assemble the focaccia: Gently dimple and stretch the dough to reach the sides of the skillet. Sprinkle with a small handful of extra chocolate chips, pressing them into the dough as you go.
- Bake: Bake the focaccia for 35 to 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes. Spread some of the Nutella over the top, and then dollop the center with cream cheese. When ready to serve, top with raspberries, pomegranate seeds, and strawberries. Sprinkle generously with powdered sugar. Enjoy while still warm.