The Sourdough Surprise for May is brownies. You want to know something funny? I don’t think I’ve ever made homemade brownies before. Can you believe it? We’ve always just used the boxed mix to make them. I know, I know. What’s up with that!
I have another confession. I’m a milk chocolate fan. However, it’s not really good for you with all the sugar and other artificial ingredients so I try to limit my intake of it. I like dark chocolate when it’s mixed with other ingredients to cut down on the bitter taste, and it’s definitely better for you, but I’ve always preferred milk chocolate.
These Sourdough Brownies are made with the ancient grain Spelt. My whole grain Spelt levain was the only starter that was ready to be used so I decided to find out how it would do in this recipe. It did just fine. In addition to using the Spelt levain instead of a regular sourdough starter, I adjusted the bittersweet chocolate/cocoa powder ratio because I didn’t have quite enough bittersweet chocolate.
These brownies have a very pronounced dark chocolate flavor as you can imagine. They are a little bit tangy from the sourdough, and since this recipe uses less sugar, the bitter chocolate flavor shines through. If you’re a fan of dark chocolate, then you will probably like these. I’m learning to like them. I definitely plan to make brownies again using dark chocolate, but I think I prefer a little more sugar. Next time, I might swirl some raspberry or strawberry jam through the middle to help balance out the dark chocolate flavor.
Sourdough Spelt Brownies
- 235 g bittersweet chocolate, chopped
- 226 grams unsalted butter, cut into pieces (~2 sticks)
- 200 grams sugar
- 6 grams (1 tsp) salt
- 8.4 grams (2 tsp) vanilla extract
- 3 whole eggs, room temperature
- 105 grams cocoa powder
- 220 grams mature 100% hydration sourdough starter
Preheat oven to 325 F.
Line a metal 9x13 pan with parchment paper and coat the paper in butter (if you leave some hanging over the long 13" edges, it makes it really easy to lift the brownies out of the pan!).
In a double broiler, saucepan, or the microwave, melt the chocolate, cocoa powder, and butter. Stir it often so it does not burn. I didn’t read the instructions all of the way before I started (you never do that, right!) so I melted all of the chocolate together rather than sifting the cocoa over the mix after whisking in the sugar and vanilla. You can follow my instructions below or use the original recipe referred to above.
Pour the melted chocolate/butter into a large bowl. Whisk in the sugar, salt and vanilla. Add the eggs one at a time, whisking to combine each addition. Add the starter and stir gently until it is completely incorporated.
Turn the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
Cool in the pan 20 minutes (if you can), then lift the parchment paper out and allow to cool the rest of the way on a wire rack.
When the brownies are completely cooled, cut into squares and enjoy!
This was a challenge for me taste wise, but I figured it was time I learned how to make homemade brownies with real dark (bitter) chocolate and sourdough to boot.
Update on my taste test: These brownies seem to improve with age. The sourdough gives them better keeping quality so even though it’s been several days since I made them, they’re not dry. I actually like them better.
I enjoyed baking along with the Sourdough Surprises baking group.