Choco Pan de Coco

Recipe by Bryan Ford

“This bread truly represents what I’m all about as a baker, as its simplicity goes unnoticed due to the complexities of aroma and flavor.” That’s what Bryan Ford, author of New World Sourdough, has to say about this chocolate version of his classic pan de coco. We love the flavor and texture sourdough adds to this coconut and chocolate-perfumed loaf. If you’re like us and Bryan, you may find yourself dreaming up what other flavor variations you can enjoy with sourdough. 

20 mins
45 to 55 mins
1 day 5 mins
1 loaf
Choco Pan de Coco


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  1. To build the levain: In a tall jar or medium bowl, mix the starter, flour, and water until incorporated. Cover and leave in a warm place (about 75°F) for 3 to 4 hours, or until doubled in size. You can use your levain immediately or refrigerate it up to 12 hours (or overnight) to use the next day. 

  2. To make the dough: In a saucepan or microwave-safe bowl or measuring cup, combine the coconut milk and water and heat to lukewarm, around 105°F. 

  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine the coconut milk/water with 200g of the levain (note that you won’t be using all the levain you built). Add the remaining dough ingredients, squeezing everything together to make a rough, sticky dough. 

  4. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth and somewhat elastic. This is a stiff dough, so it’s OK to rip it with the palm of your hand as you’re kneading to help develop the structure.

  5. Return the dough to the mixing bowl, cover, and let the dough rest (ferment) at room temperature for 4 or 5 hours; the dough will have risen and look puffy. Refrigerate the dough for at least 12 hours. 

  6. Coat a 9” x 5” loaf pan with coconut oil or butter. Set aside.

  7. Remove the dough from the refrigerator and place it on a lightly floured work surface. Gently deflate the dough and divide it into six pieces. Shape the pieces into balls by patting them down, folding the corners into the middle, then flipping the dough over and moving your hand in a circular motion to create a little tension, which will yield a smooth surface.  

  8. Place the balls of dough into the prepared pan in two rows of three. They’ll be quite snug in the pan, which is OK.  

  9. Cover the dough and let it rest (proof) until it rises even with the rim of the pan. This should take 4 to 6 hours, depending on the warmth of your kitchen. 

  10. Toward the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 375°F. 

  11. To top the bread: Brush the top of the loaf with the melted coconut oil or butter and lightly press on the shredded coconut. 

  12. To bake the bread: Bake the bread until it's golden brown on top and a digital thermometer inserted into the center reads 190°F, 45 to 55 minutes. 

  13. Remove the bread from the oven. Tip it out of the pan as soon as you're comfortable doing so, and transfer it to a rack to cool.

  14. Store the bread, well wrapped, at room temperature for up to a week; freeze for longer storage.  

Tips from our Bakers

  • This recipe was developed using metric weights, and for best results we recommend measuring by weight. However, we recognize that some bakers prefer to work with volume measurements. So while we strongly recommend measuring by weight, volume approximations for the recipe's ingredients are listed below. Please be sure you understand how to measure your flour the King Arthur way before you start.

    -   1/4 cup sourdough starter
    -   1 cup King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
    -   1/2 cup water, warm

    -   3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons canned full-fat coconut milk
    -   7 tablespoons water
    -   3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons levain
    -   2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter, softened, plus extra for greasing the pan 
    -   1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached Bread Flour
    -   1 3/4 cups + 2 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
    -   1 1/2 cups shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened
    -   2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa, Dutch-process or natural
    -   1/3 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
    -   2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
    -   1 1/2 teaspoons salt  

    -   coconut oil or butter, melted
    -   shredded coconut, sweetened or unsweetened