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Coconut Chai Sourdough

Leslie McMaster TeaChef Level 3

A twist on a classic

13 h 45 m 10


  • 320g brewed black tea (1 1/3 cup) I used strongly brewed pumpkin chai
  • 40g shredded coconut dry unsweetened (1/2 cup)
  • 50g honey (2 1/2 Tbsp)
  • 9 g salt (1 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 5-6 cloves crushed
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper (20-30 turns of pepper mill)
  • 300g bread flour (2 1/4 cups)
  • 120g sprouted hard red wheat berriesor whole grain hard red spring wheat (scant 1 cup)
  • 80g sourdough starter (1/3 cup)


Brew 16 ounces of tea with two black tea bags. (Boil water, steep for five minutes, remove tea bags.)

Add all of the ingredients except the flour and starter to 320g of tea. You will have some unused tea that you can drink. Let the spices and coconut soak while your starter builds.

Add your ripe starter and flour to your coconut-spice-tea, mix to incorporate and cover.

After the dough has rested 20-30 minutes begin four rounds of stretching and folding about 30 minutes apart. Cover between folds.

The bulk fermentation should be complete about 5-10 hours from when you mixed in the starter and flour, depending on tea temp, ambient temp and starter strength. Look for puffy edges and approximate doubling. The gritty texture of the dough makes large bubbles unlikely.

Flour your counter and scrape out the dough onto it. Preshape the dough and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.

Shape your dough into a boule, batard or oblong tube, depending on your intended baking vessel.

Sprinkle your counter with shredded coconut, roughly in the shape of your loaf. Lightly dampen the top of your dough (spray or wet hand), and flip the damp side onto the coconut, rolling it a bit to coat the surface, then place the dough coconut-side down into your proofing basket.

Proof in the refrigerator 10-16 hours, or at room temperature 1-2 hours, or combine cold and warm proofing in countless ways. Preheat your oven to 500F 30 minutes before the end of the proof.

Flip your dough into the hot baking vessel (or onto parchment paper first), score, cover the vessel, and put it in the oven.

Bake at:

500F for 15 minutes covered

450F for 10 minutes covered

450F for 10 minutes uncovered

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