Breads (Sourdough) - Soft Loaves

Mocha Soft Sourdough Loaf

June 17, 2019 | Recipe by Bake with Paws
Chocolate Soft Sourdough Bread

Mocha Soft Sourdough Bread

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I don't understand why but my hubby doesn't like chocolate in bread.  So, I added some coffee to make it into Mocha Bread instead.  Luckily, he likes this one.  I personally don't mind chocolate bread.  

You must wonder why I always take the extra step to prepare some Yudane but the outcome is totally satisfying.  Bread made using Yudane method always stays fresh longer.  

Yudane method is quite similar to Tangzhong (water-roux) method.  Both methods are scalding method. For the Yudane method, boiling water is used to scald the flour instead of cooking over the fire.   Please click here to see the differences between  Yudane vs Tangzhong Method. 

This Mocha Soft Sourdough Loaf is especially soft, fluffy and moist on the first day and it lasts very well for 2 - 3 days.  The taste is not very sweet.

If you prefer Chocolate Bread instead, please replace instant coffee with cocoa powder.    I have another recipe that using instant yeast that you may interested, Chocolate Soft Bread Recipe.

If you have any questions regarding this recipe or any other post, please leave me a comment in the “LEAVE A COMMENT” link and I will reply you as soon as possible.  Do tag me on Instagram @Bakewithpaws if you attempt on this recipe.

How To Make Mocha Soft Sourdough Loaf  

Yields:  1 loaf



250g Loaf Pan (6.5" X 3.5" X 3.5")



450g Loaf Pan (8” X 4” X 4”)



40g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)

40g boiling water

Levain - 150g (ratio 1:3:3):

22g sourdough starter (100% Hydration)

66g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)

66g water

Main Dough:

160g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)

All the yudane dough (from above)

150g levain (from above)

10g cocoa powder

1 sachet (2g) Nescafe instant coffee

30g (2 1/2 Tbsp) brown sugar

3/4 tsp salt

20g butter, room temperature

35g egg, whisked (from 1 egg and balance reserve for egg wash)

40 - 50g full cream milk (whole milk) 



50g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)

50g boiling water

Levain - 190g (ratio 1:3:3)

28g sourdough starter (100% Hydration)

84g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)

84g water 

Main Dough:

205g bread flour (I used Japan High Gluten Flour)

All the yudane dough (from above)

190g levain (from above) 

13g cocoa powder

1 1/2 sachet (3g) Nescafe instant coffee

42g (3 1/2 Tbsp)brown sugar

1 tsp salt

26g butter, room temperature

45g egg, whisked (from 1 egg and balance reserve for egg wash)

 50 - 60g full cream milk (whole milk) 

  1. Yudane:
    1. Add bread flour in a bowl, pour the boiling water and mix well with spatula or spoon until no dry flour.
    2. Cling film and leave on the counter for at least 4 hours or overnight in the fridge.  I prepared the night before.
    3. Use directly from the fridge.
  2. Levain:
    1. One night before baking, mix all ingredients in a jar and cover.
    2. Let it ferment at aircond room temperature (approximately 25 - 27C) overnight until tripled.  It took about 12 hours or less.   
    3. Note:  If you want to prepare the levain on the same baking day, please use the ratio 1:1:1.  Let it ferment at room temperature (approximately 28 - 30 C) until tripled.  It took about 3-5 hours depend how strong is your starter.
  3. Main Dough:
    1. Heat up milk in a small sauce pan. Stir in instant coffee until the coffee dissolved.  Set aside to cool.
    2. Put all ingredients (except butter), including the 150g or 190g sourdough starter (levain) and yudane dough into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, knead for 3 - 5 minutes until the dough comes together.  Add in butter and continue kneading for another 10 - 12 minutes  until reach window pane stage.
  4. First Proofing/Resting The Dough:  
    1. In the same bowl, let the dough rest for 60 minutes. Keep it covered with clingfilm or use a lid.  The dough did not rise a lot in 60 minutes.
  5. Shaping:
    1. Transfer the dough to a clean floured surface then divide into 2 equal portions. 
    2. Form each portion to a ball.  Flatten with rolling pin into a dish.  Fold right to centre and fold left overlap it.  Roll out with rolling pin into long rectangle shape. Roll up the dough like Swiss Roll until a small log is formed. 
    3. Place all dough in the prepared loaf pan.  
  6. Final Proofing:
    1. Let it proof at warm and dark place until the dough reaches the height of the pan.  This one took approximately 4 hours at room temperature of 28C - 30C.  It may take longer to proof depending on your ambient temperature and your starter.
  7. Baking:
    1. Fifteen minutes before baking, preheat the oven to 180C.
    2. Bake at preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until the crust change darker colour.
    3. Remove bread from oven and let them cool on rack completely before slicing.



A healthy starter is very crucial as advised by Baking with Gina.   It is advisable to feed your starter regularly if you want your bread to rise nicely and to use the starter (levain) at its peak.  A starter that is fed regularly will be more active in general.  If the mother starter is not strong, the bread dough will not rise a lot even though the starter is used at its peak.  


Gluten forms when flour comes in contact with water.  Hydration of the flour causes the sticky and stretchy protein to form, giving structure to the bread.  This makes your bread trap air and rise. 

Gluten in dough can be developed by autolyse, resting, kneading or folding.

The windowpane test is used to determine whether the dough has been sufficiently kneaded.  By gently pulling the dough (or you may pinch off some dough) and trying to stretch it into a thin membrane.  If you are able to stretch the dough paper thin and translucent  without tearing, then the gluten is fully developed.  However, if you can stretch it without tearing but the membrane is not transparent, then the gluten is not yet fully developed.  

However, from my experience not all the recipe can achieve a thin and translucent window pane stage easily.   For example low hydration and low fat dough.  For such recipes, a reasonable window pane is good enough and it can be left to rest. Gluten will continue to develop while resting.  Exercising restraint to not over-knead the dough prevents the gluten from being overworked and broken.   Some of you may have experienced the dough breaking during the second proofing.  It is because the dough is over kneaded. 

The total kneading time for me is usually 15 minutes at low speeds except brioche dough with high fat percentage or dough using liquid fat which usually takes a little longer (maybe 18-20 mins).

From my experience, I found that high hydration dough with high percentage of fat will be easy to stretch and achieve a paper thin windowpane stage.


Why do I use milk powder?  
  1. Milk or milk powder will enhance the flavour of the bread and makes the bread texture softer due to the fat content of the milk. 
  2. Milk powder is shelf stable and you can have it anytime when you want to use.  Unlike liquid milk you need to finish within a certain time before it spoils.

For kneading, please regard the timing provided as an indication only. It is only meant as a guide.  Timing may differ depending on the brand of flour and electric mixer used. The protein content may vary from one brand of flour to another.


The right flour plays a very important role in bread making.   To achieve fluffy, soft and light bread, I used Japan High Gluten Flour in most of my bread baking.  The protein content is around  12 - 13%.


The liquid measurement given is also a guide.  It is advisable to always reserve some liquid and not add it all in one go.  This would give you the opportunity to adjust if necessary. If dough is too dry, add the reserve liquid one tablespoon at a time until the right consistency.  This is because each flour absorbs water and hydrates differently. 


Please note that the proofing timing may also vary depending on your climate, environment, flour and your starter. 

If you are unable to judge by just looking at the dough, you can do the finger poke test:

  1. Lightly press the side of the proved dough with your finger.  If it bounces back immediately without any indentation, it means the dough is under proved and needs more time before baking.
  2. If the indentation stays and it doesn’t bounce back, it means it has been over proved.
  3. If the indentation slowly bounces back and leave a small indentation, it is ready to bake. 
  4. There will be a final burst of rising once the bread is placed to bake in the oven and it is called oven spring. 

If your bread collapses or gets wrinkled on top after removing from oven, it could be because your dough over proved during the second proofing. Please proof until the tip of the dough just reaches the rim of the pan, around 80% - 90% in size.


Do also note that the baking temperature and timing provided are what works for my oven and should also be regarded as a guide only. Every oven behaves a little differently, so please adjust accordingly for your oven.


  1. My family and friends love it so much. I tripled the coffee powder for stronger flavor,added chocolate chips and raisin.

    1. Hi there, Thank you for your feedback and trying this recipe. I am glad that you and your family like it. It sounds yummy with the stronger coffee flavor and additional chocolate chips and raisin. Maybe I should add raisin too next time.

      Cheers :)

  2. Hi, thank you for the recipe. The loaf turned out wonderful with additional chocolate chips. The only thing was the prominent sour taste with such high amount of levain. How much would you reduce the levain if a less sour loaf is desired? Thank you.

    1. Hi there,

      Thank you for trying this recipe and for your feedback. I am happy to hear that it turned out wonderful. I used 75% (150g) of levain in this recipe. You may cut down to 40% which is 80g. Another way is use the levain when ferment double instead of triple.

      Cheers :)

  3. Hi do you think it will be ok to modify ur usual loaf bread recipe (with yudane method) to include the coffee powder and cocoa instead of using sourdough?

  4. How much milk is needed?

    1. Hi, I am sorry for the missing information. I just amended and please have a look.

      BYW, thanks for informing.

      Cheers :)

  5. Hi, thank you for the lovely recipe!
    If I may, there’s some quick questions to ask.
    About substitutions and omission:
    1. Substitute milk with water?
    2. Substitute butter with oil?
    3. Omit egg?

    1. Hi, thanks for reading this recipe.

      1. Substitute milk with water? Yes
      2. Substitute butter with oil? Yes
      3. Omit egg? Yes. Need to replace with other liquid like water.

      Just bear in mind, your bread will be less flavourful if you do not mind.

      Cheers :)

  6. for the final proofing, do you know how long will it take for winter weather (room temp is about 8C)? or will it even work at all given this cold weather? thanks

    1. Hi, thanks for reading. Sourdough baking is very unpredictable. I am sorry, I can't give you the answer on this. However, I have seen people used different method of increasing the ambient temperature like putting in the oven or proofer. You may want to online search for the methods.

      My weather here is warm and easy for this type of bread baking.

      Cheers :)

  7. Thanks for this lovely recipe! I have tried it yesterday. The edge of the bread turns out to be more dense. What will be the possible cause for that? Thanks in adv for your advice.

    1. Hi, thanks for trying. You mean the bottom dense? Could be your oven not hot enough or starter or proofing issue.

      Cheers :)


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