Breads & Doughs

No-Knead Chocolate Bread Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Whip up this irresistible No-Knead Chocolate Bread with our foolproof recipe to indulge in a heavenly aroma, rich taste, and pleasant chew.
A close-up shot at loaf of Chocolate Bread on a kitchen towel in a bread basket. It's sliced and has a dark-chocolate color with crispy crust and a cross score on top, loaded with chocolate chips. The inner crumb looks very tender and bubbly.

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Hi Bold Bakers!

WHY YOU’LL LOVE THIS RECIPE: Try our mouthwatering No-Knead Chocolate Bread Recipe, and you’ll wonder where this yeasty, cocoa-enhanced loaf has been all your life! This delightfully chewy, just-sweet-enough bread is perfect for a snack and hits the magic spot between a savory slice and an indulgent dessert. More good news: it takes only 20 minutes to prep!

  • In this no-knead bread recipe, an overnight rise allows the yeast to ferment to develop the gluten, allowing for no-fuss, hands-off bread making.
  • This is a double chocolate recipe, but because we use cocoa, bittersweet chocolate, and limited added sugar, the bread has a nuanced, rich chocolate flavor and is not overly sweet.

To me, there’s nothing as satisfying to make and as scrumptious as a warm loaf of bread. At Bigger Bolder Baking, we love sharing deliciously creative bread recipes with you! Be sure to check out our Pizza Monkey Bread, Steakhouse-Style Pumpernickel Bread, and Crazy Dough Cheesy Bread.

Table of Contents

A loaf of Chocolate Bread is on a kitchen towel in a bread basket with a bread knife. It's a dark-chocolate color loaf with crispy crust and a cross score on top, loaded with chocolate chips. The inner crumb looks very bubbly.

What is No-Knead Chocolate Bread?

  • No-Knead Chocolate Bread is a richly flavored yeasted dough bread that’s made without kneading. It has a tender crumb, hearty crust and is subtly sweet. The pure cocoa powder adds a full chocolate flavor, and the chunks of bittersweet chocolate sprinkled throughout add a balanced hit of sweetness.
  • Without kneading in our recipe, the gluten is formed with nothing but time: a long, slow rise allows the yeast to ferment and develop the gluten. Bonus: The longer rise deepens the flavor and creates a pleasantly chewier texture compared to bread made by kneading.
  • Making bread using slow fermentation is an ancient technique, and baking it in a cast iron casserole is a traditional European method. This recipe is an exciting blend of age-old bread-making practices and innovative ways of using creative ingredients—like chocolate—in a conventional bread recipe.

Tools You Need

Key Ingredients and Why

  • Bread flour

    • Bread flour has a protein content of 11-14%, which means it can naturally and easily develop more gluten than all-purpose flour, resulting in a stronger, more elastic dough and a pleasant chew.
    • Bread flour is also known as “strong flour.”
    • Our Ultimate Guide to the 10 Types of Flour for Baking has more details about how to pick the best flour for any recipe.
  • Unsweetened cocoa powder

    • Use high-quality unsweetened cocoa for the most intense, chocolatey taste that will give you just the proper chocolate fix.
    • Our Ultimate Guide to Different Kinds of Chocolate takes the mystery out of picking just the right chocolate for any recipe.
  • Granulated sugar

    • Sugar feeds yeast, converting it into gas to make this no-knead bread rise light and airy.
    • Also, sugar helps retain moisture in the dough for a tender crumb.
  • Salt

    • Salt enhances the flavor of this Chocolate Bread.
    • In addition, salt strengthens the gluten, giving the bread the perfect crumb. It also relaxes the dough so that it’s easier to shape.
  • Instant yeast

    • Instant yeast does not require sponging and gives a quicker, more efficient rise than active dry yeast.
    • Mix instant yeast with flour first to avoid direct contact with salt so the yeast won’t get deactivated.
    • if you use want to use active dry yeast instead, for every teaspoon of instant yeast in the recipe, use 1 ¼ teaspoons of active dry yeast. Bring the liquid in your recipe to blood temperature (when you put your finger in the water, it should feel neither hot nor cold), and and mix in the active dry yeast. Let it sit at room temperature for roughly 5 minutes until foam forms on top. Stir it back in and use the mixture in recipes.
  • Warm water

    • Lukewarm water activates and optimizes the growth of yeast.
    • To tell whether the water is lukewarm, take a small amount of water and put your finger in it; if it feels close to your body temperature or slightly warmer, it’s at a lukewarm temperature.
  • Olive oil

    • Buttery, slightly fruity, fragrant oil adds irresistibly rich flavor.
    • Olive oil is critical for creating the bread’s moist interior and beautifully craggy crust.
  • Bittersweet chocolate chips

    • Bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks, with a cocoa solid percentage ranging from 63-72%, are the ideal choice for this recipe, as they’re just sweet enough without being cloying.
    • Any type is fine, but larger size chips make the most impact visually and flavor-wise.
    • Our Ultimate Guide to the Different Types of Chocolate takes the mystery out of the different varieties of chocolate, like Dutch-process cocoa powder or milk versus dark chocolate chips or semi-sweet chocolate chips, and teaches you what works best in different recipes.

Step-by-step instructions on how to make No-Knead Chocolate Bread: Bulk ferment the dough in a glass bowl until it's bubbly. Shape and final proof the dough in the dutch oven until it's doubled in size. Score the top before baking. Bake until it's firm to touch, has a rich chocolate aroma, slightly pulled away from the edge and sounded hollow when tapped at the bottom.

How to Make No-Knead Chocolate Bread

Make the dough:

    1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt, and yeast. Stir in the chocolate chips.
    2. Add the oil and then the water to the dry ingredients, and stir until the dough forms a ball.
    3. Drizzle some oil into the bowl and coat the entire dough ball.
    4. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and then a towel.
    5. Let the dough rise at room temperature for 12 to 18 hours.

Finish proofing the dough:

    1. Remove the dough from the bowl and place on a floured surface.
    2. Pull the edges of the dough toward the center until the dough is firm and forms a ball.
    3. Flip the ball over and place it seam-side down on a piece of lightly floured parchment paper.
    4. Place the dough on the parchment in the Dutch oven and put on the lid
    5. Let sit at room temperature for 70 to 90 minutes until the bread has doubled in size.

Bake the bread:

    1. Preheat the oven to 450°F (225°C) for 15 minutes before bread is finished proofing.
    2. Score the top with a knife or bread lame, and then replace the Dutch oven lid.
    3. Bake the bread for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for 20 to 25 more minutes.
    4. Let bread cool to room temperature on a wire rack before slicing.

Gemma’s Pro Chef Tips

  • This recipe used bread flour to give the best rise and chew. Since cocoa powder is tenderizing, we recommend sticking with bread flour and not subbing with all-purpose flour for the best lift and texture.
  • This recipe uses instant yeast, which we find gives the best results. If you only have active dry yeast, you can use it for the recipe, but it will need to be proofed first. You can use the warm water required in the recipe to do this.
  • Blood temperature water means that it is the same temperature as your blood. To test this, place a drop of water on your wrist. It should feel neither hot nor cold.
  • For some fun variations, knead in about a cup of toasted, chopped nuts (walnuts are particularly delicious with chocolate, but pecans also work well) or chopped dried fruit along with the chocolate chips.
  • This bread is only slightly sweet. You can make it sweeter by serving it with jam or homemade Nutella, or play up the saltier side by serving it with salted butter or homemade peanut butter or almond butter (be sure to add the salt option).

A close-up shot at loaf of Chocolate Bread on a kitchen towel in a bread basket. It's sliced and has a dark-chocolate color with crispy crust and a cross score on top, loaded with chocolate chips. The inner crumb looks very tender and bubbly.

Make Ahead and Storage Instructions

Yes, you can make this No-Knead Chocolate Bread in advance.

  • Because this recipe uses a slow-rise technique, the dough is mixed the day before baking and proofs overnight.
  • This bread is best enjoyed within a few hours of baking, but leftovers can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to two days.
  • You can also slice the bread, double-wrap in cling film and a freezer bag, and freeze for up to a month.

FAQs

  • What can I use if I don’t have a Dutch oven?

    • You’ll want to use a pan that duplicates the steamy environment you get from a heavy, lidded Dutch oven. You can try:
      • A cast iron pan or pot is covered tightly with aluminum foil.
      • An oven-safe stainless steel or ceramic cooking pot with a lid.
      • Putting the dough on a heated pizza stone and topping with a large oven-safe metal bowl.
    • Note that the bread may differ from bread baked in a Dutch oven.
  • How do I make sure my bread rises well and isn’t dense?

    • Mix instant yeast with flour first to avoid direct contact with salt so the yeast won’t get deactivated.
    • Bake it in a hot oven! Preheat your oven for 15 minutes before baking. A hot oven will give the chocolate bread the best rise and create steam, which can help with the rise.
  • How do you tell if a chocolate bread is done?

Due to its color, it’s hard to know when chocolate bread is done. These tell-tale signs can apply to other chocolate bread recipes, too.

    • Chocolate Aroma: A rich chocolate aroma should fill the air when the bread is done. This lets you know that the chocolate flavors have developed.
    • Stable Texture: When gently pressed on the top, the chocolate bread should feel firm to the touch.
    • Slight Cracking: There might be some slight cracking on the surface of the bread, indicating that it has expanded fully during baking.
    • Hollow Sound: When you tap the bottom of the loaf, it should produce a hollow sound. This indicates that the interior of the bread has cooked through and there are no doughy spots left.
    • Internal Temperature: While chocolate might not allow for an accurate color assessment, you can still use a digital thermometer to check the internal temperature of the bread. Aim for a temperature between 190°F to 200°F (88°C to 93°C).

More No-Knead Bread Recipes

No-Knead Chocolate Bread Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Whip up this irresistible No-Knead Chocolate Bread with our foolproof recipe to indulge in a heavenly aroma, rich taste, and pleasant chew.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 8 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Ferment Time 15 hours
Total Time 16 hours 10 minutes
Whip up this irresistible No-Knead Chocolate Bread with our foolproof recipe to indulge in a heavenly aroma, rich taste, and pleasant chew.
Author: Gemma Stafford
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 3 cups (15 oz/426 g) bread flour
  • ¼ cup (1 oz/28 g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon instant yeast
  • ¾ cup (4½ oz/128 g) bittersweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • cups (12 fl oz/360 ml) water, blood temperature

Instructions

Make the Dough

  • In a large bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, salt and yeast. Stir in the chocolate chips.
  • Add in the oil, then the water and stir until your dough has formed a ball and cleans the bowl (see video about holding back a little water).
  • Drizzle a little oil into the bowl and coat the dough. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and towel (or shower cap) and let it rise on the counter for 12-18 hours.

The Next Day

  • Carefully remove the dough from the bowl and place onto a well-floured surface. Dust your hands with flour as well and pull the edges of the dough towards the center creating folds (see video). Do this until your dough is firm and forms a ball.
  • Flip the ball seam side down onto a sheet of lightly floured parchment paper. Place the parchment into a 8-quart cast iron Dutch oven and put on the lid. Set aside at room temperature to proof for 70 to 90 minutes.

Baking the Bread

  • Preheat the oven to 450°F (225°C) about 15 minutes before your bread has finished proofing.
  • When the bread has more than doubled in size then score the top with a bread lame or sharp knife and place back on the lid. (see video)
  • Place the pot in the oven and bake for 20 minutes covered, then remove the lid and bake for another 20 to 25 minutes uncovered to get a nice, crispy crust.
  • Carefully remove from the oven and transfer the bread to a cooling rack to cool to room temperature before slicing. I do recommend enjoying it within a few hours of being baked. Store leftovers in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days. Or slice and freeze for up to a month.

Recipe Notes

  • This recipe used bread flour to give the best rise and chew. Since cocoa powder is tenderizing, we recommend sticking with bread flour and not subbing with all-purpose flour for the best lift and texture.
  • This recipe uses instant yeast, which we find gives the best results. If you only have active dry yeast, you can use it for the recipe, but it will need to be proofed first. You can use the warm water required in the recipe to do this.
  • Blood temperature water means that it is the same temperature as your blood. To test this, place a drop of water on your wrist. It should feel neither hot nor cold.
  • For some fun variations, knead in about a cup of toasted, chopped nuts (walnuts are particularly delicious with chocolate, but pecans also work well) or chopped dried fruit along with the chocolate chips.
  • This bread is only slightly sweet. You can make it sweeter by serving it with jam or homemade Nutella, or play up the saltier side by serving it with salted butter or homemade peanut butter or almond butter (be sure to add the salt option).
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Tracy
Tracy
18 days ago

Can you use other types of flour -like say organic spelt – we have dietary issues and bread flour isn’t good for us but we love bread. Especially chocolate bread 🙂

Marsi
Marsi
24 days ago

This looks amazing! Any chance it Works with gluten free flour?

Angie
Angie
24 days ago

can’t pin this
it says image is broken. I tried them all

Last edited 24 days ago by Angie
Sumaiyah
Sumaiyah
24 days ago

Oooh, this looks delicious. Will have to give it a go

About Us

Meet Gemma

About Us

Meet Gemma

Hi Bold Bakers! I’m Gemma Stafford, a professional chef originally from Ireland, a cookbook author, and the creator of Bigger Bolder Baking. I want to help you bake with confidence anytime, anywhere with my trusted and tested recipes and baking tips. You may have seen one of my 500+ videos on YouTube & TikTok or as a guest judge on Nailed It! on Netflix or the Best Baker in America on Food Network. No matter your skills, my Bold Baking Team & I want to be your #1 go-to baking authority.

 

Weeknight Family Favorites Chapter from the Bigger Bolder Baking Every Day Cookbook