This White Chocolate Pecan Sourdough bread is so good that it tastes like it should be cake! It only has a few simple ingredients and the goodness of natural yeast!
What is the difference between Sourdough Bread and Regular Bread?
Traditional sourdough bread contains just three ingredients. Flour, salt and sourdough starter. There is no need for instant or fresh yeast, milk, oils, eggs, or sweeteners.
- Sourdough bread is made with a sourdough starter, which is a fermented mix of flour and natural yeasts that help the bread rise.
- Sourdough is a prebiotic which is a nutrient that feeds the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut, which helps improve digestion by increasing the availability of nutrients.
- Sourdough bread is typically easier to digest than regular bread because the fermentation process breaks down gluten that can cause bloating and other digestive problems.
- Regular bread contains higher levels of phytic acid which make it harder to absorbe the other nutrients in the bread. Sourdough contains lactic acid which neutralizes levels of phytic acid because it lowers the pH of the bread. As a result, sourdough bread has a higher level of available minerals for your body to digest.
How To Make Sourdough Bread
Sourdough bread is one of those foods that you really learn how to make by doing it and practicing lots of times. Even though sourdough bread recipes might be similar, you can get completely different results based on the method you use and different user errors.
One of the things that I have found is the more variable with different sourdough recipes, is the rise time. Some recipes call for an overnight bulk rise, some call for rising in the fridge, and some have longer second rise times. I have found that letting it rise overnight is the easiest way for me as far as timing goes.
Another variable is bake time and My kids prefer a sourdough with a less crusty crust – which is how I came up with this recipe. Because this type of sourdough bread is more like a dessert, we like it to have a softer more chewy texture.
Can I Use Other Nuts In This Sourdough Bread?
The first time I ever had a white chocolate pecan bread was from Harmons grocery store. It was an artisan bread and I thought it was the most amazing bread I had ever tried. I actually never tried to recreate it until I started making sourdough bread. For some reason the combination of pecans and white chocolate just goes so well with this bread.
So, can you use other nuts besides pecans? Yes of course! But, in my opinion, pecans are the best. They are sweet, crunchy, but not too hard, and blend beautifully with white chocolate.
Can I Use Milk or Dark Chocolate in this Recipe instead of White chocolate?
The short answer is – sure, do whatever you want! The long answer is that I personally don’t think that milk and dark chocolate are as delicious in this recipe. The funny thing is that outside of this recipe, I actually don’t really like white chocolate. To me it is much too sweet. But for some reason, in combination with the pecans and the soft sourdough bread, it is the perfect amount of warm gooey sweetness.
More of Our Favorite Bread Recipes
- Sweet Brown Bread (Cheesecake Factory Copycat)
- White Whole Wheat Bread
- Easy Artisan Bread
- Rosemary Braided Bread
White Chocolate Pecan Sourdough Bread
- Using a food scale, measure the starter and water in a large bowl. Whisk together and then add the salt and flour. I like to use a Danish dough whisk to mix until the dough comes together. Then I finish by hand until all of the flour is incorporated. It is definitely ok if it is still slightly sticky. Cover let it rest for about 5 minutes.
- After it has rested, add the white chocolate chips and pecan pieces. Proceed to the next step.
- Next you will 'pull and turn' the dough. Wet our hand just a bit so that dough doesn't stick to it and pull the dough up from the side and then fold it over into the center. Turn your bowl a quarter turn and repeat. This helps add volume to your bread and get a better rise. Do this again after 30 minutes. The true experts say to do it 4 times in the first hour (I never get that many in)
- This next step is the Bulk Rise. Cover your bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel (I sometimes use a bowl lid with just a small part cracked open) and let rise overnight at room temperature. This takes anywhere between 8-10 hours. The dough is ready when it no longer looks dense and has doubled in size.
- After the bulk rise, you are going to shape the dough. Place your dough onto a floured surface and shape into a ball. I do this by putting both my hands on the sides of the dough and moving in a small circular motion while putting pressure on the dough. Do your best to shape it in a tight round circle.
- You are going to let the dough rise for a second time. Line a dutch oven with parchment paper and place your dough in the center. Put the lid on and let it rise for 1 hours 30 minutes more. It can be a bit more or less depending on how warm the area it is rising is. The dough should look slightly puffy and increased in size when its done.
- Preheat your oven to 450° F. Sprinkle the dough with flour and gently rub the surface with your hands. Using the tip of a bread lame, small, serrated knife or a razor blade, make shallow cuts around the dough. If you are an artist – go crazy with a beautiful design!
- Reduce the heat to 425° F. Place the dutch oven on the center rack, and place a cookie sheet on the rack below. This helps prevent the bottom of the bread from getting too dark. Bake for 45 minutes covered. Remove the lid, and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes if you want a darker more crispy crust. When finished, transfer to a wire rack. Let the bread cool for a bit before slicing. Enjoy!
I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.Learn More about Natalie