Thursday, November 17, 2022


Today is National Homemade Bread Day. Here's an updated post that includes a great recipe for Dark Chocolate Tart Cherry Levain as well as links to recipes for other Chocolate Bread!
One bread that is especially appropriate to this blog is Chocolate Cherry Sourdough. I can't locate my recipe, but I found several recipes on The Fresh Loaf, a great site for "News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts."

JMonkey's Blog February 11, 2007 had a great recipe for Chocolate Cherry Sourdough Bread. Terrific photos and instructions.  There are a few comments I'm unclear on, so my recommendation is to do what you usually do. I bake in a gas oven. I have three ovens: convection, gas, and electric, but for baking, I like the gas oven. I have an old O'Keefe & Merritt that I've refurbished, and it's pretty accurate on temperature. Nevertheless, I hang an old oven thermometer inside.

The recipe for Chocolate Cherry Sourdough Bread elicited a lot of discussion on The Fresh Loaf, and I found another recipe, this time for a Dark Chocolate Tart Cherry Levain posted by unbreadman, December 2, 2007. These recipes complement each other, so have a look at both before you decide which to try.

Dark Chocolate Tart Cherry Levain

1 1/2 lbs Bread Flour
1 lb 2 ounces water
1/2 ounce salt
Small amount of refreshed sourdough culture (adjust depending on taste/rising time preference)
8 ounces dark chocolate, broken into small bits
12 ounces dried tart cherries (I've used both Chukars and Trader Joe's)

Soak cherries for at least 30 minutes to remove any added sugar and prevent burning
Mix flour, salt, and water until fully hydrated, let sit for 30 minutes (can do while cherries soak)
Cut up levain, add to dough with cherries, mix until fully distributed, knead to develop gluten, but be gentle so as not to destroy cherry integrity.
Bulk ferment until approx 1.5 times volume increase, folding once* halfway through.
*During fold, add chocolate bits in between each fold over. JMonkey's blog illustrates this well.
Very gently shape loaf, trying not to puncture future crust. While it's not tragic if it does happen, if there's a leak, chocolate can leak out and burn, and it might make you a little sad. But you'll be fine! It's okay!
Bake on preheated stone with steam at 400-425F.
LET COOL BEFORE CUTTING. Molten Chocolate is very hot! It will burn, so resist the irresistible urge to eat this bread too soon. 

What Chocolate Bread have you made lately? Make a comment below.

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