Chocolate and Cherry Sourdough

By adding cherries, we have taken the beloved combination of bread and chocolate in a new direction. This dough is only moderately sweet; the natural sourness of the dough tempers the sweet character of the inclusions. Given how many taste testers were waiting when these loaves came out of the oven, it’s a captivating combination. As a bonus, the bake-proof chocolate chips remain melted for a good while (while still holding their shape), adding to the indulgence of each bite.


Total Time: Active 27 min / Inactive 20 h 26 min

DDT: 24–26°C / 75–78°F

Difficulty: Moderate: mixing

Ovens: Home

Yield/Shapes: 1 lg boule (1.00 kg)

Ingredients for 1 lg boule (1.00 kg)

* 230 g mature liquid levain

* 185 g water

* 0.16 g instant dry osmotolerant yeast

* 225 g bread flour

* 30 g cocoa powder

* 15 g brewed espresso

* 7 g fine salt

* 160 g bake-proof dark chocolate chips

* 160 g dried cherries

General Directions

MIX combine the levain, water, and yeast in a bowl; add the flour, cocoa powder, and espresso, and mix to a shaggy mass; autolyse 30 min; add the salt, and mix until homogeneous; transfer to a lightly oiled tub or bowl, and cover well with a lid or plastic wrap

BULK FERMENT bulk ferment, covered, for 4 h at 21°C / 70°F; perform 6 four-edge folds (1 fold every 30 min after the first hour); after the first fold, add the chocolate chips and cherries; mix with your hands using a squeeze, pull, and fold-over motion; rest the dough, covered, for 30 min after the final fold; check for full gluten development using the windowpane test


REST 20 min, well covered

SHAPE boule

FINAL PROOF proof for 12–16 h in the refrigerator, well covered

SCORE score with a cross across the top; be mindful that the blade can catch on the inclusions; transfer to the base of a preheated cast-iron combination cooker, and cover with the preheated lid

BAKE place the pan into a 260°C / 500°F oven; drop the temperature to 245°C / 470°F, and bake for 45 min with the lid on; remove the lid, and bake for an additional 10 min


Multiply the recipe by two for a miche.

Consume within 2–3 d, or freeze for up to 2 mo.

Be sure to flour baskets / couches well because this dough tends to be a bit wet and sticky.

If you don’t want to cold-proof your dough, you can proof it at 27°C / 80°F (65% RH) for 5–7 h or at 21°C / 70°F for 6–8 h.

When mixing, the cherries tend to cluster. Break them apart prior to adding them to the dough.

You can measure 1/16 tsp by measuring 1/8 tsp and dividing it in half.

If you can’t find osmotolerant yeast, you can use instant dry yeast and increase the final proofing time by 20–30 min.

The recipe is from Modernist Bread.  Image credited to The Cooking Lab, LLC.