Chocolate cherry bread

Jeremy's picture

Old recipe that everyone has done!

TP go for it, make it so #1


The Dough

Ingredient Metric Imperial Baker's Percentage
flour 850 grams 30.01 oz 100.00%
water 650 grams 22.95 oz 76.47%
sugar 175 grams 6.18 oz 20.59%
cocoa 125 grams 4.41 oz 14.71%
egg yolks 25 grams 0.88 oz 2.94%
butter 25 grams 0.88 oz 2.94%
chocolate pistoles or chips 75 grams 2.65 oz 8.82%
dried cherries 100 grams 3.53 oz 11.76%
salt 10 grams 0.35 oz 1.18%
yeast 25 grams 0.88 oz 2.94%
levain 125 grams 4.41 oz 14.71%
Total Flour Weight:
850 grams

Percentages are relative to flour weight (flour equals 100%) and every other ingredient is a percentage of this. Flour from the starter is not counted. This recipe was originally in grams and has been automatically converted to other measures.



383 users have voted.


pingu 2007 March 8

I'm new to this sourdough thing, and I want to do this for one of my friends. I was wondering if it's possible for me to do like do two half loaves of this. would I actually do this? Mix it up, separate it in to two sections, knead / fold every hour for four hours or some such, let it prove for a bit, put it in the oven?

(Yes, I'm really not sure -- I've just been following Dom's tutorials, up to the hybrid (shaping) stage).

EDIT: Something else I'm unsure of -- "Levain"...does this mean "starter"?

SourDom 2007 March 12


welcome to the forum.

Jeremy's recipe contains both starter (yes levain is the same thing) and yeast, so the timings will be different from a pure sourdough recipe.

He hasn't given us much in the way of instructions, so lets look at his recipe from first principles and see if we can work out what how it will work.

It contains 850g flour, which would make a very large single loaf (as a guide 500g flour gives a large loaf), or 2 medium-large loaves.

There is 25g of yeast - this is 2.9% (divide 25 by the flour weight - 850), which is quite a lot of yeast. Jeremy doesn't tell us, but this is almost certainly fresh yeast. Fresh yeast weighs about 6.8g/teaspoon, so this is about 4 teaspoons.
The reason for the high proportion of yeast will be because this is an enriched dough (contains egg, butter and sugar, which otherwise slow yeast activity). With that much yeast we would expect the dough to rise pretty quickly.
The recipe contains 14% starter - not very much. This is likely to contribute to flavour, but with the large amount of yeast is probably not going to contribute to rising of the dough (the yeast will race ahead, while the starter is still working out what is happening).
It is hard to tell without trying, but we might find for example that the dough needs 1 to 2 hours of 'bulk fermentation' (first rise), and only 1 hour of proving (second rise, after shaping).

There is 10g of salt. This only 1% of the flour weight (typical is 2%), so presumably Jeremy has used 'salted butter'.

Jeremy is also a bit naughty with the starter - he doesn't tell us what type of starter this is (is it a 'standard' starter made with equal weights of water and flour, or is it a 'firm starter, with more flour than water). 'Levain' is the french term for a starter, and is often used to refer to the firmer sort. For example if it were at 60% hydration, the starter would contain 60g water to 100g flour.

This recipe will make a pretty sticky and hard to handle dough. How do I know this? If we add up the liquid ingredients of the dough they come to
650g water plus
25g egg yolk plus
~50g water in the starter (multiply 125g by 60/160 - gives you 47)
total 725g
The total amount of flour in the recipe is 850g plus 75g in the starter (125g minus 50g water)
Then the 'hydration' of the dough is 78% (divide total liquid by total flour)

As a guide, 65% hydration makes a slightly sticky, but kneadable dough, 68% makes a sticky and hard to knead dough, 75% makes a very moist and sticky dough that is almost impossible to knead. (NB the dried fruit and cocoa will absorb some moisture and reduce this a bit)

So in terms of how to make this recipe, this is what I would do if I were going to make it.

In a large bowl add the water. Crumble in the fresh yeast until dissolved.
Add the starter. You will need to squish it with your fingers to break up the firm starter so that you don't end up with 'chunks' of starter in your dough.
Next add in the flour, cocoa and the salt, and using your fingers like the prongs of a mixer mix the flour and water and starter and yeast together. Keep stirring with your fingers (hold the bowl with your other hand) until it is all well incorporated. Next add in the butter (would need to be softened, but not melted) egg yolks and sugar. Again, pretend that your hand and fingers are a dough hook, and mix the whole lot in the bowl until it is smooth and well mixed. This might take a minute or so (hard work!).
Scrape the dough off your fingers, cover and leave for 10 minutes.
Do a Dan Lepard-style quick knead. You can do this on an oiled surface, or just pour a little olive oil on to your hands and knead in the bowl.
Cover and leave for 10 minutes.
One more quick knead, leave for ten minutes.
I haven't forgotten about the chocolate and cherries. At this stage add in the chocolate and cherries, and gently mix/knead them in until they are well incorporated in to the dough, but the chocolate hasn't ended up all melted, and the cherries all mushed (!)
Cover the dough and leave for 3/4 hour.
Take it out of the bowl, and with a sharp or serrated knife slash the top. If the dough has risen, and the there is a rich network of bubbles under the surface it is ready to shape. But it probably won't have quite yet. Fold the dough (press out gently on a floured surface and fold in thirds lengthways, then in thirds from the sides).
Put back in the bowl, cover and leave for 3/4 hour. Repeat the above step - slashing and seeing if the dough is ready. Leave for another 3/4 hour if necessary.
When the dough is ready - divide it in two (here is the answer to your other question). Shape each piece of dough into an appropriate shape (eg round or baton), and then place into a lined bowl, or wrapped in a floured tea towel to rise.
Turn the oven on.
Check the dough after 3/4 of an hour, and then every 15 minutes. When it has risen somewhat, and no longer 'springs back' quickly when you poke it gently with a finger it is ready to bake.

sorry for the long answer to a short question!
good luck

Jeremy's picture
Jeremy 2007 March 12

Thanks Dom,
I am so lazy and I suppose a lousy teacher, though I recall the levain was a liquid one! Probably 100% hydration for the starter? This dough was roughly based on Nancy Silvertons recipe from her La Brea bakery book! We did it in school many years ago as for a lot of the formulas I have, the explanation of that was wonderful,looking forward to our meet up in Bethesda where we will let our bread minds and ya ya's out for sure!

Cheers and happy baking!

pingu 2007 March 12

Wow SourDom, thank you very very much -- this is exactly what I wanted...Somewhat of a guide on how to interpret all these recipes.

Thank you for the tutorials on your blog, too. All I need now is a place to buy rye flour (I'm in Australia, Queensland though), as my mum and I (I'm 16) are getting a tad sick of the smell of my starter from the cupboard. See, the other day I tried feeding it 1/3rd rye, 2/3rds white, and the next day it smelt somewhat fruity and pleasant, as opposed to just regular white.

pingu 2007 April 8

I'm making this as we's currently more of a batter than a dough...

EDIT: Huzzah -- with copious amounts of flour and kneading, we now have a dough...I hope I haven't destroyed it somewhat though.

EDIT TWO: And in the oven...looking pretty.

SourDom 2007 April 8

post us some photos if you can.

I did warn you that the hydration of the dough seemed a bit high, and it sounds as though you were struggling with that. Doughs at 78% hydration can be very tricky to handle.

I look forward to hearing how this turns out, but one option next time would be to reduce the water. 600g would give a total hydration of ~73%, 550g would yield 68%.


pingu 2007 April 9

I'm making two sourdough viennas at the moment, and in my next break I'll take a picture with my $20 Dimmy's webcam (don't expect anything great ).

My mum and brother liked it, and my mum's friends have already eaten the first loaf...


Full loaf, sort of mishapen and definitely poorly slashed:

One side of the tin loaf (what's left of it, anyway):

The other side of the tin loaf:

TeckPoh's picture
TeckPoh 2006 July 6

Hey, Jeremy! This one's dedicated to you...


I'll be writing about it in my blog.

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