Chocolate Cherry Sourdough

Good morning!  It is snowing here in St. Louis, so I have a cat on my lap and recipes to post!

Our holidays were filled with laughter, travel, games and sourdough.  The first sourdough starter failed.  There were probably various reasons, but this first attempt was started from scratch.  My second attempt began with a 150 year old sourdough starter from Kensington Market.  Since I received a few gift cards for Christmas, I fell for the Facebook clickbait and purchased the sourdough starter packet for ten bucks.  I followed the directions and – POOF! – sourdough starter started.

There is a bakery near my mom’s house that makes the most amazing pastries and breads.  However, even when they say they are making more….you call up just to make sure and they were out of bread.  After trying to make a Japanese Chocolate milk bread, I realized that this what no where close to their chocolate cherry bread.  I realized that perhaps it was a sourdough base.  I asked offhand if it was, and they said yes.  So I decided to try and make the chocolate cherry sourdough bread myself.

As with all sourdough bread, it does take some time.  But there is very little actual work involved and your house will smell like cocoa powder.  Win Win, right?

I will be posting the other sourdough recipes I have made this week.  Ironically, I started this sourdough to make sourdough biscuits like at a local coffeehouse.  But, like I said, the first starter failed and when Christmas rolled around I didn’t have any starter for sourdough biscuits.  We still got Christmas Cinnamon Rolls 🙂

Here is my journey – I mean recipe – that I adapted from Modernist Bread.  I do not own the $500 tome, but I did find the recipe on their website.

If you are starting bread-making from the beginning, I would not recommend starting with sourdough.  I would recommend this hearty sandwich loaf type of recipe – check this one out which is 100% whole wheat flour.  My daughter won an award for her film on how to make it!  So it is super simple even a 10 year old can do it.
100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread

If you want white bread made from all-purpose flour – try this recipe:  White Bread

Chocolate Cherry Sourdough

A beautiful loaf of bread that is no-too-sweet and full of chocolate flavor. The chocolate and dried cherries a prominent in every slice.
Prep Time 20 hours
Cook Time 40 minutes
Servings 8 people


  • 230 grams sourdough starter, ripe or discard (1 cup +1 T)
  • 185 grams warm water 3/4 cup
  • 4 grams instant yeast 1 tsp.
  • 225 grams bread flour 1 2/3 cup
  • 30 grams cocoa powder 1/4 cup
  • 1 tsp espresso powder
  • 7 grams salt
  • 150 grams dark chocolate chips or small chunks 1 cup
  • 100 grams dried cherries, sweetened or unsweetened 1 cup


  • In a large bowl by hand or by mixer with dough hook, mix the sourdough starter, warm water and yeast together. Add the bread flour, cocoa powder and espresso powder. Combine until it is a big shaggy ball. Cover and sit for 30 minutes.
  • Add the salt. Once incorporated well, move this dough to an oiled bowl that you can cover. Cover and rest 30 minutes.
  • After 30 minutes, fold the dough four times. Rest 30 minutes. Add the chocolate chips and dried cherries. Be sure to break up the dried cherries first since they tend to stick together. Fold and rest 30 minutes.
  • Fold and rest for 30 minutes FOUR more times. So this is SIX folds. Rest again 30 minutes after the last fold. This is to develop gluten. My windowpane test failed...but I think the bread still turned out well!
  • Now you can leave it as one loaf or divide into 2 right now. Cover well (it still has the folds/seam side up) and put the dough into the refrigerator for 14 hours. Yes, I said fourteen hours. That is not a typo.
  • Now, place a piece of parchment into your Dutch Oven. Gently flip the dough over into the Dutch Oven with rounded side UP. Put the lid on and allow to come up to room temperature for 1-2 hours.
  • Towards the end of the time is up, preheat oven to 500 degrees. Score the top of your sourdough with a knife. This should be 1/4"-1/2" on top in the shape of a cross or hashtag.
  • Put the Dutch Oven COVERED into the middle of the oven or upper rack (as far up as possible) and DROP the tempreature to 450 degrees.
  • Bake at 450 degrees for 33 minutes.
  • Remove lid and bake 5 minutes.
  • Crack open the oven door and bake another 5 minutes.
  • Remove Dutch Oven from the oven. Gently and carefully lift the parchment paper and bread onto a wire rack. Allow to cool. If that's even possible. I think I ate half before I allowed it to cool. 🙂
  • Enjoy by itself or with butter. Once completely cool, store at room tempreature in a sealed plastic bag.


Recipe adapted from Modernist Bread.  All measurements were done by WEIGHT.  I only gave the volume measurements so that we have an idea of how much starter, cocoa etc. that you need to have on hand to make the bread.  Starter can have the same weight and vary between 1 cup and 3 cups, so it is super important to weigh it.
I used sweetened dried cherries because that is all they sell here where I live.
I used King Arthur Bread Flour.
I used Rodelle Dutch-processed baking cocoa.  You can use natural cocoa.  

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