Chocolate Cherry Bread


¼ oz active dry yeast
4 oz water 70 degrees
¼ teaspoon sugar
6 oz all purpose flour
8 oz water
Dissolve yeast in 4 oz of water. Stir in the sugar and allow to bubble up for 10 minutes. Whisk in the flour and remaining water. Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 hours. 


4 oz starter
8 oz water (72 degrees)
12 oz unbleached bread flour
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 1/2 oz unsweetened cocoa powder
zest of one orange
2 oz dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
2 oz unsalted butter, cubed, at room temperature
7 oz chocolate  cut into chunks
5 oz dried sour cherries

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer stir to dissolve starter and yeast in water. With the paddle attachment on low speed add flour, cocoa powder, orange zest and brown sugar. Mix until a shaggy mass is formed. Sprinkle the salt over the dough and rest for 15 minutes.
Mix on low speed for 2 minutes then increase to high for 4 to 6 minutes. Gradually adding the butter. Final dough temperature should be 76 degrees. Gently fold in the chocolate and the cherries. Remove dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate dough overnight.  

Divide dough into two equal pieces. Shape each loaf into a round boule and cover with a cloth. Allow to rest. Meanwhile, lightly flour 2 cloth lined bannetons. Shape the loaves into boules and place seam side up in the bannetons. Cover and leave to proof until 1 ½ time the original size. This will take approximately 2 hours. Preheat oven with a baking stone in the center rack at least one hour before.

Sprinkle an oven peel lightly with cornmeal and turn the loaves out of the bannetons. Score the tops of the loaves. Spray the interior of the oven heavily with water and carefully slide the loaves on to the baking stone. Spray around the loaves again and reduce temperature to 450 degrees. Spray every 5 minutes during the first 20 minutes of baking. Continue baking until loaves are done, approximately 35 to 40 minutes. Remove loaves to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.