Chocolate Cranberry Sourdough Bread
aka Cocoa Craisin Bread
If you think Sourdough bread should be made with just flour, water, salt, and starter. ... just keep on looking. However, if you like an occasional walk on the wild side, maybe this bread will be up your alley.
This bread has a lot of dark, rich chocolate taste in it, its bitterness balanced by the dried cranberries. I made it for a church pot-luck and not much survived to be taken home. We topped it with a Cinnamon-Clove honey that I had reservations about before I tried it.
We had tried this bread with dried cherries, but we couldn't reliably find cherries as tart as we wanted, nor at a price that made sense in bread we were going to sell. When we stumbled across dried cranberries at the grocery store, we tried 'em, and now we love 'em. We've used both sweetened (Craisins) and unsweetened dried cranberries and both work well.
Since this bread is made with Cocoa rather than chocolate, and we usually used Craisins, we called it "Cocoa Craisin" bread at the farmers market.
This recipe is modified from a recipe in "Flavored Breads - Recipes from Mark Miller's Coyote Cafe," a cookbook we recommend often. Mark Miller called for added baker's yeast in this recipe. We omitted the yeast, and found the bread rose just fine. We did find the loaves stuck to our banneton, so next time we'll flour that a bit better. We also found that two loaves from this recipe are just too small.
This recipe is for one good sized loaf, or two puny ones.
|Volumetric Measure (Cups)||Ingredient||Grams||Baker's Percentage (4)|
|2 Cups||Dried sour Cranberries (we used "Craisins")||240 Grams||52.75%|
|1 Cup||Water||240 Grams||52.75%|
|1 TBSP||Brandy (1)||14 Grams||3.1%|
|1 1/2 Cups||Active Sourdough Starter||390 Grams||85.7%|
|1 1/2 Cups||Water and cranberry water||360 Grams||79.1%|
|3 1/2 Cups||Bread Flour||455 Grams`||100%|
|3/4 Cup||Dutch Process Cocoa Powder||75 Grams||16.5%|
|2 tsp||Salt||12 Grams||2.6%|
|1/2 tsp||Freshly ground black pepper||1.2 Grams||.26%|
- The brandy is optional. We made the bread with and without the brandy and couldn't tell any difference. So, in the end, we left it out.
Place cranberries, water and (optional) brandy in a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Turn off the heat and let it cool for 15 minutes. Drain the cranberries, reserving the liquid. The way we see it. the water has lots of good flavors in it, so why pour it down the drain? Put in the bread instead! Add enough water to the collected water from the dried fruit to bring the volume up to 1 1/2 cups or 360 Grams.
Place the starter, water, and dry ingredients in the bowl of a mixer with a dough hook. Knead it in the mixer for 5 minutes, let it rest 5 minutes and then knead 5 minutes more. The dough should be smooth, silky and elastic. This bread is a bit of a mess, so we usually mix it in a mixer to contain the cocoa powder mess.
Add the drained cranberries to the dough, and continue kneading until the cranberries are evenly distributed. This may take some hand kneading to complete.
Punch down, turn out onto lightly floured work area. Sprinkle a baking sheet with some whole wheat flour, then gently pull and stretch the dough into a round loaf (or two small loaves).
Cover with shower caps or clingwrap and allow to rise until approximately doubled.
Preheat the oven to 425F. This will take around an hour with the baking stones in place. Uncover, slash, and slide the bread into the oven. Pour a cup or so of hot water into the bottom of the oven and bake the bread 40 to 45 minutes. Cool on a rack and enjoy!
A nice spread for Chocolate Cranberry Sourdough Bread, and also really nice in tea if you're suffering a cold or flu.
Heat one cup(340 Grams) of wildflower honey to a simmer. Add 2 tsp(12 Grams) ground cinnamon and 1/2 tsp(1.1 Grams) ground cloves.
Turn off heat, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Pour into a clean glass jar and refrigerate.
We added two pieces of cinnamon bark to give it a bit more "zip".