The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Very Cherry Sourdough Cheese Bread

isand66's picture

Very Cherry Sourdough Cheese Bread

I recently returned from my 3rd trip to China for work this year and the first bread I attempted to make was this one.  I think I must have been suffering from a bad case of jet lag since I ended up with a puddle of cherry cheese which resembled a flat bread.  I like to work with wet dough but I went overboard on this attempt and didn't take the extra cherry juice from the cut up cherries into consideration.

I am happy to say that my second attempt of this bread was much more successful as I ended up with something that actually resembles a bread rather than a pancake.  I still can't find my wife's cherry pitter so I had to de-pit the cherries by hand which is a messy job to say the least.

I used a nice Havarti style cheese in this bake which melts nicely and compliments the cherries very well.  I used fresh cherries since they are still in season and reasonably priced.  I pureed 218 grams of cherries and cut the balance of 134 grams into pieces.  I used my mini Cuisinart to puree the cherries but you can use a blender or stick blender as well.

I used my standard white flour AP SD starter which I keep at 65% hydration and I added some Oat Flour to give it a little bit of nutty flavor.  I think the next time I make this bread I would add some walnuts or pecans to make it even better.

The final dough came out terrific with a nice moist open crumb with cheese and cherries oozing from its pores.  It smelled amazing with the flavors of cherries and cheese while it was baking and it took all my self-control not to tear into it until the next morning.



71 grams Seed (Mine is 65% AP Flour Starter)

227 grams AP Flour

151 grams Water (85 - 90 degrees F.)

Mix seed with water to break up for a few seconds and then mix in flour until the starter form a smooth dough consistency.  Put it in a lightly oiled bowl and loosely cover and leave at room temperature for at least 10 hours.  The starter should double in volume.  Put the starter in the refrigerator for up to 1-2 days or use it immediately.

Main Dough


425 grams Starter from above

340 grams Bread Flour (King Arthur Flour)

161 grams Oat Flour (King Arthur Flour)

63 grams European Style Flour (KAF--you can substitute bread flour or a little whole wheat)

218 grams Cherry Puree

134 grams Pitted Cherries Cut Up into Small Pieces

200 grams Havarti Cheese or Similar Style Soft Cheese

220 grams Water (85 - 90 degrees F.)  (Note: the Cherry Puree Counts as the Balance of the Liquid)

16 grams Sea Salt (or table salt)


Weigh the cherries and remove the pits either with your hands, knife or if you are lucky a cherry pitter.  Puree the 218 grams per above in your food processor or blender and set aside. Cut the remainder of the cherries into small pieces and set aside in a strainer to drain.

Cut the cheese into small cubes and set  aside.

Mix the starter with all the water except for 20 grams just to break it up along with the pureed cherries.  Next mix in the flours for 1 minute on low in your mixer or by hand and let them autolyes for 30 minutes up to an hour.    Next add the salt and then add the remainder of your water unless you feel the dough is already too hydrated.  Mix on low-speed or by hand for 4 minutes.  Remove the dough from your mixing bowl to your work surface.

The dough will be very sticky so you may want to use a bench scraper to help you do 4-5 stretch and folds.  Leave the dough uncovered for 10 minutes on your work surface or put it in a slightly oiled bowl.  After 10 minutes either on your work surface or in your bowl do another stretch and fold, cover the dough and let it rest for 10 minutes.  Repeat this S & F procedure one more time and let it rest another 10 minutes.  Do one last S & F  and flatten the dough out into a rectangle.  Add the cherry pieces and the cheese pieces and fold up the dough onto itself.  (Note: I goofed up and did this step after the first stretch and fold which made it very difficult to do additional ones.)

Let the dough sit in your bowl for another 1.5 to 2 hours depending on the temperature of your room ( my house is usually at about 70-72 degrees F.).  Next put the dough into your refrigerator overnight up to 24 hours or longer if necessary.  I usually only wait about 24 hours but you can do 36 hours if necessary.

The next day when ready to bake, remove the dough from the refrigerator and  let the dough sit out at room temperature for 1.5 hours - 2 hours until it starts to come to room temperature and is growing slightly. You can now remove the dough from your bowl or dough bucket and form into your desired shapes.  Be careful not to handle the dough to  roughly or you will end up degassing the nice gas trapped in the dough.  Place formed loaves in floured baskets (I use rice flour to make sure they don't stick which works every time).

 Let the dough rise at room temperature for around 2 hours until they pass the poke test.  (When the dough is poked your finger should leave a small indent that springs back very slowly.)

Score the loaves as desired and prepare your oven for baking with steam.

I then baked on my oven stone with steam at 450 degrees until both loaves are golden brown and reached an internal temperature of 205 - 210 degrees F.

Let the finished bread rest on a wire rack until cool and try to resist the temptation to cut into them until thoroughly cooled.

Please feel free to visit my other blog at for all my bread recipes.


dabrownman's picture

what this bread must taste like.  A cherry cheese cake? A grilled cheese sandwich with cherries on top?  Its purple but it should be more purple!  My YW is mire purple than that nice crumb.  The crust is unusual too with that under current of cherry a color and those that caramelized.  I would have thought for sure that the crumb resulted from YW instead of SD.

After my weird bake tonight, (that was scheduled and should have been tomorrow) due to explosive retarded proofing while in the fridge.   That thing, what ever it was,  spread out over the long batard basket like an unbelievable alien blob on meth and steroids,  But,  I won't be able to sleep thinking about what your bread tastes like. 

I ended up with what looks like a scored ciabatta.  Never had dough explode in the fridge while retarding before.  Oh well, I like ciabatta.

Nice baking Ian.  Glad to see you are back on track while I've got a cart with no horse and a wheel gone missing.

isand66's picture

Thanks DA.

The flavor is really nice.  I'm eating a couple pieces of toast with nothing on it and the carmelized cheese and cherries is all you need. The only thing that would have been better is if I had added the cheese and cherries on the last fold more of the cheese would have stayed inside the bread which would have made it better.

I would check your temp. in your refrigerator and make sure it has not risen too much.  I had that happen to me a little while ago and my doughs were hitting the roof.

Sorry your latest has hit lift-off stage!  Nothing wrong with a nice Ciabatta!

I am confident you will find your missing wheel soon enough!

dabrownman's picture

but I cranked it down to 36 F anyway.  It had to be a weird explosive effect from yogurt whey water, honey, home made white and red malts  with a very strong YW / SD levain.   I posted the 'Alien Blob' cause it turned out OK even if not a batard.  At one time it had to have massive holes.

isand66's picture

I will check it out in a few but sounds like it could have been much worse.  Yougurt whey....sounds interesting for sure.  If everything turned out the way we wanted it all the time life would be boring :()

dabrownman's picture

going to put a slug of home made apple smoked bacon in this when we make it - just to test's -  'Whole meal with Desert Theory.'

isand66's picture

Like Emeril likes to say "Pork Fat Rules!"........

jarkkolaine's picture

And with the cheese and cherries must taste delicious too. My grandparents have cherries growing in their garden. Maybe they'll share some so I can try them in bread... ;) 

isand66's picture

Thanks Jarkkolaine, I appreciate the kind words.  I hope your grandparents share some of their crop.  I have a cherry tree in my backyard, but I keep forgetting to cover it with a net and the birds always eat all of them!


Mebake's picture

Nice, Ian! What a great combination of flavors! Yum.. The crust and crumb is very attractive , as always..Your wife must be lucky

I hope you had a safe trip from China.


isand66's picture

Thanks Kahlid, appreciate the compliments.  I was very happy with the final result.  To me, any bread I make t hat doesn't need any added cheese, butter etc. and is good enough to eat by itself is a keeper. 
Other than a some delays caused by the lastest Typhoon to hit Hong Kong my flight was uneventful.  I will probably be going back again in October or November.

Thanks again.


SylviaH's picture

Yumm and yumm again.  Your loaves look and sound wonderfully rewarding.  Something I'd want to savour with every bite.  I know a lot of effort went into this bake.  Great job on getting those pesky seeds removed, even if you had found your pitter.  I hope you wore an apron 'lol'.  

California had  marvelous crops of cherries a few seasons back...I made cherry jam.  The CA cherries are always delicious but not nearly as flavorful as that season.  You are very fortunate to have such a lovely garden and a cherry tree....lucky birds!