The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Cherry Tea 36 Hour Sourdough Miche with Cherries

isand66's picture

Cherry Tea 36 Hour Sourdough Miche with Cherries

The storm has come and it has delivered as promised.  Here on the South Shore of Long Island where I live we spent most of the morning digging out of 20+ inches of icy heavy snow.  In between the snow plowing and digging I managed to shape and get my latest bread in the oven.

Using the 36 hour technique I adapted from TxFarmer's blog posts on The Fresh Loaf, I made a hearty style loaf with my favorite cherry flavored tea, fresh chopped cherries and some oat flour.  I used the oat flour in the levain as well as the final dough.  Some potato flour and malted wheat flakes were added to round out this dough.

The end result was a nice moist crumb with a great chewy crust with cherry chunks.  This was a large loaf and took almost 2 hours to bake.  I lowered the temperature to 425 F. to prevent the crust from getting too dark which is one of the reasons why it took so long.

This exciting technique takes a while but it is worth it. I actually let the dough retard longer than 24 hours called for in the recipe due to my schedule and I don't think it effected the final bread either way.


Starter Build 1

104 grams Seed Starter (Mine is a 65% White AP starter)

100 grams Oat Flour (KAF)

200 grams European Style Flour (KAF)

203 grams Water at Room Temperature (80-90 degrees F.)

Mix ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined.  Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for around 8 hours.  The starter should almost double when ready to proceed.

Starter Build 2

All Starter from Build #1:

35 grams Water at Room Temperature (80-90 degrees F.)

Mix ingredients in a bowl until thoroughly combined.  Cover the bowl and let it sit at room temperature for around  4 - 6 hours.  The starter should almost double when ready to proceed.

Main Dough Ingredients

300 grams  Starter  from above (note: you should have a small amount left over)

450 grams European Style Flour

200 grams Oat Flour (KAF)

100 grams Potato Flour

100 grams Malted Wheat Flakes

20 grams Seas Salt or Table Salt

88 grams Fresh Cherries (Pitted and chopped)

600 grams Cherry Tea Iced  (Make sure the tea is ice-cold before using.  I added the hot tea to ice cubes)


Mix the flours, malted wheat flakes and the ice tea together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Put the dough in a slightly covered oiled bowl and put in the refrigerator for 12 hours.

The next day add your starter and salt to the dough and mix by hand until it is thoroughly mixed and evenly distributed.  Due to the high water content in the 100% hydration starter this dough is very easy to mix by hand and is very silky and smooth.

Bulk rise at room temperature for 2-3 hours until it grows around 1/3 in volume doing stretch and folds every half hour until it has developed the correct amount of strength.  During the last stretch and fold flatten out the dough slightly into a rectangle and add the chopped cherries.

Put the dough back into the refrigerator for around 20-30 hours.  I ended up letting it go around 30 hours.

When you take the dough out of the refrigerator you want it to have almost doubled in volume.  Mine only rose about 1/3 in volume.  Let it rise at room temperature for around 2 hours or until the dough has doubled from the night before.

Next, shape as desired.  I made a large Miche and placed it in my cloth lined basket.  Make sure you use enough rice flour with flour in your bowl/basket to prevent this moist dough from sticking.

Cover the dough with a moist towel and let sit at room temperature for 1.5 to 2 hours.

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

Set your oven for 500 degrees F. at least 45 minutes before ready to bake.  When ready to bake place the loaves into your on  your oven stone with steam and lower the temperature immediately to 450 degrees.   Since this loaf was so big I ended up lowering the oven after 35 minutes to around 425 degrees.  When the loaf is nice and brown and reached an internal temperature of 200 degrees F. you can remove it from the oven.

Let the loaves cool down for at least an 3 hours or so before eating as desired.

Cat-Angel Bell Weathering the Storm
The Dolphin is Trying to stay above the snow
Misty waiting for some Cherry Sourdough.....okay so she's waiting for some Kibble!


Floydm's picture

Sounds wonderful, and glad to see you are comfortably weathering the storm. 

isand66's picture

Thanks Floyd... Appreciate it.

dabrownman's picture

keep you comfy while snowed in.    Really like how this bread looks in the inside and outside.  A nice piece of work Ian!  Lucy says high to Misty too.

With a 642 g levain build and using only 300 g of that for this bake, more than half of the levain is left over - is that the small amount..... or did you double the recipe and end up with only 42 g left over>  I thought for a minute you were taking up my last bake's 625 g insanely huge levain build where I used it all in one huge oval, but your recipe only called for 300 g of levain.  Or are you going to use the remaining levain for another bread this weekend?

A two hour bake is much longer than anything we have done outside of 100% rye in a tin baked low and slow for hours.  Even my last bake big bake only took an hour at lower temperatures too.  So how long did you have the steam in for this bake?  I'm pretty sure if I baked a bread, even a big one,  at this temp for 2 hours it would be ashes :-)  All you got was a really nice dark, thick crust like it should be.

Like you we love oats and potato in our breads.  They just taste better, rise better and spring better than breads without them for some reason.  We like your bulk ferment process too.

Nice baking again Ian.  Glad you got your shoveling done.  The lettuce seeds I planted earlier in the week has been coming up the last so all I had to do today is water it :-)

isand66's picture

Thanks DA.  You are right I should really change the wording to a lot of levain left over.  I was originally going to use cost of it in my normal formula using 425 grams but I decided to follow TxFarmers basic formula and doubled it.  Still only needed 300 grams though.  I saveEd the balance but not sure if I will use it or not.  I can't believe this took so long to bake but it came out real well.

look forward to seeing your next bake.


dabrownman's picture

the last of the panettone SD levain buy building it some more starting tonight for Valentine Rose on Monday.  I think we will tr to make the Vienna Bread pink somehow..... maybe cranberry juice for the liquid or some beet juice, use some sun dried tomato, pasta sauce, salsa, ......anything red we can find - do you have any ideas?

isand66's picture

I think the beet juice will work out the best for the red look.  I've tried tomato paste which works okay but I think the beet juice may give you the darkest red color.  You could try grape juice which could work.

look forward to seeing your Valentine Day Rose.

varda's picture

is very pretty and looks like everyone weathered the storm just fine.   We did too.   Just sooooo much snow.   -Varda

isand66's picture

Thank you Varda.

Glad you like it and Happy to hear that you came out ok as well.



pmccool's picture

Some dark chocolate chunks would play off the cherries very nicely, hmm?

Beautiful bread.


isand66's picture

Thanks Paul...that's a great idea.  I will try that the next time!



dabrownman's picture

is on to something.  I got some chocolate covered dried cherries at Sprouts a few months ago thinking to put in some bread but they never lasted long enough to actually get in any :-)  Went back to get some more but - they were gone!  I keep watching for them every week but alas no luck yet.

isand66's picture

I think I would have the same problem :)

volvik's picture

Wow that sure looks good...well done!

I have a couple of quick rookie questions:

1.  This recipe makes two loaves?

2.  When you mentioned you flattened it out and formed a rectangular and dropped the cherries on it before putting it into the fridge.  Once the cherries were dropped on did you work the dough again to mix them in or at least form some type of ball?

3.  I don't have access to European style flour,  if I used bread flour instead should I add a small percentage of dark rye and whole wheat?

Thanks....     Ron

isand66's picture

Thanks Ron for your kind words.

1) You can easily make 2 medium size loaves out of this recipe, just divide the dough before you shape it.

2) I usually would mix the chopped cherries in before the bulk ferment, but this time before the last stretch and fold I flattened the dough out very lightly and added the cherries.  You can also add the cherries right before you shape the dough into loaves if you prefer.  Just be sure to be very gentle or you will end up losing all your nice CO2 in the dough that has developed.  To answer your question though, I did work the dough slightly by doing some stretch and folds to make sure the cherries were worked into the dough sufficiently.  Again, you don't want to handle the dough too much since you want the dough to develop properly.

3) You can add a small amount of rye or whole wheat which I'm sure will be great.  If not, just use bread flour and the bread will be fine.

If you try this recipe please sure to let me know how it came out and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask.



volvik's picture

Thanks Ian...I have access to all the other ingredients except for the Malted Wheat Flakes.  My last resort is to drop by a local artisan baker's shop and ask if he uses them and where he gets them.  They've been added to my shopping list for when I'm down in the States in May.  That and some KAF.

isand66's picture

You are most welcome.  Where do you live?  I usually buy most of my ingredients from King Arthur Flour which is where the Malted Wheat Flakes came from.  You may be able to find them online on another site that can ship to your home country.