The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Hard Cider Cherry Rye Bread

isand66's picture

Hard Cider Cherry Rye Bread

 Last weekend I was lucky enough to journey back to one of my favorite states Vermont and visit King Arthur Flour as well as some other local attractions.  We enjoyed some great meals at the Norwich Inn and Simon Pearce Glass which blows their own glassware. 

The new expanded store and bakery at KAF was amazing and we felt like kids in a candy store loading up our shopping cart to the top with baking goodies.  We also managed to find some great Vermont maple syrup, honey and raspberry apple sauce along with some Vermont Hard Cider.  The last 2 ingredients were the inspiration for this latest bake.

I originally wanted to add some cranberries but I only had dried cherries in the house so in they went as a substitute.Ingredients

I think hard cider goes great with rye so I used a fair amount of dark rye flour in this bake and I added some spelt which add a nice nutty flavor.  I don't think you can really taste the raspberry apple sauce but it added a nice moist texture and compliments the cider and cherries very well.

The end result was a nice moist bread with a great crust, fairly open crumb for this mix of flours and a tasty bread all around.



Levain Directions

Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap.  Let it sit at room temperature for around 7-8 hours or until the starter has doubled.  I usually do this the night before.

Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.


 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flours, and hard cider together in your mixer or by hand until it just starts to come together, maybe about 1 minute.  Let it rest in your work bowl covered for 20-30 minutes.  Next add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), and the rest of the ingredients (except the cherries) and mix on low for 5 minutes.  Now add the cherries and mix until distributed for about 1 minute.   Remove the dough from your bowl and place it in a lightly oiled bowl or work surface and do several stretch and folds.  Let it rest covered for 10-15 minutes and then do another stretch and fold.  Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 2 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours.

When you are ready to bake remove the bowl from the refrigerator and let it set out at room temperature still covered for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove the dough and shape as desired.  I decided to add some oat bran to the bottom of the baskets to add some nice texture to the finished loaves.  Next place your dough into your proofing basket(s) and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap sprayed with cooking spray.


The dough will take 1.5 to 2 hours depending on your room temperature.  Let the dough dictate when it is ready to bake not the clock.

Around 45 minutes before you are ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 550 degrees F. and prepare it for steam.  I have a heavy-duty baking pan on the bottom rack of my oven with 1 baking stone on a shelf above the pan and one on the top shelf.


Right before you are ready to put them in the oven, score as desired and then add 1 cup of boiling water to your steam pan or follow your own steam procedure.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for 35-50 minutes until the crust is nice and brown and the internal temperature of the bread is 205 degrees.

Take the bread out of the oven when done and let it cool on a bakers rack before for at least 2 hours before eating.

Crumb crumbcloseup    



dabrownman's picture

we love around here.  Perfect for breakfast toast and lunch sandwiches.  That Woodchuck Apple Cider is what sweertbird used for her buckwheat bread too and it was local for her.  Sad the raspberry applesauce didn't come through more and I'm sure that made the hydration calcs interesting too.  Love the oat bran contrasting with the slashes  Very nice crumb and crust on this one and from the looks of it the crumb is very soft and moist too.  Has to be tasty.  We like this one a lot - even with the cherries.

I just checked the applesauce cups my wife bought a long time ago and never managed to eat.  They went out of date last May so Lucy will have to boil it first to kill anything that might be hanging out in there before baking with it and get rid of some of the water at the same time. I've been wanting to use it but just forgot it was there till your post,   Well done and

Happy baking Ian 

isand66's picture

Thanks DA appreciate it.  I put the hydration in at 86% for the applesauce and I think that's about right.  I really enjoyed this one and it made great toast this morning with a smear.

Happy baking and have a great weekend.


limmitedbaking's picture

Nice baking Ian! Does the Cider flavour come through in the loaf? I was thinking of going with apple sauce too but it seems like it did not really contribute much flavour, only moisture. Quite surprised by that, as I would expect cooked down apples to be flavourful.


isand66's picture

Thanks Tim.

I would say you do get some of the flavor from the cider but it is subtle but worth it.  The apple sauce adds some moisture and I think it does add to the overall flavor profile but unless I tried the bread without it I don't know how much.


Casey_Powers's picture

What a trip to remember and seal the deal in boules and ovals!  The cider with the raspberry applesauce sounds so wonderful.  You and DA are inspiring me to venture out of a recipe and add in items.  I enjoy reading your New additions.

Warm Regards,


isand66's picture

Appreciate your comment Casey.  I'm glad DA and myself are inspiring you to try some new things and I hope you do.  It is worth the effort and fun experimenting with different ingredients and layers of flavor.

Look forward to seeing your next bake.


wassisname's picture

These look great and sound delicious, Ian!  The crumb really came out nicely for a hearty bread.  I love the visual effect that the oat bran gives to the loaves - it makes me think of winter just around the corner (maybe I shouldn't say that too loudly).  Very nice!


isand66's picture

Thanks Marcus....

Right on about the oat bran...I just started using this as a texture additive and I really like the affect.  I agree about the winter was almost 70 degrees F. here on Long Island, NY which is way above normal and I'm not complaining.

Thanks again for your comments.


Mebake's picture

What a joyeous trip it must have been, Ian!

Very heart warming Rye you baked there, it looks very healthy and beautiful. You should have been a cook, you know how to complement flavors well.


isand66's picture

Thank you so much Khalid.  I do enjoy cooking as well so I guess it rubs off a little on my bread making as well.

Hope your pastry classes are gong well.