The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Myhrvold chocolate-cherry sourdough

Felila's picture

Myhrvold chocolate-cherry sourdough

It was from a $600 cookbook. It was featured in the New York Times. Sounded good. Didn't work out as planned. 

Of course, after I plunged into the recipe, I discovered that I should have read it first. I was hobbled by an aging oven and lack of equipment. Oven's top element shorted out and oven is too old to get a replacement. Oven does not go over 360 F. Recipe wanted 500 F. Recipe wanted a banneton; don't have. Recipe wanted me to bake in a dutch oven; I have one, but only one, and I needed to make two loaves (one for home, one to take to my zen center). So I improvised wildly and ended up with dense loaves that are so strongly chocolate (and coffee and sourdough) that I I do not like them. 

It may also have been a mistake to use dark chocolate chocolate chips. 

Recipe was an interesting combination of techniques: pannetone, retarding in refrigerator, baking in dutch oven a la no-knead bread. I think it might have worked if done exactly as required, but it certainly did not degrade gracefully.

 But other people like the bread. A friend said the preponderance of dried cherries reminds him of fruitcake. 

Would be interested to hear if other people succeeded with this recipe and how it turned out. I think it might have been intended to be chocolate panettone. 

clazar123's picture

Here is a link to the recipe:

Intriguing recipe-described as not savory but not sweet. Hmm...did it taste a bit bitter? I'm not so sure about this flavor profile. Chocolate-cherry and coffee (tho there is not much coffee) in a sourdough.

Was the book really $600???? Yikes!


Felila's picture

I thought that the result was somewhat bitter. I do not drink coffee. My chocolate-fanatic coffee-swilling friend loved it. 

MonkeyDaddy's picture

very proud of his cookbooks.  

Just a cursory Amazon search:  

  • Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking (5-volume boxed set) $499.78
  • Modernist Cuisine at Home (Single volume) $112.50
  • Modernist Bread (5-volume boxed set) $562.50

The NYT article states the recipe came from Modernist Bread, and at the time it was written they state that the list price was $625, so it's very believable that somebody somewhere was charging $600 for the books.

And I thought $75.00 was exorbitant for a PDF copy of The Taste of Bread


suave's picture

I have books that are more expensive than $130 per volume.

suave's picture

It does not really look anything like panettone.  It does, however, very much remind Nancy Silverton's chocolate cherry sourdough.

Felila's picture

I think it might be interesting to make a filling of milk chocolate chips and chopped dried cherries and swirl it into a rich egg-milk-sugar-white flour dough made with instant yeast rather than sourdough.


Piecycle's picture

I made a sourdough loaf without the dried cherries or chocolate chips.  Instead, I used frozen dark cherries and cocoa and yes a little dark coffee, a little cardamon, and dark rye flour.  Made a pleasing breakfast bread