The Fresh Loaf

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cmatecun's picture


This loaf was a complete toss-up when I put it together, but the combination of tart cherries, crunchy pecans, and tangy sourdough with a hint of coffee-infused ale in the background makes for a delicious loaf. The flavors are complex, but not too complicated to stop you from being able to still taste each ingredient-- just the way I like it. 

This bake had a crisp crust and an incredibly moist crumb, but I would have liked to see a bit more oven spring. Any suggestions? I'm thinking I may have been a bit too forceful with the dough during the bulk fermentation. Thoughts? 

 Here's the method I used (yields 2 loaves)   The Night Before You Make Your Dough Prepare 250 leaven by adding...
  • 125g warm water (my thermometer is broken... so you're just gonna have to go by feel on this one)
  • 125g whole wheat flour
  • 20g starter
 The next morning 
  • Dissolve the 250g of leaven in 210g water along with 500g of a strongly flavored beer and let it autolyse for a full hour. Be sure to keep an eye on the dough temperature here--you may want to warm your beer up (at least to room temperature) unless you want a slower bulk fermentation later.  
  • At the end of the autolyse, pinch in 20g of salt along with your remaining 50g of water. Here's the schedule I followed for the bulk fermentation.
  • *I added in the pecans and cherries during the second turn so they would become incorporated during the next couple of folds. 
 Bulk Fermentation 
  • 30 mins: turn 1
  • 60 mins: turn 2 (add in chopped pecans and cherries). 
  • 90 mins: turn 3
  • 120 mins: turn 4 --> move to the fridge for the next 2 hours
  • 240 mins: remove from fridge
 Pre-Shape, Shape, and Proof 
  • After pulling it out of the fridge I pre-shaped, covered it with a towel, and let it rest at room temperature for 20 minutes. 
  • Finally I did a quick final shaping, nestled it in my fake banneton, and tossed it in the fridge to proof overnight. In the end it proofed for 14.5 hours. 
  • Preheat a cast iron pot inside your oven at 500 degrees (let it sit for at least 60 mins)
  • Gently place your dough inside and bake, covered, for 20 mins at 500. 
  • Reduce the heat to 450 and continue to bake, covered, for 10 mins. 
  • Pull off the lid and continue baking until the crust is golden brown--around 18 minutes for me. 
  • Remove from the oven and let it rest for an least a hour... by far the hardest part! 
 Here's the full ingredient list 
  • 250g leaven (100% whole wheat
  • 800g bread flour
  • 200g whole wheat flour
  • 210g water + 50g water
  • 500g of beer (I used a bottle of Joe Coffee Porter from Philadelphia Brewing)
  • 20g salt
  • 100 g dried cherries
  • 200 g roughly chopped pecans (toasted)
 Happy baking!  Chase
cmatecun's picture

Inspired by one of the many killer loaves I had eaten at High Street on Market in Philadelphia, I decided to try and recreate their buckwheat cherry bread. They haven't shared their recipe, so I played around with a basic sourdough cherry bread recipe and subbed in 20% buckwheat flour. 

This version ended up with a moist crumb, a chewy crust, and a great flavor balance from the nutty buckwheat and the tart cherries. Just as good as High Street's, if you ask me. It's delicious toasted for breakfast or just devoured on its own. 

To start off I fed my starter at night to create the leaven. The next morning I mixed the final dough, mixing the leaven, water, and flour together and letting it autolyse for 30 minutes. After the autolyse period I mixed in the cherries and salt using the finger pinch technique (thank you Chad Robertson) and tossed it in the oven at 85 degrees for its bulk fermentation. Following the Tartine method, I turned the dough once every 30 minutes for the first two hours of bulk fermentation (4 turns) and then left it to sit undisturbed for one more hour. 

The dough looked ready, so I pre-shaped my boule and let it set for a 20 minute bench rest. One more shaping and off into the fridge it went for 18 hours. 

I baked it the next morning in my Lodge enamel/cast iron dutch oven. 20 minutes covered at 450 degrees and then 14 minutes uncovered with the oven on convection bake at 440 degrees. 


1 spoonful starter

30g buckwheat flour (Bob's Red Mill)

30g bread flour (King Arthur)

60g filtered water


Final Dough

120 g leaven

270g bread flour

30g buckwheat flour

210g water @ 85 degrees F

8g salt

150g dried tart cherries


-Mix dough with leaven, adding in cherries and salt after 30 minute autolyse. 

-4 hours bulk fermentation at 85 degrees with 4 turns during the first 2 hours. 

-Pre-shape followed by a 20 minute bench rest, followed by the real shaping. 

-Proof in the fridge for 18 hours. 

-Bake covered at 450 for 20 minutes

-Bake uncovered on convection at 440 for 14 minutes

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