The Fresh Loaf

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XXI – For Codruta : Cocoa Sourdough with Cranberries, Walnuts and Orange Peels

lumos's picture

XXI – For Codruta : Cocoa Sourdough with Cranberries, Walnuts and Orange Peels

I was actually thinking of blogging about something else, but since Codruta’s brilliant idea,  World Bread Day was launched today,  I decided I’ll post a formula for the cocoa sourdough submitted to her project.


So thisblog  entry is for you, Codruta. 

Well done on your wonderful project and thank you very much for letting us be part of it.




This bread is basically same as Cocoa Flavoured Sourdough with Cranberries and Walnuts I wrote about in my second blog entry,  but with some modifications and addition of orange peels.

This converted my friend (the culprit of misleading naming of  ‘Faux Poilane’),  who used to think dried fruits should belong to cakes, never to breads  into a avid fruited bread eater……..well, almost.   This is the only fruited bread she eats, and she always includes this bread in her order of breads.

Hope you like it, too.  


WARNING to hardcore chocoholics - This is NOT a gooey and sweet chocolate heaven you may be dreaming of.  The cocoa powder is there to give some depth and richness to the crumb, with just a hint of cocoa aroma. Nothing more, nothing less. You are warned! :p


Cocoa Flavoured Sourdough with Cranberries, Walnuts and Orange Peels



Very active S/D (75% hydration)  90g

Strong Flour  210g*(See 'Note1' below)

Plain Flour  60g*(see 'Note1' below)

WW Flour  30g

Instant active dried yeast  0.2g (optional)

Skimmed Milk Powder  1tbls

Cocoa powder  15g

Clear honey  2-3 tsp (or more if you like it sweeter)

Olive Oil  1 tbls

Water  215 – 225g

Salt 6g

 Filling … 60g dried cranberries,  50g chopped walnuts (see Note2, below), 30g chopped orange peel 



  1. Feed S/D during 8-12hrs period before you plan to use it.
  2. Mix flours, skimmed milk, cocoa, dried yeast(if using) in a large bowl.
  3. Put S/D, water, honey and olive oil in a separate bowl and mix to loosen S/D.
  4. Pour S/D water mix onto the bowl of flours and mix until no dried bits is left. (Cocoa powder seems to have a tendency to stiffen the dough, so you may want to add a little more water)  
  5. Cover and rest for 40-45 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle salt on the dough and stretch and fold until the salt is well distributed through the dough.
  7. Rest for 45 minutes.
  8. Two more sessions of S & F at 45 minutes intervals.
  9. 30 minutes after the last S & F, put the dough on worktop and spread it  spread into a large rectangle.
  10. Sprinkle 2/3 of the fillings onto 2/3 of the surface of the dough. Letter-fold the dough, firstly the part without the filling then the other part.  Repeat the same process with the remaining fillings.
  11. Cover and rest for 20 minutes.
  12. Shape and put in a banetton and cold retard in the fridge for 8 – 16 hours. (See Note3, below)  
  13. Take the dough out of the fridge and leave for 30 minute-1 hr to bring it back to room temperature. (Note: You may need to leave longer if the dough is not fully-proofed during the cold retard)
  14. Bake in a pre-heated pot/pyrex casserole with a lid at 240℃ for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, lower the temperature to 200℃ and bake for another 20-25 minutes.


*Note 1 :  If you can get hold of AP flour, you can replace all the white flours (Strong and Plain) with it.

*Note 2 : I usually dry-roast walnuts in a frying pan before I use it to improve the flavour, but it’s optional.

 *Note 3 :  In my original formula, I bulk-fermented in the fridge, then pre-shape → shape → proof at room temperature, which works just fine, too.  But I’ve found cold-retarding after shaped would give me more texture, so this is how I do it lately.  But if you do, prepare yourself for a possible stained banetton from the cranberries!! You are warned. :p












codruta's picture

Thank you, Lumos. This is definetely a delicious-tasteful-nice looking- bread. It makes me think of holidays and lazy mornings. It looks perfect for breakfast. It has already been admired by my readers and they asked the recipe. I will put a link here.

Also, thank you for this gift-post and your nice words.

Happy World Bread Day, Lumos!

codruta's picture

Also, Lumos, please allow me to make this announcement: my post is still open today, if anyone wants to send me photos of a bread (500px width), I'll update my post. Thank you. My email adress is codruta at

codruta's picture

Lumos, why don't you send your bread to

It looks like a big event, and your bread is outstanding.

lumos's picture

Thank you, Codruta, for your kind words and letting me join your World Bread Day.

This bread is actually one of my daughter's favourite breads for breakfast, but it'd be good for tea-time with warm milk or, better still, hot chocolate, I think.

Nah, your World Bread Day event is good enough for me. It's really a rare occasion for me to venture out the familiar safe haven of TFL. I don't even submit my bread to Wild Yeast. ;)

best wishes,


codruta's picture

so far, your bread is the most appreciated by my readers. All of them mentioned you in their comments. The cranberries and walnuts seem like a winning combintion. And your pictures are pretty mouthwatering :)


lumos's picture

I feel really  flattered. Thank you for letting me know. :)

You can't  go wrong with the combination of cocoa, cranberry and walnuts, really. :p

Salilah's picture

Very attractive with the dark crumb and different fruits - another one added to my list! (probably for Christmas?)

Thanks for sharing!

lumos's picture

Thanks!   Yeah, the combination of cranberry, walnut and orange is rather Chrismassy, isn't it? ;)  This dough works very well with other dried fruits, like figs, apricot, pears, too.  Another friend of mine loves it just with lots of walnuts.


varda's picture

Looks like a very nice, rich bread.   I love your scoring.  -Varda

lumos's picture

Thank you, Varda!  That's a new style of  scoring I learned   at Lighthouse Bakery School.


PiPs's picture

Oooh, the buttered one for me please ... Have seen a few chocolate/cocoa breads around but have never eaten or made one. I can imagine this bread with pistachios as well.

Cheers, Phil

lumos's picture

LOL yeah, it's quite nice with butter. Works well with cream cheese, too.

Never used pistachio for this, but I'm sure it'll work.  Other nuts I sometimes use are hazelnuts, pecans and almonds.

As I said in the post, it's not really chocolaty.  You just get a whiff of cocoa aroma when you bite into it.  It's really interesting how cocoa gives depth to the crumb.  Please try it. Interested to hear what you'd think of its effect.



breadsong's picture

...and a fine submission you created in honor of the day!
What a combination of tantalizing flavors.
:^) from breadsong

lumos's picture

Thank you, Breadsong!  Lovely to see you. :)

I used to make this with instant coffee granules a lot, but found out cocoa works better.

codruta's picture

Lumos, I have a message for you from one of my romanian readers (her name is Liz), who saw your bread on WBD and made it imediately. I quote her:

"I made this bread using AYW instead of sourdough, and I used a little bit of rye flour in the formula and I incresead the amount of cocoa. The crust burnt a little, but te smell of the dough and on the crumb was unbelievable delicious. We ate it imediately with some friends, so I have no crumb photos. Thank you Lumos for this wonderful recipe. here is a photo taken right after I pulled it out of the oven"

Andreea also made this bread a few days ago, she replaced cranberries with dried cherries and she wrote to me in an email "this bread is sensational"

:) codruta

lumos's picture

Hi, Codruta

Thank you very much letting me know. So glad to hear your readers like my bread.

Please pass my best wishes and thanks to them for trying out my recipe.