The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

Cherry Whole Wheat with Grits Sourdough

Isand66's picture

Cherry Whole Wheat with Grits Sourdough


Cherry season is going strong and they are readily available for a good price at the supermarket so I figured it was a good time to bake another version.

I had some leftover grits from a recent brunch so that was added for some extra texture and flavor. These had some cheese and butter added and added quite a bit of extra hydration along with the fresh cherries to the dough. The cherries were pitted and cut into pieces and drained in some paper towels before adding.

I used another one of my new favorites from Barton Springs Mill Big Country wheat berries, milled in my MockMill 200 and sifted, re-milled and sifted again.

The dough was very hydrated with the extra moisture from the cherries and grits but ended up producing a nice moist and flavorful bread. The crumb was not as open as I had hoped but this bread makes great toast and grilled bread with some fresh olive oil and mozzarella.

I love the flavor profile on this bake.  The fresh whole wheat and rye combined with the rice and honey created a moist and flavorful crumb.


Levain Directions 

Mix all the levain ingredients together for about 1 minute and cover with plastic wrap. I used bottled cherry juice but you could easily substitute it for water. Let it sit at room temperature for around 6-7 hours or until the starter has almost doubled.  I used my proofer set at 76 degrees so it took around 5 hours for me.  Either use in the main dough immediately or refrigerate for up to 1 day before using.

 Main Dough Procedure

Mix the flour and liquids (leave about 50 -70 grams to add after the first mix), 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.  After 30 minutes or so  add the salt, starter (cut into about 7-8 pieces), grits and remaining water as needed and mix on low for 5 minutes.  Add the cherries and mix for a minute until they are fully incorporated or you can take the dough out of the mixer and gently spread it out on your work surface and laminate the  Note: If you are using the Ankarsrum mixer like I do, add your water to the bowl first then add in the starter and flours.  After your autolyse add in the salt, rice, honey and remaining water and mix on low to medium low for 15-20 minutes.

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 1.5 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 or if using a proofer set at 80 degrees for one hour.  (Note:  this is a very sticky dough, so make sure to add plenty of rice flour to your bannetons if using).  Remove the dough and shape as desired and cover with a moist tea towel or plastic wrap Sprayed with cooking spray and let rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 – 2 hours.  (I use my proofer set at 80 F and it takes about 1 hour to 1.5 hours).

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 500 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 above the pan and one on the top shelf.  I pour 1 cup of boiling water in the pan right after I place the dough in the oven.

After 1 minute lower the temperature to 450 degrees.  Bake for around 35 minutes or until the breads are nice and brown and have an internal temperature around 200-210 F. 

Take the bread(s) out of the oven when done and let them cool on a bakers rack for as long as you can resist. 


Benito's picture

You are brave using fresh cherries in your bread!  So much additional water from fresh cherries.  I think what you’ve baked up looks excellent and I bet tastes amazing.  Well done Ian.


Isand66's picture

It definitely was a challenge using the fresh cherries but as long as you hold back some of the water it’s manageable.  Thank you for your comments and glad you liked it.  
Best regards,


CalBeachBaker's picture


That looks yummy. Nice blistering on the crust and a nice looking crumb. I'll bet it tastes great great when toasted.

You've inspired me to add some cherries to a bake soon.


Isand66's picture

Yes it was very nice toasted with some butter or cheese.