The Fresh Loaf

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Durum WW Cherry Egg Sourdough

Isand66's picture

Durum WW Cherry Egg Sourdough

It's been a while since I made a bread using eggs. I wanted to make something using fresh milled durum as well and included some freshly milled Stardust whole wheat from Barton Springs Mill.

I love cherries so I added some dried cherries that I soaked in water to rehydrate them and used the water in the main dough. I've recently read on a Facebook post that using freeze-dried fruit is actually the best way to go. I will definitely have to try that soon. In any case I should have doubled the amount of cherries as it wasn't nearly enough.

I laminated the cherries in the dough after the first round of stretch and folds after mixing. I need some more practice with this technique as usually I just add in the inclusions at the end of mixing. I didn't get even distribution with the lamination so I have some work to do.

The whole wheat and durum berries were both milled with my Mockmill 200 and sifted with a #30 drum sieve, and re-milled at the finest setting and then sifted with a #40.

Some KAF bread flour was used to build the levain and in the main dough.

I used egg yolks which are about 48% water and don't tend to dry out the crumb like egg whites do.

This was pretty high hydration dough and the egg flavor really came through. The durum and Stardust WW flours along with the cherries made this bread taste like a supped up Challah. The crumb came out nice and open. This is a keeper for sure.


Gracie was desperately trying to get into my bread photo!


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 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

Note: I use an Ankarsrum Mixer so my order of mixing is slightly different than if using a Kitchenaid or other mixer. Add all your liquid to your mixing bowl except 50-80 grams. Next, add all your flour to the bowl and mix on low for a minute until it forms a shaggy mass. Cover the mixing bowl and let it rest for an hour.   Next add the eggs, salt, maple syrup, and remaining water as needed and mix on medium low (about speed 3) for 12- 24 minutes.  If you are using a more traditional mixer you would only mix around 7-10 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.  Laminate the dough and add the cherries. Let it rest another 10-15 minutes and do one additional stretch and fold.  After a total of 1.45 hours place your covered bowl in the refrigerator and let it rest for 12 to 24 hours. I use my proofer set at 79-80 degrees. If you are leaving it at room temperature 72 degrees I would let it sit out for 2 -2.5 hours before refrigerating. Depending on how developed the dough is after the initial mix you may not need to do as many S&F's.

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 1 hour.  Remove the dough and do a pre-shape into a round(s). Let it sit covered for around 15-20 minutes. Next shape as desired and add to your proofing baskets/bannetons 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.

Around 45 minutes before ready to bake, pre-heat your oven to 540 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 455 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. 



JonJ's picture

Definitely a keeper Ian, well done! Think you've solved the conundrum of how best to use cherries in bread - add egg and make it like a challah.


Isand66's picture

The only thing I would change would be to use more cherries!

Appreciate your comment.

Happy Baking!



pmccool's picture

That looks like a very tasty loaf of bread.  More cherries sounds like a good thing, too.  Maybe some toasted pecans?

I anticipate that this bread would also make some very good French toast.


Isand66's picture

You must be reading my mind!  I originally was going to add some pecans but changed my mind at the last moment.  I would definitely try that the next time.  This is a great bread for French Toast for sure.

Best regards,


Benito's picture

That looks right up my alley.  Despite the fact that I don’t make it often, challah is one of my favourite.  But your amped up challah style bread with cherries sounds even better.  Beautiful loaf Ian.


Isand66's picture

You would definitely enjoy this one.  It was great toasted with some cream cheese and made a great tuna sandwich.  Always appreciate your feedback.

Happy Baking!