Chocolate Cherry Sourdough
This sourdough loaf is a delightfully indulgent treat, loaded with chunks of dark chocolate and dried cherries. While it blurs the line between bread and dessert, eating this bread for breakfast is just as acceptable as after dinner.
We used a sweet levain for this dough to minimize sourness and let the flavor of the chocolate and cherries shine through. Often used in enriched sourdoughs and pastry, a sweet levain produces bread with a less sour taste because sugar limits bacterial activity in the levain. Therefore, less acid is carried over into the final loaf. (This loaf will turn out beautifully if you use a regular levain instead of a sweet.)
We took inspiration from our friend Maurizio Leo of The Perfect Loaf and bloomed the cocoa powder in warm oil before incorporating it into the dough. Just as when cooking with spices, this helps to intensify the flavor and give the dough a rich chocolate flavor.