Cherry Chocolate Rye Levain
This bread is a great breakfast Sourdough bread. The Rye flour, chocolate and cherries works well with the sourdough flavor. This is another stretch bread. It is called a stretch bread because it is not kneaded but instead is gently stretched 3 or 4 times. A stretched dough is a technique that literally stretches the dough to aid the formation of a gluten network. This is done during the first fermentation when the dough is folded onto itself. Stretched bread are typically high hydration dough (high water content). This recipe is a high-hydration bread yet lower than many, around 77%, making it easier for the baker to handle and stretch. Don’t be fooled by the lower water content; its crumb is soft and moist and light as a feather.
My levain is stored at room temperature (60 to 77 degrees), not in the refrigerator. Please read my blog on starters for more information.
Autolyse and the first fermentation are at a much higher temperature than most at 85 degrees F. This is because my starter is naturally full of lactic acid bacteria and these lactic acid bacteria (LAB) like the heat.
I always perform a bench rest. The bench rest for this recipe is 30 minutes. Proofing is retarded in the refrigerator for 12 hours which helps to slow the fermentation down a bit and adds structure when turning the loaf into the dutch oven. I use both tart and sweet cherries which tasts great with the sourdough.
Quail Hollow Kitchens’ Cherry Chocolate Rye Levain
Overall Formula - Makes 2 large 500 gram loafs
200 g Rye (whole grain Central Milling – milled fine in a KoMo grain Mill)
300 g AP flour (Bobs Red Mill Organic) See note below
500 g bread flour (Kind Author Organic) See note below
750 g water non-chlorinated (hold back 4 TB approx. 50 grams)
200 g AP flour starter (feed in the last 6 hours, do a float test)
25 g sea salt
18 grams Unsweetened Dutch-processed cocoa powder
2 cups mixed dry cherries both tart and sweet about 250 grams
(1 cup slivered almonds optional)
Liquid-Levain Build (your starter build)
200 g Ap Flour
200 g water
50 g mature starter
Day 1. Mix liquid levain about 6 to 12 hours before the final mix and let stand covered at room temperature about 65 degrees F
Day 2. Next day warm water to 84 degrees. Mix levain and water (except hold back). Next add flours. Slowly incorporate in bread flour until soft dough forms.
Allow to rest covered for 2 hours in 85 degrees F in a proof box. After the 2 hours gently fold in chocolate, water and salt. Fold until well incorporated then fold in cherries (and optional nuts)
Continue in proof box at 85 degrees for an additional hour and a half During this time gently fold dough every 30 minutes. This should be three additional folds after the salt addition. Remove dough from box, cover with a towel and allow to rise slowly for an additional hour and 1/2, you will see an increase in volume, large fermentation bubbles, and the dough will have a slight spring to its texture.
Next empty contents of bowl onto a lightly floured bread board. .Split dough in ½ allow to rest 30 minutes
Shape dough into boule and place into well-floured proofing basket. Cover with plastic. Retard dough overnight in refrigerator for 12 hours.
Day 3. Preheat oven to 500 degrees F with a Dutch oven inside. Remove from refrigerator breads, slash with bread lame, and bake in a cover cloche which has been fully preheated to 465 degrees F for 25 minutes.
Remove cloche lid and continue baking for an additional 5 minutes or until the internal temperature is above 200 yet below 210.
Food Science Notes: “Levains may be manipulated with hydration, time and temperature to produce more or less acidic flavor profiles and may be used in all types of dough, including sweet dough.” This recipe and its technique is published and copy right to Quail Hollow Kitchens.