Chocolate Stout Sourdough with Fresh Cherries and Hazelnuts

I spent most of this past weekend making things to restock our freezer.  We’ll be out of town the next two weekends and I’ll be starting up school again at night in a few weeks so it was a good time to make a few things to have in the freezer for those nights we don’t really feel like cooking.  I made some tasty lasagna with veggies from the farmers market (post next week) in addition to a pan of the cilantro-lime chicken bake (added peppers and onions this time).  But, of course, I had to make some time for bread in there too!


I found this recipe about two weeks ago on the front page of The Fresh Loaf and it shot to the top of my ‘to make’ list.  I’ve made things with dried cherries before but was intrigued by the idea of using fresh ones, which are of course in no short supply here in Michigan in the summer.  The finished loaf has a great crisp crust and moist crumb with chewy pieces of cherry and crunch hazelnuts inside.

I made three different loaves since two were getting sent to people and I wanted one for us.  I made two in a loaf pan and one in my cast iron combo cooker.  Both turned out really well although the crust on the combo cooker loaf was a bit thicker and crisper.


I used a pint of Rogue chocolate stout between two of the loaves and just water in the third one.  The recipe called for 370 grams of stout but the bottle had only 670 grams of it, so between the two loaves with stout each got 335 grams plus 35 grams water.  If you’re just making one loaf you can just use all stout and then drink what’s left in the bottle (although maybe not at 7 AM which is when I started these loaves).  The stout has a great strong taste but not one that overwhelms everything else in the loaf.


Having something as moist as fresh cherries in the loaf was a strange concept for me but I think it worked well because it was a relatively high hydration (78%) loaf.  My wife and I agreed that it actually would have been nice to have more cherries in it.  It was a pain to pit enough cherries for three loaves of this but I managed not to stain every piece of clothing I own, so I got that going for me, which is nice.


The hazelnuts provide a nice contrast to the moist crumb and cherries.  For some reason in the past when buying nuts, mostly for granola, I had never thought to look in the baking aisle.  The bag of chopped hazelnuts I found was the exact amount I needed for three loaves.  All in all it is a pretty heavy loaf of bread, we had slices of it after dinner for dessert.  Enjoy!

Chocolate Stout Sourdough with Fresh Cherries and Hazelnuts (Makes 1 loaf)


Ingredient Amount Percentage
Bread Flour 320 g 67%
All Purpose Flour 120 g 25%
Whole Wheat Flour 35 g 8%
Chocolate Stout 370 g 78%
Pitted Fresh Cherries 135 g 28%
Hazelnuts, chopped 80 g 17%
Kosher Salt 10 g 2%
Active Sourdough Levain 120 g 25%


The night before (or at least 7-8 hours) you make your dough combine 2 tablespoons of unfed sourdough starter with 60 g of water, 30 g of all purpose flour, and 30 g of whole wheat flour.  Still until there are no dry bits of flour, cover loosely with plastic wrap and let sit out overnight.  This will be your active levain the next morning.  A drop of the starter will float in water when it is ready.

When ready, disperse the levain in the chocolate stout.  Add in the bread, whole wheat, and all purpose flour and mix by hand until there are no dry bits.  Cover and let rest for one hour.

Chop hazelnuts and pit cherries while the dough is resting.  Set aside.

After the hour is up add the salt, hazelnuts, and cherries.  Mix well and cover the dough again.

Let the dough rise for 2.5 hours.  At the 45 minute and 1 1/2 hour marks perform a series of stretch and folds with the dough (grab the underside of the dough, stretch it up and over the rest of the dough.

At the end of the first rise turn the dough out onto a lightly flour surface and shape into a round.  Let rest for 30 minutes.

Butter and flour a 9×5 inch loaf pan and set aside..

Shape the rested dough into a batard and if desired roll in wheat or oat bran.  Place seam side down.  Cover and let rise for 2.5 hours.

With 30 minutes left in the final rise preheat the oven to 450 F.  Place a cake pan on the bottom rack of the oven.

When ready place the pan in the oven and drop 3 or 4 ice cubes in the cake pan to generate steam.  Bake for 20 minutes.

After 20 minutes remove the cake pan and bake for another 20 minutes.  Turn the heat down to 425 and then bake another 10-15 minutes, until the crust is a nice dark brown.  Let cool for 2 hours before slicing.

Recipe courtesy of user WoodenSpoon’s blog on The Fresh Loaf.

This post has been YeastSpotted.

5 thoughts on “Chocolate Stout Sourdough with Fresh Cherries and Hazelnuts

  1. Pingback: Photoshop Phriday: Devin Funchess | Bakers & Best

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