Full of Joy's Chocolate Cherry Sourdough Bread

Full of Joy's Chocolate Cherry Sourdough Bread

Oct 27, 2023Ground Up


Adapted for Ground Up by Lani Rosen-Gallagher, Founder of Full of Joy Yoga


  • 150g bubbly, active sourdough starter
  • 350g water (I usually warm it up)
  • 50g sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 500g Ground Up Bread Flour or Regenerative Organic Certified® Bread Flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • 9g fine sea salt
  • 65g dried cherries
  • 150g semi sweet chocolate chips
  • powdered sugar for decoration

** You will need a 6 quart Dutch oven or similar for baking


1. Make the dough: In a large bowl combine the starter, water, sugar and vanilla. Add the flour to the bowl. Squish everything together with your hands until all of the flour is absorbed. Cover with plastic wrap (I use a plastic shower cap!) and let it rest (autolyse) for 1 hour.

2. Add to the dough: After your 1-hour long autolyse period, you will add the salt, dried cherries and chocolate chips. Lift and fold the dough over itself several times and squish with your hands to incorporate. The dough will tear slightly as you fold and the salt will not fully dissolve. Don’t worry- this is normal. 

3. Stretch & Folds: To strengthen your dough, do a series of stretch and folds every 30 minutes for the first 2 hours of bulk fermentation. Simply gather a portion of the dough, stretch it upwards and then fold it over itself. Rotate the bowl ¼ turn and repeat until you have come full circle. You will have completed 4 folds. Try to keep the fillings tucked into the dough and not on the outside. This will prevent burning when baked.

4. Bulk fermentation: Cover your bowl with plastic wrap or a shower cap. Leave it in a warm spot to rise. Your dough is ready when it no longer looks dense and has increased in volume about 1½- 2x its original size. This can take anywhere from 3-12 hours depending on the temperature of your ingredients, the potency of your starter and surrounding environment. 

5. Shape the dough: To cut and shape the dough, divide your work surface in half; lightly flour one side (for cutting) and leave the other half clean (for shaping). Remove the dough from the bowl and place onto the floured section. Cut the dough in half to make 2 loaves, or leave it whole for a single loaf. (I like to make mini loaves and usually divide it into 4-6 sections.) To shape, use a bench scraper to move your dough to the non-floured section (if there is any flour present it will be difficult to shape- brush away any excess). Gather the dough, one side at a time, and fold it into the center. Flip the dough over and place it seam side down. Using your hands, gently cup the sides of the dough and rotate it using quarter turns in a circular motion. You can also pull it towards you to even out its shape. Repeat this process until you are happy with its appearance. I had to watch many videos of pre-shaping and shaping to get this right.

6. Second rise: Place the dough into a cloth lined 8-inch bowl, or floured/lined proofing basket. It will need to rise again, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, (I usually put it in the refrigerator overnight.) It is ready when the dough is slightly puffy.

7: Preparing the baking vessel: Preheat your oven to 400F. Carefully invert the dough onto a piece of parchment. Make a shallow slash about 2 inches long in the center of the dough. Use a bread lame, sharp pairing or serrated knife. Gently place the dough into the baking vessel using the parchment paper to lift it in. 

8. Bake the bread: Place your bread into the oven (lid on) and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, and continue to bake (uncovered) for an additional 40 minutes. During the last 10 minutes of baking, crack open the oven door. This allows the moisture to escape, leaving your bread with a crisp crust. You can also take the internal temperature of your bread to double check that it is done. For sourdough, it should read about 205 F.

9. Cool: Remove the bread from the oven, and cool on a wire rack for at least an hour before slicing. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

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