Chocolate and Sour Cherry Bread


Happy New Year, bakers!

My blog is now officially one year old. Some weeks it was a struggle, but I managed to bake something nearly every week. (There were a few I missed due to travelling.) But I said I’d do it, and I did!

Ben and I flew back to the US to visit my family for the holidays. We visited lots of people, shared many laughs, and ate lots of food. So much food that I think we were sick of the sight of it by the end of the trip!  After a couple of weeks off, we’re both ready to get back into gear.

The question on everyone’s lips at home was asking about Great British Bake Off – well, at this point, I haven’t heard anything about my audition or if I’m invited to the next round. I’ve got everything crossed in hopes I’ll hear something soon though! If anything, no news is good news because it means I’m still in contention!

I didn’t bake last weekend because we landed Sunday morning and were severely jetlagged, so I had to wait until this weekend to get back to baking.

One of the books I got over the holidays was Paul Hollywood’s 100 Great Breads. Seeing as I need to beef up my bread-making skills, it was perfect. It has so many great flavors and recipes to try – and many of them are perfect for adding my own flair too!  So this week’s recipe comes from his book, I didn’t adjust too much, except for using a different yeast (I used active dry yeast rather than instant) because it was all I had in the cupboard. But this bread still turned out amazing!

It has a wonderfully crisp crust and the flavor is fantastic. I could have eaten both loaves in one sitting – but then I’d get fat. So instead, I sent one home with Ben’s mom, who stopped by today for a visit, and split the other one with Ben.


Oh! I almost forgot to mention: one of my Christmas gifts from my grandmother was a pop-up photo studio with lights and everything! Hopefully now that means I won’t have to worry as much about the awful lighting in my flat, and hopefully my photography will get better this year – that’s the goal for 2013!


  • 4 cups strong white flour, plus more for dusting
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 15 grams (2 packets) active dry yeast
  • warm water (about a cup, but you may need more)
  • 1 can black cherries (make sure you take the stones out and roughly chop them)
  • 200 grams chocolate chips


1. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt, olive oil, and yeast. Be sure to keep the yeast away from the salt to start with – as salt kills yeast. Slowly add warm water and mix until you get a soft, pliable dough. Only add enough water to bring everything together, you don’t want the dough to be too wet.

2. Once everything is mixed, turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for about 5 or 6 minutes. (I tested it to see how stretchy it was before I finished kneading.) Coat your bowl with a bit of oil, then place the dough back in, cover and let rise for an hour.

3. Once the dough has risen, line two baking sheets with some baking paper then divide your dough into two halves. Add half of your cherries to each half, then mix them into the dough. Add a bit more flour if the dough gets too wet, just work it in as you work in the cherries.

4. Next, add in the chocolate chips; again, splitting them between both halves and working them into the dough so everything is pretty much evenly distributed.

5. Form your dough into two balls, then place on your baking sheet. Gently press them down, flattening them until they’re about 2 inches thick. Dust them heavily with flour and score diagonal lines into the top with a sharp blade. Set both of them aside to rise for an hour.

6. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Once heated, bake both loaves of bread for 20-25 minutes, then transfer them to a wire rack to cool so that the bottoms don’t get soggy.

sourcherrybread_2This bread tastes fantastic, especially as a bed-time snack!!

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