This recipe is so seductive, I cannot wait to make it! It will have a central place on the table for our Members’ Open House, and will be crowned by fresh Chevre, honey and walnuts. Yum! The technique alone has me just transfixed — how cool is this?
Inspired by Metropolitan Bakery’s Chocolate Cherry Bread recipe and borrowed from It’s Not You, It’s Brie
Yield = 1 large loaf or 2 small loaves
14 oz. (394g) all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1.5 oz (42g) unsweetened cocoa powder
2 oz. (56g) brown sugar
1.5 teaspoons kosher salt
1.5 cups (12 oz) water
7 oz. chocolate (a mix of semi-sweet (4 oz) and bittersweet (3 oz.) is nice)
5 oz. dried sour cherries, (optional)
zest of 1 orange
In a medium to large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, yeast, cocoa, brown sugar, and salt.
Add the 1.5 cups of water and stir to combine. The mixture will be a sticky, wet mass. Cover bowl with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let sit overnight or for 12 to 18 hours.
One hour before baking, place a dutch oven into your oven and preheat the oven to 350ºF. Let the pan preheat for at least 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, roughly chop your chocolate. Roughly chop cherries (if using). Add both to the bowl with the dough. Zest orange right over top of dough.
Using a spatula, stir ingredients to combine. Take your time — there is a lot of chocolate that needs to be worked into the dough.
Place a large sheet of parchment paper (about the size of a sheet pan) onto a cutting board or pizza peel or something that you will be able to move close to your oven. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Flour your hands. Working quickly, shape dough mass into a ball, folding the edges of the dough over and under.
Transfer dough to parchment paper. (Note: At this step, you can divide the dough in half and make two smaller loaves. You also can freeze the dough at this step. Thaw at room temperature for at least 2 hours before baking.)
When your pot is preheated, carefully remove it from the oven and take off the lid. Grab the sides of the parchment paper and carefully drop it into your pot. Return cover to pan and place it in the oven. Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove pan from oven. Grab the sides of the parchment paper again and transfer loaf to a sheetpan.
Continue baking for another 20 to 25 minutes or until the bottom of the loaf sounds hollow when tapped. Cool on rack for at least 20 minutes before serving.