During my time of recovering from my plant-based diet and discovering the Weston A. Price Foundation, I came across Donna Schwenk’s website, Cultured Food Life. I have watched her videos over the past 5 years and have learned so much about fermenting food: milk kefir, water kefir, kombucha, sourdough starter, kefir soda, fermented vegetables, and most recently, ginger bug/ginger bug sodas. I must say that since coming across the concept of fermenting food, I have fallen in love with it.
When I was a child, I loved art, animals, and being outside. What kid doesn’t? I’ve always loved nature and biology, and again, who doesn’t love good food? So, I suppose fermenting food is the best of all worlds for me: it is an excellent creative outlet, always an exciting DIY microbiology experiment, and makes delicious food! I absolutely love fermenting foods, and Donna’s website gives me inspiring ideas to try again and again. In fact, just last week, I came across a delicious recipe on her website, called Chocolate Cherry Sourdough Bread. It was an easy recipe to make by hand (my standing mixer is broken!). My whole family didn’t hesitate to gobble it up in only a couple of days! I was also pleased to hear that my grandmother made it for my grandfather, and he loved it as well. I wanted to share this recipe with you and also recommend Donna’s website, just in case you’re a fermentation fan like me. Any alterations to this recipe I note with *.
Chocolate Cherry Sourdough Bread
This is the bread I make during the holidays. If you have leftovers it makes fabulous french toast. If it lasts that long! You will love the taste of chocolate and the tartness of the fruit. It’s fun to make and boy, does the house smell great!
Course: Dessert, Side Dish Servings: 1 loaf
- 2 cups dried sour cherries (*I used dried cranberries*)
- 1 1/2 cups (*fed*) Sourdough Starter
- 1 1/4 cups Water
- 1/4 cup Honey
- 3 3/4 – 4 cups White Whole Wheat Flour (do not use sprouted flour) (*I used organic all-purpose flour*)
- 3/4 cup Dutch-processed cocoa powder
- 2 teaspoons Celtic Sea Salt
- Place the starter and water in a bowl along with honey in a heavy-duty electric mixer or a large bowl. (*I mixed wet ingredients by hand in a large bowl, then added/kneaded by hand in all dry ingredients, the cranberries being last*)
- Add the dry ingredients.
- Mix with dough hook (or knead by hand) for 10 to 12 minutes.
- Add dried cherries and mix again for about 2 minutes.
- Transfer dough to a lightly greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let rise in a warm place for about 5 hours or until double in size.
- Punch dough down and shape it into a round loaf or 2 small loaves in the shape of your choice.
- Place in loaf pans or baking dish. (I used a large souffle dish)
- Cover with a cloth and let rise 1½ to 2 more hours
- Bake at 425°F for about 40 to 45 minutes or until crust is a dark brown.
- Remove from pan and transfer to a rack to cool.
I want to thank Donna for all of her generous work on youtube, her website, and sharing her personal story about how fermented foods have helped her and her family overcome major health problems. I’d recommend checking out her content if you want to be inspired. If you decide to make this bread, I hope you enjoy it as much as my family did!