My mom, on the other hand, is the antithesis of my "fruit-no-touchy" rule: the more things she can add it to the better! Like me, she's a chocoholic, and she's a hearty "peasant-style" bread fan too, so when it came time to figure out what I could bake up for her for this year's World Bread Day (7th edition!) I looked into my freezer and baking stash for something to really shine. I came across some black cherries I had frozen earlier in the year, and immediately thought of the cacao nibs and rye flour in the cupboard.
Chocolate and cherries are one of the glaring cases of the "exception to the rule" I mentioned above. Provided they're fresh, sour cherries dipped at home into quality bittersweet chocolate that's barely allowed to set before being popped into my mouth - I've tried storebought and restaurant versions and they just don't compare to that experience.
With the cherries, cacao and rye flour, I began to build my vision. Ground coffee and some unsweetened cocoa came into play, which made me think of my Chunky Aztec Chocolate Granola. That, of course, meant Demerara sugar, ancho chili powder, cinnamon and raisins too, and I rounded out the "tang" of traditional rye with a dose of Greek yogurt. To add a touch of moisture to the bread, since ryes are notorious for drying out, I also added some whole milk and a few egg yolks, which worked beautifully. Roasting the cherries allowed me to control the "wetness" of the dough too, though it's still fairly sticky. The finished boule is low-rising, dense and lightly spiced, with occasional "pops" of cherry, raisin or cacao laced throughout.
Dark Rye with Fruit and Spicy Cacao
Makes 1 large loaf, 20 slices
6 oz fresh or frozen (thawed) black cherries
1 cup nonfat, plain Greek style yogurt
1 cup whole milk, warmed
1/4 cup Demerara sugar
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp salt
2 tsp instant yeast
2 cups whole wheat bread flour
1 1/2 cups dark rye flour
1 tbsp finely ground coffee beans (not instant coffee)
1 tbsp cocoa powder
1/2 tsp ancho chili powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup cacao nibs
2 tbsp dark raisins, soaked in hot water and drained
1 tbsp rolled oats, for topping
- Preheat oven to 400F and grease a rimmed baking sheet.
- Spread the cherries out in one layer.
- Roast for 30 minutes, then chop roughly and scrape into a bowl. Cool completely.
- In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt, milk, sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and salt. Set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook, whisk together the yeast, flours, coffee, cocoa, ancho chili powder and cinnamon.
- Add the yogurt mixture and start the mixer. Mix/knead for 15 minutes on low speed. It will be very sticky.
- Cover and allow to rest 40 minutes.
- Deflate dough and with greased hands (or a bench scraper) knead in the cherries, cacao nibs and raisins. Re-cover and let rest 30 minutes.
- Deflate dough and, with greased hands, shape into a round loaf and place on a large baking sheet covered with parchment paper or silicone.
- Cover and let rise 40 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Bake 50 minutes, covering with foil after 20 minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped.
Total Fat: 2.6 g
Cholesterol: 22.3 mg
Sodium: 18.3 mg
Total Carbs: 23.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 4.3 g
Protein: 4.8 g