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Chocolate Cherry Bread

adapted from the Chocolate Cherry Pecan Bread recipe at the King Arthur Flour site


3 cups (12 3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) rye flour
1/2 cup (2 ounces) whole wheat flour
3 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
1 3/4 cups (14 ounces) cool water (about 80 degrees F)
3/4 cup (3 1/4 ounces) dried cherries
1/2 cup (3 ounces) chocolate chips

You will also need:

Stand Mixer (paddle attachment and dough hook)
Plastic Wrap
Flour for surface & shaping
Bench scraper
Bread crock or a heavy, 4- to 4 1/2-quart oven-safe pot
Parchment paper


Place the dried cherries in water (or some red wine and orange juice if you have it handy) to hydrate and plump them up for several minutes before beginning the mixing.

Mix flours, salt, yeast, cocoa powder and water in a large bowl, using paddle attachment at first and switching to dough hook when it gets too thick. Add cherries and chocolate chips. Stir well to make a very soft dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Let rest at room temperature overnight, or for at least 12 hours; the dough will become bubbly and puffy.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and fold it onto itself a few times. Let it rest 15 minutes, then form it into a ball. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, smooth side down. Cover and let rise at room temperature about 2 hours, until a slight indentation remains when poked with a finger.

During the last 30 minutes of rising, preheat the oven to 450°F and place a bread crock (or a heavy, 4- to 4 1/2-quart oven-safe pot) in the oven while it heats. When the dough is risen, remove the crock from the oven, and turn the dough out of the bowl and onto a sheet of parchment paper. Lift parchment paper by the sides (like a sling) and place into the crock; the smooth side of the bread should be facing up. Shake the crock gently to settle the dough, then cover with the lid and return to the oven.

Bake the bread for 20 minutes, then remove the lid and continue to bake another 25 to 40 minutes, until the bread is deep brown in color and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers about 205°F.

Remove the crock from the oven, again lift out the parchment paper like a sling and turn the bread onto a rack, and cool before slicing.

This is the dough after mixing and before rising.

And then I folded it onto itself a few times.

In the lightly oiled bowl before 2nd rise.

In the lightly oiled bowl after 2nd rise.

After the proofing stage, I turned the dough out onto a sheet of parchment paper.

Then, lifting the parchment on either side, like a sling I lifted and then lowered the dough down into my pot.

As you can see, it baked up beautifully.

And once it was all done, we just chowed down on it. Delicious.

Rolls Royce Grilled Cheese Sandwich

(This recipe was adapted from what I saw on Food Network's show Unwrapped recently when they showed how Mimi's Cafe makes their famous grilled cheese sandwiches.)


4 varieties of cheese (sliced)(ex: sharp cheddar, provolone, Swiss & muenster)
Sliced sourdough bread
Grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Garlic herb butter
Sliced ham (optional)

You will also need:

A griddle


Butter one side of each of the slices of bread and press the buttered side down into the grated Parmesan, gently shaking off the excess.

Putting the cheese side down on your griddle, place one slice each of two varieties of cheese on one piece and two varieties on the other (leaving the sandwich open) and add ham in the middle (if desired).

Grill the sandwich open for most of the cooking time. Once the cheese is really beginning to melt, then flip one side over on top of the other, thus assembling the sandwich.

This is your finished product. It is heavenly. I think you'll find that the Parmesan on the outside gives the crust a wonderful crunch and a little sumthin' extra to the flavor of the sandwich (as does the use of sourdough bread).