(unless you made one that included “Eat more bread!”), comes this variation on no-knead bread. I’d meant to do just chocolate. Then thought I’d add a little coffee which gives chocolate an added zip.
The question was: Stop there? Or add dried cherries? I thought the bread would need a little fat and a little sweetness to round out the cocoa powder. I decided on honey, and then I remembered the toasted walnut oil in the fridge. Walnuts? Walnuts or cherries? Both? Maybe I made a mistake but I put it to a vote: two teenagers were having lunch in the kitchen. They voted for cherries and walnuts. Done. Serve it warm or toasted with butter or cream cheese. It has just occurred to me that you could use chocolate-covered cherries in the bread. Oh, oh.
To make the bread, follow the usual no-knead bread mixing technique using the following ingredients: 1 1/2 ounces Dutch process cocoa powder, 1 tablespoon/4 g espresso powder, .3 oz/10 g kosher salt, .1 oz/3 g (1 teaspoon instant yeast), 2.5 oz whole-wheat flour, 17.5 oz bread flour, about 16 oz water, 1 oz (2 tablespoons) toasted walnut oil or vegetable oil, 3 oz honey, 6 oz dried tart cherries, 3 oz roughly chopped toasted walnuts, 6 ounces roughly chopped bittersweet chocolate (at least 60% cacao). After mixing the dough, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, let the dough rest 30 minutes, and then, using a rounded dough scraper, fold the dough over on itself. Work your way all around the bowl. Recover and let rest another 30 minutes. Repeat, folding and resting, for a total of 4 folds in the first 2 hours or so.
You can make this into a big loaf, of course, or make rolls. To bake a loaf in your Dutch oven, use semolina or rice flour. I don’t think the heavy-duty crunch given by polenta is quite the thing for this bread.
To make rolls: when the dough is fully fermented, scrape it onto a lightly floured counter and let rest about 15 minutes. Weigh out 5-ounce portions (you should have enough dough for a dozen). Shape each of these into a ball and place on baking sheets lined with parchment and dusted with semolina or rice flour. (I pressed my rolls down to give them a flatter shape.) Let the rolls rise about 30 minutes and then brush them with an egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 teaspoon water—cook leftovers and give them to the dog as a treat) to give them a shiny crust. Score them or not, your choice. Bake in a 400 degree F oven about 30 minutes, rotating the pans front to back and top to bottom after 15 minutes.