This gorgeous chocolate rye boule with cherries and walnuts is a simple, no-knead recipe that you can make in a Dutch oven AT HOME! Yes, you read that right - beautiful, bakery-style bread can be made in your own kitchen with minimal effort. Read on to see how!
It's no secret that I LOVE to bake. Although I try to limit the number of baking recipes on the blog (you all seem to like more savory/dinner type recipes!), not a week goes by where I don't bake something for Ryan and I. And if I don't get to it during the week, I'll most definitely bake something yummy over the weekend!
This year, one of my goals is to bake as much of the bread we eat from scratch as possible. Growing up, my mom made homemade bread, muffins, pizza dough, etc. for us from scratch as we were growing up, and a lot of times would even grind her own flour from wheat kernels and oat kernels she would buy in bulk. I have a grain mill that I inherited from my Nana, and have started to grind my own whole wheat and rye grains for baking since the New Year. It's been really fun to experiment with!
This chocolate rye boule with cherries and walnuts was inspired by the chocolate cherry bread that my favorite grocery store in Dallas - Central Market - would sell around Valentine's Day. I would always buy a loaf or two, and then use it to make French toast for Valentine's breakfast or use it for bread pudding! I've been on the hunt for a similar recipe and came across this King Arthur one that looked similar. I ended up adding some cocoa powder and made a few adjustments, and am happy to say I'm very satisfied with the results. The bread is hearty, dense, and has a subtle chocolate flavor with mild sweetness. The cup of rye flour used in the dough gives depth of flavor and richness. I love how rustic the loaf looks as well!
Tools and Tips for Making No-Knead Bread:
- Give yourself time - this bread requires an overnight rise, with an additional 1 1/2 hour rise in the morning. But don't let that stress you! The process of making it is VERY hands-off. You don't even need a mixer! All you are really doing is stirring a few ingredients together and then putting it in the oven. Easy peasy!
- Use high-quality ingredients - because this recipe is simple and only requires a few ingredients, it will make all the difference in taste if you choose high quality, FRESH flours, chocolate chips, and take the time to toast the nuts before putting them in the dough. For me, King Arthur flours consistently produce amazing, consistent results, and that's why I recommend them wholeheartedly.
- Serving suggestions - this bread is fun to serve on a "toast" board. Simply arrange toasted slices on a cutting board or pretty platter, with fresh berries, ricotta or cream cheeses, Nutella, cherry jam, salted butter, or honey.
- Make the most of leftovers - can't get through a loaf fast enough? Make overnight French toast or bread pudding!
Tools I used for making the bread:
Are you ready to make this chocolate rye boule with cherries and walnuts? I’m so excited for you to try this recipe. Once you get the chance to make it, please let me know how it turns out for you! Leave a comment and rate the recipe below. This will help me with the creation of future recipes! I’d also love to feature your creation in my monthly newsletter, so you can upload a photo to Instagram or Twitter with the tag @sweetcayenne5 to be featured!
Chocolate Rye Boule with Cherries and Walnuts
- 3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 cup medium rye flour
- 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
- 2 teaspoons salt
- ¼ cup Dutch process cocoa powder
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 ⅔ cups cool water
- ¾ cup dried Montmorency tart cherries
- ½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 ¼ cups chopped walnuts toasted
- Combine the flours, yeast, salt, cocoa powder, and sugar in a large bowl by stirring with a wooden spoon. Add the water and stir until the dry ingredients are well-moistened and a shaggy, sticky dough has formed (I sometimes have to use my hands to lightly knead and work all the ingredients into a loose mass). Fold in the cherries, chocolate chips, and walnuts. Transfer the dough to a clean bowl coated with cooking spray. Cover the top of the bowl with plastic wrap. Let the dough sit at room temperature (about 70 degrees F) for 12-18 hours. After a minimum of 12 hours, the surface will become dotted with bubbles - that’s a sign that ingredients are fermenting and flavor is developing!
- Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface. Sprinkle the top of the dough with a little flour and lightly knead it with your hands for about a minute. Cover the dough with plastic wrap on your counter and let it rest for 15 minutes.
- Generously coat a cotton towel (do not use terry cloth!) with cornmeal or flour. Gently and quickly shape the dough into a ball with floured hands and place seam-side-down onto the center of the towel. Dust the top of the dough with more cornmeal/flour and wrap the towel loosely around the dough. Place the towel with the dough in a large bowl and let it rise until the dough has doubled in size and does not quickly spring back when you poke at it. This should take 1 ½-2 hours.
- Thirty minutes before the dough is ready, place a 2 ¾-quart up to a 5 quart cast iron pot/Dutch oven in the oven and preheat the oven to 450°F.
- Once your oven is preheated, carefully remove the pot from the oven. Open the towel and slide your hand underneath so that you can turn the dough mound seam-side-up into the pot. Give the pot a little shake to make sure the dough is even on the bottom and put the lid on top of the pot. Bake for 20 minutes, then uncover and bake an additional 20-30 minutes until the boule is golden brown all over and sounds hollow when you tap it with a wooden spoon. Your kitchen will smell absolutely amazing!
- Remove the pot from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the bread from the pot and let cool completely on a wire rack before slicing. You will then have one 1 ½ pound bread loaf to enjoy!
- Store the bread well-wrapped at room temperature for up to 5 days, or wrap tightly and freeze for up to 3 months.
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