This simple sourdough has a fruity twist and is the perfect accompaniment to your favorite cheese!
I love this bread for it’s simplicity and versatility! Don’t like dates? Replace them! Don’t like apricots? Replace them! The sourdough flavor is the perfect complement to the subtle sweetness provided by the dried fruit. It works equally well with both sweet and savory toppings. One of my favorite ways to enjoy this loaf is to thinly slice it, toast it, and top it with goat cheese and honey but that’s just me! This is a choose your own adventure loaf so change it up.
As with all sourdoughs the most important ingredient here is time! I like to start this dough in the afternoon, let it rise/ferment in the fridge overnight, and bake it the next day but you can play with the timing to work best for your schedule.
Tip: You can change the filling to suit your mood or the season. Be sure to stick with dried fruits and nuts otherwise your hydration levels and baking times will be altered.
Time: Approx 12 Hours
- 283g (1 1/4 cups) fed sourdough starter
- 227g (1 cup) water
- 361g (3 cups) Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 85g (1/2 cup) roughly chopped dried dates
- 85g (1/2 cup) roughly chopped dried apricots
- Combine your starter, water, and flour in the bowl of your mixer (if you have one) just until smooth. It won’t look like a cohesive dough yet but you want to make sure no dry flour remains. Then leave it covered for 1 hour for the flour to hydrate.
- After an hour, sprinkle the salt on top and knead the dough with your mixer’s dough hook on a medium speed. The dough will start to look more elastic, this can take about 5 minutes. Add in the chopped dried fruit and let the mixer do a few more turns.
- Cover the bowl again and let the dough rise at room temperature for an hour.
- Now it’s time to get your hands in the dough! With wet hands tip the dough out onto a lightly greased surface. It will still feel a little sticky but wet hands will make it easier to handle.
- We want to shape the loaf and also build tension in the dough so it has structure. Take the edge of the dough with your dough scraper or fingers, gently lift and stretch it, then press it into the center. Folding the dough in on itself. Rotate the dough and repeat the process until you have gone all the way around. About 4 times.
- Put the dough to bed. Flour your bread basket (banneton if you’re fancy). I just use a clean, floured dish towel inside a mixing bowl. Place the rounded dough into the bowl, bottom side up (the pinched side from the folding in step 5), cover well with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight.
- The next morning, preheat the oven to 450°F with a dutch oven inside for 30 minutes. While the oven is preheating take the dough out of the fridge. Note: the dough might not look like it has risen much due to the temperature of the fridge and the mix-ins but it’s ready!
- Grab a piece of parchment and place it on a flat surface, make sure it is large enough so that you can use it to lift your dough into the HOT dutch oven.
- Turn the loaf out of the bowl onto the parchment paper. Slash the top of the loaf, and lift the dough and paper into the dutch oven. I like to place two ice cubes inside the dutch oven to create a steamy environment for the bread to bake in. Cover and bake for with the lid on for 20. Then with gloves on, remove the lid and bake for 30 to 40 minutes until the internal temperature reads at least 200°F.
- LET IT COOL! Your sourdough continues to cook even after it is out of the oven. Cutting into it too early releases the precious steam inside the loaf resulting in a tough crust and under done interior. Resist the urge to cut into it too soon — it’s worth it!