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Mar 8, 2016

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pocket Bread

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pocket Bread

While these Dark Chocolate Cherry Pocket Breads may look like muffins, they are actually little crusty sourdough rolls baked in a muffin tin.

The flavor in these mini loaves is distinctly sourdough, and the cherries and the dark chocolate unexpectedly play so well together with the sourdough flavor in these tiny babies.

Yes, they could be shaped into regular loaves or rolls, but aren't these way cuter?

I bake bread almost every weekend. I love the rhythm of the process. This bread fits right into that rhythm. I refreshed my sourdough starter on Friday night, created the preferment on Saturday night, and spent a leisurely Sunday mixing, shaping, and baking these rolls, finally finishing Sunday night.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pocket Bread

My only issue with this schedule is that I had to take these photos on Monday morning right before going to work. I do a lot of that.... so that big brown thing peeking out of the top of the roll that I didn't notice until now is chocolate. I used large chocolate chunks in these rolls, and some of them decided on a failed escape plan. Rest assured, the semi-escaped bits were still tasty.

Is it a dessert? Is it a bread? I'd say it's an amazing breakfast bread. It's way too crusty for dessert.

The concept of pocket breads comes from Josey Baker, a northern California based bakery owner and the author of the amazing book, Josey Baker Bread. When he was first starting his business, he developed these small loaves for potential customers who didn't want or need to buy a large loaf of bread. This was his most popular flavor. He says that his customers get upset if he runs out of them. He coats his with cornmeal, which I skipped. If you don't have time for all of the long rises, just add a small amount of yeast to the final dough to speed up the process.

I've also made his Golden Raisin and Fennel Pocket Bread. If you are new to bread baking, this book will teach you how to make the most amazing artisan loaves. His enthusiasm for baking bread is amazing.

After the recipe, you definitely need to check out the rest of this month's amazing #BreadBakers chocolate themed bread recipes. The theme was chosen by Shireen from Ruchik Randhap.

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pocket Bread

Makes 12 Pocket Breads


Cherry Soaker

1/2 C (90 g) dried cherries, chopped
1/2 C hot water, about 100 degrees F

Mix the ingredients in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for about 8 to 12 hours. Drain before using. 

Sourdough Pre-Ferment

15 g (1T) active sourdough starter
1/2 C cool water
105 g (3/4 C) whole wheat flour

Mix the ingredients in a small bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for about 8 to 12 hours, until bubbly. 

Final Dough

All of the pre-ferment
1 1/4 C lukewarm water
450 g (3 C) bread flour
12 g (2 tsp) fine sea salt (or regular non-iodized)
All of the cherry soaker, drained
45 grams dark chocolate, coarsely chopped


  1. Scrape the pre-ferment into a large bowl.
  2. Add the water, bread flour, salt, cherry soaker, and chocolate chunks, and mix with a wet hand until combined. 
  3. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for 30 minutes. 
  4. Do four "stretch and fold" sessions, folding the dough over itself about 8 to 10 times (check out this post for a video of the stretch and fold method), every 30 minutes, covering the dough in between. 
  5. Cover the dough and let rise until doubled, about 3 hours. 
  6. Spray a muffin tin with spray oil.
  7. Divide the dough into 12 equal parts, about 100 grams each. 
  8. Form each into a ball (the dough will be sticky so flour your work surface and wet your hands). 
  9. Place the dough balls, seam side down, into the cavities of the muffin tin. Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until puffy, about 3 hours. 
  10. Preheat the oven to 475 degrees F. 
  11. Slash the tops of the breads, and spray the tops with water.
  12. Bake the rolls for 5 minutes, open the door of the oven, and spray the rolls once more with water and close the door. 
  13. Bake for another 25 minutes, until nicely browned.
  14. Remove the rolls from the oven and turn them out onto a cooling rack. 
To make in advance, wrap with plastic wrap after they have cooled and freeze. 

Breads with Cocoa, Cacao or Carob in any form

This month we are making Breads with Cocoa, Cacao or Carob in any form.

#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. Follow our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated each month on this home page.

We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.

If you are a food blogger and would like to join us, just send Stacy an email with your blog URL to

Would you like to comment?

  1. The chocolate trying to escape is really it wanting to be in the first bite. Thanks for introducing me to pocket bread and I'm putting it on my to-make list.

  2. I love the idea of little muffin-sized loaves with a surprise inside. These are adorable, Karen!

  3. Pocket bread sounds wonderful! Love the choc cherry combo!

  4. I have dried cherries..... I have dried cherries.... I have a hibernating sourdough.... I have chocolate....

    oh, Karen.... why you do this to me????? (sigh)

  5. These little pocket breads look adorable! First I thought they were popovers. I love the process of making bread almost more than eating it (almost). I need to get a sourdough starter going so I have it on hand when I want it. That was one of my 2016 goals. It's only March right?

    1. I'm with you on the process. Thank goodness for freezers!

  6. Pocket bread! What a fun idea... they look wonderful.

  7. What a lovely idea! Bite sized breads with a delicious filling! Love the pictures too!

    1. Thank you Shireen. That means a lot from you.

  8. Adorable pocket breads!! Cherry and chocolate together, wow that sounds wonderful!

  9. these bite seized delights is something my kids would love !! thanks for a lovely idea :))

  10. I too have the josey baker bread book . Loved pocket bread with chocolate and cherry.........

    1. Don't you love that book? Such a fun read.

  11. What an amazing idea of combining sourdough and chocolate. Also baking them in muffin pan is another genius idea. They look adorable.

  12. I love the idea of Crusty bread with Dark Chocolate and Cherries. Deadly and heart warming...they look adorable too!

  13. Love the cute muffin size rolls and also that you have used a sourdough starter.

  14. I Love all your bread! But this one I adore!! Such cute little breadsies!! Wish I lived closer. I would drop in every weekend :D

  15. I am bookmarking this recipe, going to get my sourdough active.

  16. Doubled the chocolate in these and could have added more. Also, they got too dark at the suggested time in 2 out of the 3 pans - the muffin tins. Worked out ok in a cake pan.

    1. Everything is better with more chocolate! I usually park myself in front of the oven window for just that reason =/

  17. love the shape from using the muffin tin - and chocolate and cherry are a great combo

  18. Hi! The instructions say to do four "stretch and folds" of the dough every thirty minutes. But for how long? How many times do we do that? Sorry if I am missing something. Thank you.

    1. I probably need to be clearer! Stretch and fold it 8 to 10 times, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes. Repeat 3 more times for 4 stretch and fold sessions total.

  19. Ah! Thank you. I’m sure I was the only one that didn’t get it! Thank you for helping me understand :). Can’t wait to make these!


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