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Mar 15, 2017

Sour Cherry, Peanut, and Barley Sourdough Bread

I am really excited about this Sour Cherry, Peanut, and Barley Sourdough Bread.

Sour Cherry, Peanut, and Barley Sourdough Bread

For this sour cherry, peanut, and barley sourdough bread, I decided to experiment with different ingredients. I had some barley flour left over from making these multigrain snickerdoodles taunting me (as do all of the specialty ingredients now languishing in the garage fridge and pantry).

I'm not going to show you the drawer in the freezer full of small bags of specialty bread baking ingredients. Nope. Nor will I show you the box up in the extra bedroom closet full of things like Swedish pearl sugar or potato flour. No way.

What I really need to do is create posts such as "20 recipes for wheat bran" or "15 ways to use cacao nibs."

Unfortunately, I tend to be attracted by new shiny things.

Sour Cherry, Peanut, and Barley Sourdough Bread

Back to the barley flour....

I only added 25 grams of the barley flour, because I was nervous to add more. I couldn't find any recipes for using barley flour in yeasted or sourdough artisan breads, so I decided to start with just a little. I'm happy to report that the barley flour adds a faint nutty flavor to the bread. If you don't want to buy some to make this bread, you can totally substitute whole wheat flour without sacrificing texture.

Sour Cherry, Peanut, and Barley Sourdough Bread

I love the texture and crumb of this bread and am totally thrilled at how it turned out. Just look at the bubbles on the crust!

Sour Cherry, Peanut, and Barley Sourdough Bread

Another thing I could not find anywhere was bread with peanuts. Granted, peanuts are not true nuts, but rather legumes.

If you are not a fan of peanuts, I recommend substituting walnuts, pecans, or almonds for the peanuts. Just be sure to roast them. If you decide to go with peanuts, do not use dry roasted, as they will absorb water from the dough and get mushy. Go with the classic peanuts, either salted or unsalted. The oil will fend off the water.

For the sour cherries, I used Frieda's, which were moist and tart, and totally delicious. You can find dried sour cherries also on Amazon, but then you might become and ingredient hoarder, just like me.

This bread is exceptional with a schmear of creamy peanut butter. You get the creaminess of the peanut butter, and the crunchiness of the peanuts in the bread. The sour cherries are the perfect contrast to the peanut flavor.

I made this bread for this month's Fantastical Food Fight. This month's theme is peanut butter and jelly. We could make anything with peanuts and fruit to fit this theme. Thus, this bread. After the recipe, be sure to visit the rest of my friends joining the food fight. Whose recipe will win?

Sour Cherry, Peanut, and Barley Sourdough Bread

This bread requires a 100% hydration sourdough starter, or "liquid levain." If you don't have one, you can create a poolish by mixing equal parts water and flour by weight with a small amount of instant yeast, and letting it proof overnight. Once you've created the poolish, follow the instructions for feeding the levain. If you are not totally confident with your poolish, you can supplement it with a half teaspoon of yeast in the final dough.

This bread takes a couple of days to make, but it's worth it.

Go for it!!

Sour Cherry, Peanut, and Barley Sourdough Bread


For the levain:

  • 47 grams liquid starter that is active
  • 40 grams all purpose flour
  • 7 grams whole wheat flour
  • 47 grams room temperature water

For the final dough:

  • 796 grams bread flour
  • 25 grams whole wheat flour
  • 25 grams barley flour (or whole wheat flour)
  • 25 grams vital wheat gluten
  • 696 grams lukewarm water (about 90 degrees F)
  • 18 grams salt
  • All of the levain
  • 150 grams peanuts (not dry roasted)
  • 125 grams dried sour cherries


  1. To make the levain: In the morning, mix the ingredients in a bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let mature.
  2. About 2 hours after mixing the levain, mix the all of the flours and water for the final dough in a large bowl or dough rising bucket. Cover and autolyse for one hour.
  3. Add the levain to the flour and water mixture, and mix by hand to combine. Perform several stretch and folds until the dough begins to tighten up and becomes more difficult to stretch out, about 6 minutes. Let rest, covered, about 15 minutes.
  4. Sprinkle the salt over the dough, and fold the dough over. Using your wet hand, pinch and stretch the dough until all of the salt is dissolved. Re-cover the dough and let rise for about 3 to four hours, with 3 stretch and folds, every 30 minutes during the first 90 minutes of the first rise. After the second set of stretch and folds, sprinkle the peanuts and cherries over the dough, and continue to fold them into the dough.
  5. When the dough has become bubbly and puffy, and has doubled or tripled in size, gently scrape the dough out onto a floured work surface.
  6. Using an oiled bench scraper, divide the dough in half. Shape each half into boules, and let rest for about 15 minutes, uncovered.
  7. After 15 minutes, continue to shape the loaves, drawing the loaves toward you with the oiled bench scraper. Continue to drag the dough on the work surface to tighten it up.
  8. Once each loaf has been shaped, transfer each, seam side up, to a floured towel lined banetton. The towel should be dusted with a mixture of wheat and rice flour. Spray the top of the dough with plastic wrap, fold the towel over the dough, and place each loaf in the refrigerator for 14 to 15 hours.
  9. The next day, preheat the oven equipped with a baking stone to 500 degrees F. Remove the first loaf from the oven. Remove the plastic wrap, place a piece of parchment paper over the loaf, and then top with a plate. Turn the whole thing over and remove the bowl and towel. Slash the dough with a sharp knife or lame. Using the plate, slide the loaf, along with the parchment paper, onto the baking stone. Cover the loaf with a large stainless steel bowl or hotel pan and close the oven door. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the stainless bowl or pan, as well as the parchment paper, and close the oven door. Reduce the heat to 450 degrees F and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the loaf is dark and has reached an internal temperature of 205 degrees F. Repeat with the second loaf. Cool the loaves on a wire rack.
Yield: 2 loaves

Sour Cherry, Peanut, and Barley Sourdough Bread

Would you like to comment?

  1. Love the bread recipe Karen it looks great and sounds great but I have to tell you I have to skip the cherries other than that I will try to make this Fred's sounds good

    1. You can totally make this without any added fruit or nuts. =)

  2. What a creative bread recipe! It looks delicious and turned out really lovely. Great pb&j idea!

  3. This is such a creative take on this theme! WOW! I'm super impressed! Beautiful pictures too!

  4. Wow Karen, you get my vote for most creative recipe. Awesome loaf of bread.

  5. So creative! I just love bread!

  6. Such a creative recipe for the theme... love everything about the bread, the crust, the inside... beautiful!

  7. What an innovative idea! We'd love to see the little bags with the special ingredients sometime though:):):)
    Excellent recipe Karen, great job (as always!) :)

    1. One of these days I may have to come clean so to speak, lol! Thanks so much!

  8. I am wiping tears from my face, laughed way too hard at the Swedish pearl sugar... which obviously I own a bag.

    and of course I cannot remember for dear life WHY the heck did I buy it. I twas - obviously - a fantastic recipe, but buried inside tangled neurons in my tired brain.

    we must laugh at ourselves...

    there are worse addictions in life.

    more power to us!!!!!

    BTW - love love LOVE your bread - look at that crumb, look at that crust.... bread porn!

    1. Thank you Sally! Yes their are worse addictions.

      And you never know when you might have a Swedish pearl sugar emergency.

    2. or, worse yet... a fine, Thai-style rice flour...

    3. Or both white rice and brown rice flour. Or... tipo 00 flour... or... both golden and brown flax seeds, because there is a difference....

    4. P.S. I do have a large bag of Vietnamese rice flour for the noodles I will make someday.

  9. A beautiful loaf with such a lovely crust and crumb. Innovative recipe using the PB&J theme. Hubby would love the bread as he's crazy about peanuts.

  10. Sounds like I should just come shop at your house for random things I refuse to buy to not be stuck with ingredients!
    And seriously, Karen, that bread looks absolutely perfect! Great tip about the peanuts, too. You're so smart.

    1. You are welcome to come over any time! xoxo

  11. what a creative bread, karen! i love the sound of this!


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