Mix sourdough starter, flour, water in a medium size bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and rest in a warm area for 4 hours.
One hour before the levain is ready, mix together bread flour, whole-wheat flour, 250 grams (about 1¼ cups) of water in a large bowl. Mix just until the dough comes together. Cover with plastic wrap or kitchen towel and let it rest in a warm area for 1 hour.
Make the Chocolate Dough:
Add the levain to the dough in the bowl and mix together using wet fingers to combine them together. Cover and rest 30 minutes in a warm area.
In a small bowl, combine salt and remaining water. Whisk to combine. Pour the salt water to the dough and mix until incorporated. The dough will be sticky, so slap and fold for 2~4 minutes or until the dough starts to aerate. Cover and rest for 30 minutes in a warm area.
Lightly flour a work surface and transfer the dough. Gently pat it out into a 12"x8" rectangle. Sprinkle the cherries or raisins evenly on top. Pick up an edge and fold it ⅓ of the way, then fold it again to form an envelope. Now, turn the 90° and pat it out into a rough 2"x8" rectangle. Sprinkle with the chopped nuts and fold into an envelope (just as before). Round the dough into a ball and transfer it into the bowl. Cover and set aside in a warm area for 30 minutes
Stretch and Fold:
To stretch and fold, hold the corner that is opposite to you and stretch it over the dough. Turn the bowl 90° and repeat the stretch and fold. Repeat this until you are done with all 4 corners. Cover and set aside for 30 minutes. Perform total 4 sets of stretch and folds spaced out by 30 minutes. Make sure to place the dough back in the warm area after each fold.
Shape the Bread:
After the stretch and fold, shape the dough into a boule by tucking the seam underneath and rotating the dough on a lightly floured work surface. Make sure that the dough is slightly taut and uniformly round.Place a kitchen towel in a bowl and very generously sprinkle with bread or rice flour. Transfer the boule into the boule seam up. Cover with the overhang of kitchen towel and plastic wrap. Set aside for 1 hour at room temperature.
Place the bowl in the fridge overnight and for up to 24 hours.
Bake the Bread:
Place a cast iron combo cooker or a Dutch oven with lid on the middle rack of the oven. Preheat the oven to 450°F for at least 30~40 minutes.
Remove the bowl of dough from the fridge and generously sprinkle flour on the top.
Remove the hot pan from the oven and carefully place the dusted loaf into the pan with the seam side down. Score the top with a sharp knife or blade. Place the lid on top and bake for 15 minutes. Remove the lid and lower the oven temperature to 400°F and bake for another 25~30 minutes, or until the loaf is deep brown and registers 205~210°F.
Carefully remove the baked bread onto a wire rack and cool completely for at least 1 hour before slicing.
I highly recommend that you weigh your ingredients for this recipe.
Make sure to use bread flour and not all purpose flour because it has higher protein and works well in this no knead recipe.
You can make this sourdough chocolate bread with bread flour.
Use any good quality cocoa powder. I have made this recipe with regular unsweetened cocoa and even with dutch processed cocoa. Anything would work.
If the dried fruit are too dry, then soak them in warm water for at least 1 hour before using them.
Warm spot in the house is where the temperature is between 70~80°F, usually the laundry room or over the radiator or near a window.
Make sure to preheat the cast iron pan or Dutch oven in the oven to ensure that you the bread forms the lovely crust.
Please note that the oven temperature needs to be reduced after the first 15 minutes of baking and the lid comes off too at this point.
You can leave the dough for bulk fermentation for up to 24 hours but not more than that.
8am: Mix Levain
11am: Autolyse dough
12pm: Mix dough and levain
12:30pm: Mix in salt
1:30pm: Fold #1
2:00pm: Fold #2
2:30pm: Fold #3
3:00pm: Fold #4, rest for 1 hour
4:00pm: shape dough and place in fridge overnight
Next Morning: Preheat oven as per the recipe and bake!!