Sourdough Noir

HOLIDAYS ARE FOR BAKING AND STRESSING OUT. I just couldn't get on that boat this year. The baking boat that is. Stress happens to be my forte right now. After making peanut butter balls (a Lust family FAVORITE) and marshmallows this (that looked meh but tasted good),  just after thanksgiving and not feeling the cookie/candy buzz. I realized I was in a holiday baking slump. UNTIL I found the sourdough noir recipe. The recipe is from The Clever Carrot, who else? 

You might recall in a past post (ahem, here) I've found sourdough hard, that's still true but this recipe is so good I'll suffer through my time management struggle to make it. I've made three batches so far and just about have it memorized. 

My favorite part of this bread is the base is great for just about any filling. The recipe calls for walnuts, raisins (ick) and chocolate chips. My first batch I used sliced almonds, bits of candied ginger and chocolate chips. The ginger was SUPREME and my new go-to for this bread. My holiday-esque filling is pecans, craisins and chocolate chips. I ran out of semi-sweet so I added in white chocolate. Imagine it with dried apricots or toffee and cinnamon? Mmmm. 

I wanted to give a few loaves away to friends and co-workers. Each batch makes two medium size loaves. One batch I kept as two medium loaves and the second I divided into quarters for four small loaves.

You'll notice in the two loaves above, the different colors come from how I baked them. The lighter, on the left was baked on a baking stone. THe much darker one on the right was baked in a dutch oven.

Other than that success I think my packaging is super cute. I love these paper sandwich bags (found at my local Whole Foods) with the butchers twine. The medium loaves didn't fit, obviously, but the mini ones are very festive.