Crusty Sour Cherry and Lemon Dutch Oven Bread

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After our first date many moons ago, A told me that he wanted to take me to a wonderful bakery in Bow, WA, called the Breadfarm. That was back in the day when I ate anything and everything.

There were two reasons why A wanted to take me here: (i) their rosemary and pine nut shortbread, and (ii) their sour cherry and lemon bread. Unfortunately, they no longer sold the shortbread, and we had already developed two different recipes for this type of shortbread (I and II).

The sour cherry and lemon loaf on the other hand was available. I had heard so many wonderful things about this bread that I asked them if they would share some of their starter. It is a possible path to take, but I chose not to pursue it because I was too lazy.

We left with, I think, three sour cherry and lemon loaves. I mean, we were 85 miles away from home; we wanted to make the trip worthwhile. On the way home, we stopped at the cinema, and snuck in one of these loaves to snack on during the movie. Man, it was so, so, so, damn good! It was crusty on the outside, chewy and soft on the inside, with the occasional burst of sour cherry goodness. It was incredible!

Fast forward a few years, and I discovered how to make a crusty loaf at home. I decided to throw in a handful of sour cherries, some lemon zest and a smidgen of honey, and it worked a treat. We can’t say how close it is to the Breadfarm’s bread, but considering they are 85 miles away, we’ll take it.

The resulting bread is crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. (Remember this is a no-knead bread). It’s perfect on its own, or slathered with a ton of European butter.

As a side note: be prepared to eat this loaf when fresh, because it loses its “crust” and texture the second day. It gets a little hard and dryer. But it’s so good, that I doubt that you will have leftovers.


makes one loaf

adapted from honeyandspice: crusty dutch oven bread (no knead)

inspired by the Breadfarm’s Sour Cherry and Lemon Loaf


  • 450 g (3 cups) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried active yeast
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 360 ml (1-1/2 cups) warm water
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 handful dried sour cherries
  • grated zest of one large lemon
  • additional flour for dusting


1. In a large bowl, mix all of the ingredients together until well combined {mixture will resemble a sticky shaggy mess}. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 12-18 hours.

2. Dust with flour and fold on itself once or twice and shape into a loose ball. {The dough will be sticky and difficult to handle. Refrain from adding too much flour}. Place seam-side down onto a well-floured towel.

3. Cover with another well-floured towel and invert (towels and dough) into a 20 cm (8 inch) diameter bowl (now seam side up). Let sit at room temperature for 1-2 hours.

4. 30 minutes before prove time is over, preheat Dutch oven pan and lid in the middle of the oven at 250 C/475 F for 30 minutes.

5. Remove top towel from dough. Remove pan from oven and take off the lid.

6. Invert dough ball into pan, slash if desired, replace lid and transfer back into the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the crust is golden.

7. Remove bread from the pan and allow to cool on a wire rack before slicing.


4 thoughts on “Crusty Sour Cherry and Lemon Dutch Oven Bread

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