A nod to two common pandemic activities - drinking and baking.
After mixing Mr Black in a lot of varied liquid forms, it seemed logical to try it as a baked cocktail.
The Mr Black and vanilla comes through softly, with date and cranberry flavours making it a more adult fruit bread.
Add water, Mr Black, vanilla essence and salt to a mixing bowl and stir with a fork
Add starter to mixed liquids and stir until starter combines with the liquid
Add flour, cranberries and Medjool dates to the liquid mix and combine with a fork until it becomes a sticky dough. Cover with a damp cloth for 30 minutes
Optional: for a sweeter bread, soak chopped Medjool dates in the water that will be used for 4 hours
Work the dough until it becomes firm
Cover with a damp cloth for 10-12 hours (bulk rise). It should rise 1.5-2 times during this time
Optional: After 60 and/or 120 minutes do a round of stretch and fold to give Baker Mr Black more height
After bulk rise is complete, place dough onto a floured surface and shape by grabbing a portion, pulling it up and folding it to the centre of the dough. Rotate dough and repeat until a full circle has been completed
Place dough back in bowl with the smooth side facing up. Cover and let it sit for 30 minutes
Place smooth side on the floured surface. Repeat step 6.
Flip dough (smooth side facing up) and use hands to cup the dough and tighten the shape
Place in a linen cloth lined bowl (smooth side down) and cover for it to puff up, approximately 30-60 minutes. Pre-heat oven to 450F
Flip the dough onto baking paper, sprinkle with flour and rub hands over it
Use a serrated knife (or a bread lame if you roll that way) to score the dough at 12-3-6-9 o’clock or North-North East-South and North-North West-South curves
Place in Dutch oven to bake for 25 minutes with lid on and 30 minutes with lid off. Alternatively, place a pan with boiling water in the oven and dough on a tray. Bake for 20 minutes with boiling water in oven and then 20-30 minutes without. For either approach, the crust should be a mocha brown colour
Let it cool for 1-2 hours, slice and enjoy with lashings of butter