Gratitude sourdough bread + FREE gift tags download!

​I later learnt that this fruit bread was well known bread in German spoken countries (Austria, Germany), where it is called kletzenbrot. Kletzen is a German word for dried pears and brot means bread. Kletzenbrot is traditional Christmas fruit bread (besides stollen).

This year I decided to bake this delicious bread (in simplified and non- traditional version) on my own and share it with others​.

Rye flour, orange peel, roasted hazelnuts, chocolate chips, dry plums, dry apples, and roasted rye malt - MAGIC.

Roasted rye malt? It gives the bread that special brown color and little bit of sweetness. 

" Breaking bread is the best way to feel connected. "

Fruit sourdough bread

And since I'm sure you'll also be sharing your breads with others, I've prepared printable gift tags, which you only need to cut out and then simply decorate your delicious bread gift. Download the tags below.

And now, let's hop to the recipe.

Gratitude sourdough bread (with dry fruits, chocolate and nuts)
Yields: one medium-sized loaf

Baking schedule:
This bread was mixed in the evening (late afternoon), left to rise for 3 hours at the room temperature until slightly risen, shaped and then put in the fridge until passing the poking test (in ny case 12 hours). It was baked in the morning of the following day.

Baking schedule alternative:
Mix the dough, leave it to rise for 3 hours hours until the dough gets alive, slightly risen and puffed, shape it and leave it to rise at the room temperature until passes the poking test (time is dependant on the ambient temperature).


Sourdough starter
50 g whole grain rye flour
50 g water
1 tablespoon of your base starter (the one you keep alive)

all of the above sourdough starter (appr. 100 g)
225 g whole grain rye flour
225 white wheat flour (or bread flour)
2 tablespoons of roasted rye malt*
350 g water - 77% hydration dough
(pay attention to the water level, adjust it to your flour's absorbance - if you flour absorbs less water, add less water in the beginning, it is easy to add it more later if necessary)
9 g fine sea salt

Fruit soaker
40 g dry apples, chopped to small pieces
100 g dry prunes
50 g rum

60 g chocolate chips (I used these)
orange zest of 2 organic oranges
70 g roasted hazelnuts, chopped (roast them for 8-9 minutes at 230°C/446°F)

* if you don't have roasted rye malt at hand, substitute it for cocoa powder but make sure you add some (appr. 1-2 tablespoons) sweetener (honey, maple or agave syrup) to compensate for the bitterness.

Fruit sourdough bread

Left: roasted rye malt. Right: Dry apples, dry prunes, chocolate chips, and roasted hazelnuts.


1. In the morning, first prepare your sourdough starter. Mix 50 g of whole grain rye starter, 50 g of water, and 1 tablespoon or your base starter. Leave it to ferment until risen, puffed, active and bubbly, so you will be able to mix it into the dough in the late afternoon.
Next, prepare a fruit soaker. Mix rum, dry prunes and dry apples and let them soak until you are ready to mix the dough.

Sourdough starter

Rye sourdough starter ready to be mixed in the dough.

2. In the afternoon, mix the dough. First, dissolve all of your starter in 350 g of water. Add all of the flour (450 g) and rye malt. Mix well, knead for couple of minutes, cover the bowl with a lid, kitchen cloth or plastic wrap and leave to rest for half an hour.

Fruit sourdough bread

3. After half an hour add salt, all of the soaked fruits, roasted hazelnuts, and chocolate chips and knead them well into the dough.

4. Leave the dough in the bowl for another 2.5 - 3 hours at the room temperature. Cover the bowl with a kitchen cloth to prevent the surface of the dough from drying out. If it's too cold, you might put the bowl in a slightly warm oven. What we aim for is nicely puffed and slightly risen dough after this first rise (bulk fermentation) - the proof that the dough is getting alive. You don't want to ferment it too much, as it can overproof in the fridge. 
In the meantime prepare the rising basket and flour it well. I lined my rising basket with a kitchen cloth and floured it with whole grain rye flour and white wheat flour.

Fruit sourdough bread

5. After 3 hours the dough should be puffed and alive. Take the dough to unfloured (!) working surface and use your wettened hands to gather the dough into ball. The dough is very sticky, so don't bother too much with shaping.
Transfer the dough to a rising basket, dust it with flour, cover it with the rest of the kitchen cloth, and then put everything into a plastic bag to prevent the dough from drying out in the fridge. Transfer the rising basket in a plastic bag into the fridge and let it rise until passing the poking test (when the indent you make with your finger springs back slowly and not all the way up). The dough should also be nicely risen.

My dough needed 12 hours, yours might need less or more, depending on how well was the dough developed after the first rise and activity of your starter.

6. At least 30 minutes before baking preheat your oven to the maximum temperature of your oven along with dutch oven or a baking stone. I used dutch oven.

7. When the oven is preheated, take the loaf out of the rising basket and transfer it to dutch oven. Don't score the bread (it will make a beautiful pattern by itself) and put your dutch oven into oven.

8. Bake the loaf for 20 minutes with the lid on at 240°C/465F°F and 20-25 minutes with lid off at 230°C/445°F and until bread gets nice dark color.

Fruit sourdough bread

Left: proofed dough just before being put in the oven. Right: baked bread.

9. Cool on a cooling rack before cutting for at least 1 hour and then enjoy every bite of it.

Fruit sourdough bread

What is your favorite way of bread sharing and what are your favorite Christmas surprises and breads? Tell me in a comment below.

22 thoughts on “Gratitude sourdough bread + FREE gift tags download!

  1. Nataša, hvala za recept (in namig) – je že na ‘to do’ listku za te praznike! Babičina sestra, ki je dolga leta živela v Nemčiji, še zdaj vsako leto speče kruh s suhim sadjem – je odličen! Ampak nima čokolade in ruma :)

    Lepe in dišeče praznike tebi in vsem tvojim!

    1. Hoj, Anja! Ja, tile sadni kruhi so res posebni, s katero koli kombinacijo sadja in oreščkov :)

      Tudi tebi in naj se kuha v dvoje ;)

  2. Hi Natasa
    Thank-you so much for this lovely Christmas recipe. I have been so enjoying baking my own sourdough bread again after taking a break while my kids were little and my time was minimal – luckily we have some excellent sourdough bakeries in town!
    Although we have some different flours in New Zealand (most of our wheat are very high in gluten) I have managed to find some NZ grown flours and have found your techniques helpful as a base to work with these flours. So thank-you so much for your time in sharing these! I will certainly make this gratitude bread this week.
    I hope you have a wonderful holiday season x

    1. Hi Nicola! Thank you so much for your kind words! :)
      Sourdough baking feels so much like meditation in disguise, isn’t it?

      Hope that someday I can visit New Zealand and learn about your flours. It would nice challenge to try baking with other flours and see the different outcomes. Out local flours are quite weak in gluten, so it’s challenging sometimes.
      But this is why I love blogging so much – it brings the whole world to us and we can learn from each other, so thank you as well.

      And this bread – it can be made with any kind of dried fruits and nuts, however, I think it’s the orange peel and rum that make it very special :) :)

      Cheers and peaceful holiday vibes to New Zealand,

    1. Thank you so much and your’re welcome Sarah :) I would strongly recommend it, you will not regret it, hehe :)


  3. This looks delicious! My only question is will this dry out if I cut it and mail it or should I make individual breads? Thank you!!

    1. Thank you! I think it should stay fine up to a week if tightly wrapped in a parchment paper or you can always add more dried fruits to make it more moist :) I got it in a plastic bag and it was very fresh after couple of days.

      How far will it travel? :)

  4. Kakva divna ideja da podeliš hleb sa svojim virtuelnim prijateljima! Baš sam se oduševila!
    Mnogo mi se sviđa recept! Tradicionalno mesim hleb za Novu godinu pa da mogu ujutro 01.01. da ispečem. Pošto mi je starter umro jesenas (šmrc), ovaj recept mi baš dobro dođe pošto se pravi starter za njega dan pre :)
    A i taman da malo promenim, uvek mesim obični hleb :D

    1. Nevena, ako moram da preporučim jedan hleb, onda je to ta, samo hrabro! :)

      A ako mi kažeš tvoju adresu, sve je moguče za drugu godinu :D

  5. Hi Natasa! So that’s the lovely sourdough you had on instagram. would never have guessed the roasted rye malt… It sounds and looks so delicious and what a lovely story to go along. My favorite bread for sharing specially during the winter months is rye, walnut and prunes or figs bread. Also a delicious Portuguese corn bread with a very yellow dough and wonderful sweetness that is great with the rich cheeses we usually eat for Christmas. Thank you for the sharing :)

    1. Yes, Ines! :) Roasted rye malt is quite a fascinating thing, it gives such a lovely color to the dough without compromising the taste too much. If you can get in a store, it is worth of investment, plus you can have it for a long time.
      And the bread – it’s totally worth trying (like everything else with chocolate and orange peel, hehe)!

      Thank you for sharing words about Portuguese breads – fruit breads are so special and corn ones are one of my favorites, love the sweetness and the color as well :)


  6. Natasha your bread is beautiful I so love reading about your different breads. I am new to sourdough making and enjoying the process so much. I live in Australia. So you do no stretch and folds on this bread. Beautiful work. Xx

  7. Hi Natasa, Thanks for this beautiful recipe, I’m so looking forward to making it.
    I wonder – as I’m making this for the kids too – what would be the best alternative (but tasty too) for the rum? Many thanks, Caren

  8. Ludo game is a family game furthermore as youngsters game that was once vied by kings and currently, it will be enjoyed by you and your family and friends.

  9. I’m so excited by this bread! Mine seems to have come out extra moist—do you have any tips for how to test when the first half of the bake (with the lid on) is complete? Or if the dough has too much moisture?

    1. I guess I asked too quickly… when I added the fruit soak to my bread, the fruit had soaked up the rum! What a delicious bread! Thank you for sharing!

  10. Hi. This looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it! Did you remove the skins from the hazelnuts after roasting?

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