November 15, 2013

Cranberry Walnut Bread

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Watching a local TV show about food and restaurants around the D.C. area, I got hungry and salivated for the crusty cranberry walnut bread the host sank her teeth into. Washington D.C., although near where I live, is still way too far to drive for a loaf of bread. I haven't checked out our local bakeries either because I have been a bit under the weather and haven't been out of the house for almost a week. It's just a simple cold so baking it myself wasn't too taxing, and the only choice for me.

I preferred a savory bread that I can also have with soups. The recipe I initially followed had equal amounts of bread and whole wheat flours. I made the bread 3 times, the first 2 being total disasters as the bread buns collapsed in the oven or didn't rise at all. I knew the bread will be dense but didn't expect it to be hard as brick either. I decided to alter the recipe using just a fraction of whole wheat flour and making a starter the day before for better flavor and structure. I also used store-bought cranberry cocktail in place of water. The result is a wonderful crusty dense but soft crumbed bread chockful of sweet tart dried cranberries and walnuts. I love it simply smeared with salted butter.

Cranberry Walnut Bread
1 cup bread flour
½ teaspoon instant yeast
¾ cup warm cranberry cocktail

3½ cups bread flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
½ teaspoon instant yeast
¾ cup warm cranberry cocktail
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup chopped walnuts
  • Starter: In a medium bowl, mix together ingredients until smooth. Cover with plastic film and leave on kitchen counter overnight. 
  • Dough: Transfer starter into the bowl of a standing mixer. Add flours, yeast, cranberry cocktail, and salt. Mix on low speed with paddle attachment. Replace paddle with dough hook and knead on low for 2 minutes. Transfer dough into a greased container and cover with plastic film. Stretch and fold on all sides 3 times every 20 minutes. Let rise for 2 hours on kitchen counter. Knead in cranberries and walnuts. Let rest for 30 minutes. 
  • Shape into large or small boules. Cover with plastic film and let rise for 2 hours. Bake in a preheated 425°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until tops are golden brown.

perfect breakfast


Winnie said...

This is awesome!!
I've never tasted such a bread, and you've definitely got me curious.

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