Whole Grain Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread

That looks like the perfect Thanksgiving bread. Thanks, Melissa!

You’re welcome! So true that fall and Thanksgiving become cranberry central…and nuts and squash – I love it all.

You’ve reminded me of one of the first recipes I wrote for Breadtopia, for a bread that mimics Thanksgiving stuffing. I should revisit it in a month or so :slight_smile:

I have made a cranberry walnut and cranberry orange with a Levain starter for years. Never thought of doing it with sourdough before. One caution - many people are allergic to nuts, so the cranberry orange is an option and very tasty and popular.

Cranberry orange does sound delicious, and nut allergies are definitely something to be conscious of.

Hi everyone! I have replaced some of the water in the recipe for the cranberry pecan bread here on Breadtopia with some unsweetened pure orange juice. Off the top of my head I think the original recipe calls for 12 ounces of water and I’ve occasionally substituted about 4 ounces of that water with orange juice. The hint of orange aroma and flavor is quite nice and is a lovely variation on a recipe that’s a favorite staple of mine. I realize that’s not the recipe being discussed on this thread but I did want to weigh in on having used orange juice.

Happy baking,

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Hey Melissa,

When you kneaded the dough did you find the nuts and cranberries tore through the dough? When kneading supposed to avoid tearing and HAD A BUNCH. Had a difficult time getting the dough to stick around each particle, especially the cranberries. I made a Cabbage Rye a couple of days ago and had to knead in 2 cups of cabbage along with a 1/2 cup of cooked onions and was the same issue. BTW Cabbage Rye don’t make one unless you want to gain a pound. :rofl::rofl::rofl:

Lay the ingredients out on a paper towel to absorb some of the moisture? Any hints.

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My take on bread additions is that you can add them at various times (initial mixing, first or second stretch and fold, preshape) and the gluten generally recovers.

In this recipe, I added the walnuts and cranberries during a lamination, then did one more stretch and fold only. No tearing.

Cabbage and onions in rye sounds interesting. I hear you that they must’ve been wet additions. I’d probably put everything in at once so the vegetable water is accounted for and part of hydrating the flour, but that’s just my approach not some known best practice. :slight_smile:

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I baked this bread this morning. Just had my first taste, and I must say: it’s totally delicious! The slight tang of the sourdough melds perfect with the sweetness of the cranberries. I soaked the cranberries in red tea( rooibos from South Africa). Also used the soaking liquid for the water component. If you haven’t baked it yet, what are you waiting for? You won’t be sorry. Thanks for a great tasting recipe.

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I’m so glad you’re enjoying the bread and thanks for the ringing endorsement of the recipe :slight_smile: Your tea-soak variation is intriguing.

Thanks, Melissa, for this wonderful recipe. Have made it twice using dried cherries instead of cranberries because that’s what I had. It certainly makes the best toast! Not to mention chicken salad sandwiches.

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:heart_eyes: chicken salad sandwiches – great idea! There’s a deli near me that does an amazing chicken salad wrap, and it’s so good because there are cranberries and walnuts in the chicken salad.

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Thank you for this recipe. The bread tastes great, but it was so wet I couldn’t even score it. It didn’t rise correctly and had no oven pop. The crumb is tight despite being very wet and lax. The final loaf was rather like a disk 8.5 inches in diameter and 2 inches high. My colony is very active. What do you recommend for my next attempt?
Gene Fioretti

Hmmm, a flat loaf could be over- or underproofing. If you gave the dough a long time to ferment and you saw nice webbing when you took it out of the bowl to preshape it, then I would diagnose it as possibly over proofing.

Over proofing could also explain the wet feel to the dough. The question there is: Did it feel too wet from the beginning (just use less water next time) or did it get gooey after time passed (shorten your rise time).

I am sorry Melissa but I’m utterly confused. How can one make bread only using berries? Where is the flour? In your ingredients for the walnut cranberry berry bread you state spelt berries OR spelt flour; and wheat berries OR wheat flour; and then there’s one more which I forgot. Am I supposed to be adding these berries with the flours? Or using either or? And if I’m supposed to be using both the berries and their perspective flours, why are you using the conjunction OR?

I’m not Melissa, but I read your question and I can answer so I will …

Spelt berries, wheat berries … those are the wheat “kernels” that are ground to make flour. Many folks on the forum have mills and buy berries instead of flour and use mills to make flour from the berries so … OR is correct. If you don’t have a mill, you are using flour. Those with a mill are using the same weight in wheat berries/kernels and milling them into flour.

What @easummers explained is correct – use flour or berries you mill into flour.

I think I used to write (random example) 500g home-milled red fife wheat berries. Somewhere along the way, I dropped the “home-milled,” thinking I was streamlining things but I appreciate the heads-up that this could be confusing. Thanks for pointing it out and thank you, Liz, for explaining the “or”!

I feel terrible to bother you again, however, I’m relatively knew to bread making. Except Focaccia and Schicciata, whereby I’m pretty darn good. So, what is home-milled berries? I kinda sorta can guess generally speaking? But how do you home-mill berries?

Thanks so much Liz! Got it!


No bother at all! Here’s a comprehensive explanation of milling wheat at home. Let me know if you have any questions about anything it it or that I may not have covered.

I haven’t had time to make this bread yet but the Fife makes dynamite faux malt-o-meal. I use 4 TBS fine milled Fife to a cup of boiling water, a little salt added. Note that you have to pour in a little bit at a time and keep stirring until it has thickened (about a minute) or you will get lumps.

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