The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts


evonlim's picture

weekend baking is always for friends. my friends have no preference, so it allows me to experiment and practice... !!


getting confident with my hands :)

i am making bread now as well for Sunday's friends. more practice


here is the crumb shot.. added cranberry for color contrast.

one more picture :)




wassisname's picture

I have been working through an abundance of whole rye flour and strong bread flour lately so I’ve dropped anchor in the sourdough rye section of Hamelman’s Bread.  I couldn’t quite make up my mind this week so I picked two.  First was the Whole-Rye and Whole-Wheat Bread, baked pretty much by the book.  Next was the Sourdough Rye with Walnuts.  I turned that one into something a little different.

This is my second try at the whole-rye and whole-wheat bread.  The first one was terrible.  I didn’t take enough care with the fermentation at any stage and paid the price.  At least I learned my lesson.  This time it turned out much, much better.  I made two changes to the book version – I left out the yeast (and so increased the ferment times) and I changed the bake temps, starting hotter at 500ºF and ending cooler at 425ºF.

I was happy with the result, but I don’t think this will be one of my favorites.  The flour proportions (25% rye, 25% ww, 50% bread flour) kind of leave it in no-man’s-land to my taste.  I think I would prefer it if one of the elements would stand out more.  Maybe it’s just that I’ve been baking more rye lately and my taste is leaning in that direction. 


Then came the Sourdough Rye with Walnuts… without walnuts… but with other stuff.  This turned into a big pile of pecans and cranberries (sweetened and dried from the store) wrapped in rye bread.  Oh, yum.  The dough is 50% whole rye as in the book, though I left the yeast out of this one as well.  The pecans are a bit over 20% the weight of the flour and the cranberries about 10%.  Beyond that it pretty much speaks for itself.

Though fairly dense from all the rye and nuts and berries,  there is enough bread flour to keep it soft.  Just add butter and breakfast is served!


oceanicthai's picture


I was inspired by JMonkey's bread from 2008 & from another bread I tried from Mike Avery's blog.  This bread was absolutely delicious.  I used my usual recipe for my sourdough boules with a 7-grain soaker so I wouldn't feel so guilty feeding it to my family.  I added 50 grams of Dutch cocoa, 100g of dried cranberries, and chocolate chips, folding it in the way JMOnkey showed so the chocolate wouldn't burn.  Worked fantastic. 

OldWoodenSpoon's picture

I thought:  I have just enough time to bake one more goodie.  With both our son and daughter coming home for Christmas, what could be better than a celebration?  Since I just got the BBA off the bookmobile, why not use Peter Reinhart's celebration loaf, the Cranberry Walnut Celebration Loaf to be exact?  Well, mostly exact.  I did not have any real buttermilk, but we have some powdered buttermilk in the refrigerator, so I substituted that instead.  I bought the orange extract for this loaf, deciding I would like that better than the lemon, and I am sure I made the right choice there.  I also decided to soak the dried cranberries before making this up, so I put them in a bowl with about 1/3 cup of brandy and enough hot water to cover them, for about an hour.  I mostly drained them before adding them to the dough.  I should have drained them a little better.

This was not a overly difficult formula but I had some trouble with the hydration.  At first the dough came out quite dry and I added several (4 or 5) tablespoons of water before it seemed right. I later realized this was because I used powdered buttermilk, and failed to adjust the water.  At least I failed to acknowledge the water required, but I did add it since I got to the prescribed dough consitency.  Then I added the cranberries that I should have drained more thoroughly and it got too wet.  A scant tablespoon of flour brought it around and made me happy.  The cranberries and walnuts were a little trouble to get well distributed too, but in the end it seems to have turned out well.

It took several minutes longer than the recipe called for to reach the internal temperature target, but the loaf developed beautiful color by the time it was finally done.  The aroma while cooking was redolent of oranges and cranberries mixed in with that "There's bread in the oven!" smell I imagine we all love so much.  It was a great house to go to bed in last night while this loaf cooled.  Here it is:

Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Loaf

And of course, the crumb:

We could not resist trying a couple of slices this morning.  It has a delightful texture with a tender and creamy crumb, plenty of fruit and nuts, and if anything, a bit too strong an orange overtone to it.  I think I will reduce the orange extract next time, or at least measure extra carefully to see if it was my mistake.  It is not overpowering, but it is a bit strong to our taste.  Regardless, we are planning to make sure there is enough left over for turkey sandwiches on Sunday.

Merry Christmas to all

turosdolci's picture

I added  cranberries to a biscotti recipe of my grandmothers making it part of our Thanksgiving dessert selection. We always add a little of our Italian heritage to each course of our dinner. Being in the middle of all the cranberry bogs on Cape Cod made it even more special this year.



LoganK's picture

Cranberry Orange Bread

December 5, 2009 - 7:24am -- LoganK

I recently tried some orange cranberry bread at my local grocery's bakery (Wegman's), which is being produced for the holiday season.  It was nice, but not exactly the direction I would have gone with it, and not something I wanted to eat a great deal of.  It was very orange-y, quite sweet, and topped with coarse sugar.  I began thinking about how I would do things differently and eventually put together this formula.  After a little trial and error, I'm very happy with this bread, so I thought I would share. 

turosdolci's picture

I spent my summers on Cape Cod where there were cranberry bogs in our back yard. After the harvest was over there were often many berries just lying on top of the bog that got missed in the harvest and we would collect them and make muffins, cranberry bread and mix them with apple pie - they add a little tartness to the pie that I really like. 

View my recipe for Cranberry Walnut bread  at

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