The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

BBA Cranberry Walnut Celebration Loaf

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OldWoodenSpoon's picture
OldWoodenSpoon

BBA Cranberry Walnut Celebration Loaf

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
OldWoodenSpoon

Comments

SylviaH's picture
SylviaH

Delicious looking crumb.  


Happy Holidays!


Sylvia

KMIAA's picture
KMIAA

Love Cranberries.  Yummy, whish I was there


Merry Christmas!

Bakersman's picture
Bakersman

Wish you could email me a piece, it looks wonderful.


 Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!!


 


Greg

saltandserenity's picture
saltandserenity

Beautiful loaf.  The crumb looks perfect.  I made this bread as part of the BBA challenge and loved it.

theavidbaker's picture
theavidbaker

The dough came together very easily.  I made this delicious bread without fashioning the braids.  I ended up with two 8x4 inch loaves chalk full of cranberries and walnuts (although it did not rise as high).

In addition to the orange extract, I also used orange zest.  Next time I may substitute some of the liquid for fresh orange juice too.  The bread made for sturdy sandwich slices and because it was lightly sweet, it paired well with savoury elements too.

For those interested, I have posted photos and my additional comments/suggestions on my blog  https://theavidbaker.wordpress.com/

Cheers and Happy Baking!