The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Fresh cranberry walnut bread?

dvuong's picture

Fresh cranberry walnut bread?

I purchased a loaf of Cranberry Walnut bread from Thoroughbread and Pastry in San Francisco last weekend.  It was a gorgeous loaf with amazing flavor!  In case some of you aren't aware, Thoroughbread is a cafe/bakery that is owned by SFBI/Michael Suas.  Anyway, the one unique thing about this bread is I think they use fresh cranberries and not the dried ones.  There seemed to be a very different texture to the cranberries when biting into it with just a hint of tartness.  Has anyone ever tried using fresh cranberries in their breads and if so, how do you prevent it from being super tart like most cranberries are?

BakerBen's picture

I came up with a formula for a Sweet Potato bread with "fresh" cranberries, toasted walnuts and raisins.  The raisin are sweet and the fresh cranberries are tart - and yes the texture is fantastic.  The whole reason for my using fresh cranberries was the tartness and texture they bring to the final loaf.  The trick is to not use so many that the tartness overpowers to taste palate you are attempting to create.

A couple of other tips on using fresh cranberries:

1. Use "flash" frozen since cranberries are not always in season.

2. Do not thaw them prior to mixing into the dough and mix them in last just until encorporated.  By doing this the cranberries do not get torn up and the dough screaked with their color.

I love my sweet potato bread.  it is more of a bread than a batter bread - I try and knead it long enough to build some glutene network prior to adding any of the add-ins.  It is a good sandwich bread with ham or turkey, a great toast and a fantastic French toast. 

Good luck and happy baking.