The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Soaking Cranberries?

Anonymous baker's picture
Anonymous baker (not verified)

Soaking Cranberries?

I'm following a recipe which has raisins but I'm substituting cranberries. The recipe says to soak the raisins but doesn't specify timing. Is it necessary to soak the cranberries? If so, how long for and do I use cold, warm or hot water? 

gerryp123's picture

I just made two loafs this afternoon -- walnut cranberry for one, and walnut-raisin for the other, Both from the same recipe.  I soaked the raisins for about 20 minutes to plump them up, but I left the cranberries unsoaked,

The breads turned out well -- good shape, good color, essentially equivalent.  They are on the cooling rack as I write this.  First samples later this evening.  I'll let you know.

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

That's exactly what I'm making. Thank you Gerry! and looking forward to your results. 

mutantspace's picture

I'd like to know that too - Good question...

gerryp123's picture

Rushed things a bit and sampled the results of my bake after only about a 2 hour cool-dowm.  Both breads were very nice.  Favorable, moist, good thick crust (although no steaming used), slightly dense crumb.  Baking was very easy.  Shaping was a pleasure after the high-hydration hearth breads I've been baking.  Very recreational!

Comparing the two breads, both were very similar (except for the cranberries vs raisins).  The cranberries were a good counterpoint to the walnuts and whole wheat adders.  Made for a pleasant taste. A bit on the tart side, but not overpowering. I do not think that pre-soaking the cranberries (I did not) would have made much difference

Swapping the raisins (mixture of yellow and brown raisins) for the cranberries changed the tart taste of the first loaf for a sweeter taste in the second.  Pre-soaked the raisins for about 30 min, dried them off and added them in place of the cranberries.  I think the raisin pre-soak added to the overall texture and flavor.

Conclusion from both me and wife is that both breads will be a welcome breakfast treat.  A definite A-

[This recipe was taken from "Americas Test Kitchen - Bread Illustrated".  Recipe makes a 2 lb loaf which I shaped as a of 9"x6"x3" batard]

Lechem's picture
Lechem (not verified)

Glad they both turned out well. Next time I'll do raisins and compare. But good to know that soaking, for cranberries atleast, is not necessary. I wonder why one would soak raisins in the first place. Just for moisture and therefore dependant on one's taste or is it because they soak up water and one doesn't wish for them to take away from the moisture whereas cranberries don't do this. 


The recipe I'm doing is here...

dabrownman's picture

into the microwave for 20 seconds and then let them sit for an hour.  Yum!

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Or do you think they ought to go into bread ???    :)     I got blue-asins too!

AnotherLoaf's picture

especially if the package has been open for awhile. Mine seem to lose moisture in the refrigerator. You can use them either way, but I think the idea behind soaking them, besides enhancing the flavor with bourbon, is to keep the fruit from stealing moisture from the dough. In other words, depending how many you use, it may change your final hydration. marybeth