The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

1849 Gold Rush SD Whole Wheat Fruitcake and Pecan, Prune and Cranberry Sourdough

dabrownman's picture

1849 Gold Rush SD Whole Wheat Fruitcake and Pecan, Prune and Cranberry Sourdough

Lucy did finally back to what we would call normal so it was time to get some holiday baking done.  We managed to get a fruitcake baked off and then we did a 25% whole wheat fruit and nut holiday bread to make up for a few weeks of blandish white bread bakes.

We come up with a slightly different version every year.  This one was special because it was whole wheat, what little amount if flour there is in it and the fruits have been snockering away, in bourbon, in the fridge, for more than a year…. so they are very tasty ….almost too tasty for fruitcake.  We used pecans for the nuts this year instead of a mix with walnuts.

We upped the butter a bit, dropped the molasses and upped the brown sugar to compensate.  We upped the spices to a full tablespoon of a mix of: cloves, mace, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cardamom and cinnamon with cinnamon double the amount if the others.  We baked it at 32f for an hour and 5 minutes instead of 300 F for 2 hours.  Here is the recipe

25% Pre-fermented whole wheat, 100% hydration levain made with 10 g of NMNF rye starter

75% Whole wheat dough flour

25% Water

2% Pink Himalayan Sea Salt

65% Eggs

65% Butter

225% Snockered glace and dried fruits

65% Walnuts

65% Brown sugar

65% Chocolate chips

I T of mixed 7 spices.

The holiday bread bake was made for the centerpiece of the table but I forgot to Chacon it so I just dumped it into the flat bottomed, Goodwill 50 cent cloth lined basket, seam side down, hoping it would look nice.  It came out unique enough for sure but, since I still have to bake a Chacon for the challenge holiday bake anyway, I decided to eat this one.

This one had a 10% preferment flour, whole wheat (white and red), 100 % hydration levain.  Overall whole wheat was 25%.  We did 1 set of 50 slap and folds and then 4 sets of stretch and folds – all on 30 minute intervals.  The prune and cranberries were rehydrated with the liquid squeezed out and reserved to make yeast water.  The fruits with the pecans went in during the first set of stretch and folds.

This started out at 80% hydration but the reh-ydrated fruits brought some extra water with them so it was quite a bit wetter than that in reality.  We let it rest for 30 minutes before bulk retarding it for 14 hours.  We let it warm up 2 ½ hours before shaping and basketing seam side down.  It proofed for about 2 more hours before it hit the hot DO for 20 minutes of steam at 450 F and 15 minutes of dry convection air at 425 F

It read 208 F when we took it out of the oven.  It browned nicely due to that extra sugar in the re-hydration water and it opened up in a unique way even for a seam side up baked boule.  We think it should be fair open when we cut into it later.  Here is the formula

10% Pre-fermented flour, red and white whole wheat, 100% hydration levain

15% Red and white wheat dough flour

75% LaFama AP

2% Pink Himalayan sea salt

80% overall hydration

15% each pecans. prunes and cranberries dry weight.

Happy holiday baking to all!


isand66's picture

This one's a beauty!  Almost as pretty as Lucy :>0

Love the look and can image how amazing this must taste and smell while baking.

Give Lucy a nice long belly rub from me and tell her Max and Lexi say hellooooo Arizona Queen!

Happy Baking!


dabrownman's picture

going to be in the 60's today and into the upper 30's tonight!  What a shocking change.  Lucy doesn't like the cold and neither do I with my old joints.  It was too cold to even walk her last night and I wasn't going to change out of my shorts for that - way way too much work!

Glad you liked the bread and the fruit cake is pretty killer too..  Lucy says to get those dogs walked before the snow comes.  When it is this cold here you know you are going to get blasted with the arctic air soon thereafter.

Happy baking 

Danni3ll3's picture

Both looks and sound delicious! I am amazed that you were able to keep out of the snookered fruit for an entire year! That is definitely an exercise in self restraint!

dabrownman's picture

how many times my wife tried to toss them this past year.  She doesn't like fruit cake and could care less if they disappeared out of the fridge.  Sadly as soon as the Holidays are over and they put the fruitcake fruits on sale, I will stock up for another batch,  You don't have to pour hooch over the cakes when they are done this way since the dried fruits have already soaked up plenty:-)  The alcohol evaporates during the baking leaving just he flavor behind and you don't have to worry about snockering the kids with it.  I suppose the fruits in the fridge would have been in danger if I would have run out of Bourbon ....but that will never ever happen,  We would run out of food first and be forced to eat the snockered fruits with a glass of bourbon to wash them down:-)

Glad you like the bread too.  The crumb was very soft maybe the softest ever.  Nice and open too - like yours!

Happy baking Danni

Truth Serum's picture
Truth Serum

This would not be the kind of fruitcake that gets regifted! Well done!


dabrownman's picture

it is a shame we don't eat it year round since it is so good.  When I cut into it  in a couple of weeks I will put a crumb shot to go with the top.  Glad you like it

Elsasquerino's picture

This looks brilliant, thanks for sharing.