The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Spiced Cranberry Golden Raisin Sourdough

Danni3ll3's picture

Spiced Cranberry Golden Raisin Sourdough

 Xmas batch # 3. One more batch of this same recipe and I’ll have all my Xmas orders done! 😊


Makes 3 loaves


770 g unbleached flour

110 g high extraction Red Fife flour (Mill 125 g Red Fife berries and sift. Save the bran for the levain.)

50 g freshly ground flax

1 tsp vital wheat gluten

620 g filtered water + 25 g

180 golden raisins (sultanas)

180 dried cranberries

35 g plain yogurt

2 tsp ground cinnamon

3.5 tsp of mixed spices (4 tsp ground cinnamon, .5 tsp each of ground ginger and ground cloves, 1 tsp each of ground nutmeg and ground coriander - Note this makes more than you need.)

22 g salt 

465 g of 4 stage levain (100% hydration)(Procedure in recipe)

Extra flour to feed the levain.


Two nights before:

  1. Take 16 g of your refrigerated starter and feed it 16 g  each of left over bran and filtered water. Let rise overnight.

The morning before:

  1. Feed the levain 32 g of bran/extra flour and 32 g of filtered water. I had some locally milled flour hanging around that needed to be used up so I utilized that. When I ran out, I used unbleached flour to feed the levain.

The night before:

  1. Mix the unbleached flour, the high extraction flour, the ground flax, and the vital wheat gluten well in a tub, cover and reserve.
  2. Measure out the cranberries and the golden raisins and place in a bowl. To the bowl, add the yogurt and mix well. On top of this mix, add the cinnamon, the mixed spice and the salt. Do not mix in! Cover and place in the fridge till the next morning.

Dough day:

  1. Feed the levain 128 g each of flour and water. Let rise till double. This should take about 4 hours.
  2. Take the cran raisin mixture out of the fridge to bring to room temp. 
  3. Add all the ingredients including the levain to the mixing bowl, except for the salt, raisins, cinnamon and mixed spices.  Mix until the ingredients are incorporated. Leave to rest for one hour.  
  4. After the dough has sat for an hour or so, add the fruit mixture and mix well to disperse the salt, spices and fruit. Let rest for a half hour.
  5. The plan was to do three sets of French slaps and folds (70/40/10) at 30 minutes intervals. However, the dough was so stiff, I was only able to stretch out the dough and do a double set of letter folds. I put the dough back in the tub and added 25 g of water and let that soak in for 30 minutes. 
  6. Then I was able to do 70 gentle slaps and folds. The reason for doing gentle ones is that the raisins and cranberries pop out of the dough and go flying. I have 3 four legged apprentices that have a good chance of getting sick if they eat raisins. Raisins are toxic to dogs. Even so, a few hit the floor and I had to be vigilant in grabbing them ASAP!
  7. I continued with another 2 sets of slaps and folds 30 minutes apart as per the plan. 
  8. Again on 30 minute intervals, do 2 sets of stretches and folds in the tub.
  9. Let rest an hour at room temp (73F) and then retard the bulk for two and a half hours. The dough rose about 40%. 
  10. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~830 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest one hour on the counter. 
  11. Do a final shape by flouring the rounds and flipping the rounds over on a lightly floured counter. Gently stretch the dough out into a circle. Pull and fold the third of the dough closest to you over the middle. Pull the right side and fold over the middle and do the same to the left. Fold the top end to the center patting out any cavities. Finally stretch the two top corners and fold over each other in the middle. Roll the bottom of the dough away from you until the seam is underneath the dough. Cup your hands around the dough and pull towards you, doing this on all sides of the dough to round it off. Finally spin the dough to make a nice tight boule.
  12. Sprinkle rice flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons, cover, let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge for 9-10 hours. 

Baking Day

  1. The next morning, heat the oven to 475F with the Dutch ovens inside for 45 minutes to an hour. Turn out the dough seam side up onto a cornmeal sprinkled counter. Place rounds of parchment paper in the bottom of the pots, and carefully place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 30 minutes, remove the lids, drop the temperature to 425F, and bake for another 17 minutes. Internal temperature should be 205F or more.


The boules were super firm when I tipped them out of their bannetons so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I was a very happy camper when I took the lids off after 30 minutes. They sprung nicely and smelled amazing! Quite pleased with these!


Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

As I said about your last batch, such inspired ingredient combos. 

Although...Mixed Spice in a bread?  Hmmm.  I just made a carrot cake with Mixed Spice, for which I had to assemble something like the combo you specify, plus mace. 

Must be a festive holiday thing...


Danni3ll3's picture

cinnamon raisin bread which is quite common around  here. Not a thing I gather in your neck of the woods?

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Yes of course, cinnamon-raisin is ubiquitous here in the lower 48.  Not so much in our household, where only pastries -- but never breads -- are sweet.  But you've taken cin-raisin to another level, + crans + mixed spice + ...

Must be terrific toasted and buttered.  Hmmm, now you've got me thinkin..  Bad Dannielle!



Danni3ll3's picture

I want everyone to join me in my follies. Not to mention, I then won’t be the only one with the scale going the wrong way! 😂 

MontBaybaker's picture

Another yummy-looking recipe.  Just got back from family Thanksgiving in ABQ and must catch up on bread. 

Weird question.  Do the spices make your dough a strange color?  I ask because a fresh cranberry spice loaf cake I've made for 25? years has cinnamon, cloves, coriander & cardamom.  The batter turns gunmetal gray and looks horrible, but it's fun to watch it gradually turn brown in the oven.  Maybe it's a reaction between the fresh berries (half cooked whole until they pop, half gently pulsed and folded in) and one or more spices.

Danni3ll3's picture

You can tell there are spices in the dough but nothing like you describe. It must be the fresh cranberries that make it do that. 

isand66's picture

Your crust looks perfect on this one and I'm sure that combo of spices makes a perfect holiday bread.

Great bake Danni.

dabrownman's picture

to make the Holidays a bit merrier.  Lucy would snocker the dried fruit if it were her recipe but she is a lush.when it comes to snockering anything. Glad to see no sweetener used too!  This bread has everything and the customers will not go away unimpressed for Christmas!  Amazing how you got all 48 loaves done before December came around too - talk about being organized! 

Well done and happy baking Danni!