The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Wild Rice Sourdough with Cranberries 

Danni3ll3's picture

Wild Rice Sourdough with Cranberries 

 This is a popular loaf for Canadian Thanksgiving. 



For this batch, I adapted my levain building procedure to have 1:2:2 ratio at each build. Reading a few recent posts about feeding ratios prompted me to try this as my levain often has a bit of acetone smell at its peak which might mean it’s starving. With the 1:2:2 ratio, I didn’t notice that smell but I also didn’t find that it rose any faster. It still took 6 hours to come close to double on the last build before I put it in the fridge. By the way, thank you to those (Dabrownman and Ian if I remember right) that do refrigerate the last build before using it. It is really convenient to be able to use the levain when I want it rather than waiting hours for it to be ready. Much easier to time the autolyse this way!




Makes 3 loaves



700 g strong bakers unbleached flour

200 g fresh milled Kamut 

100 g fresh milled Einkorn

75 g dry Wild Rice (~168 g cooked)

150 g dried cranberries 

700 g water

30 g yogurt 

30 g honey

22 g salt

250 g of 3 stage 100% hydration levain (procedure below)

Rye flour (or any other wholegrain flour) to feed the levain


Two mornings before:

  1. Take 2 g of refrigerated starter and feed it 4 g of filtered water and 4 g of wholegrain rye flour. Let sit at cool room temperature for the day. 


The two nights before:

  1. Feed the levain 20 g of water and 20 g of wholegrain rye flour. Let that rise at cool room temperature for the night. 


The morning before:

  1. Feed the levain 100 g of filtered water and 100 g of strong baker’s flour and let rise until doubled (about 6 hours). 
  2. Place into fridge until the next morning. 


The night before:

  1. I use homemilled flour so if you are doing the same, measure out the stated amount for each type of flour in berries or grain, and mill it on the finest setting of your home mill. If buying flour, get the freshest that you can and try to ensure that it is wholegrain. 
  2. Place the required amounts of the wholegrain flours in a tub and add the unbleached flour to it. 
  3. Cover and set aside.
  4. Cook the wild rice in plenty of boiling water until tender. This took an hour. Drain, add the dried cranberries, mix well, and refrigerate overnight.


Dough making day:

  1. When ready to make the dough, take the wild rice and the levain out of the fridge to warm up before being used in the dough.
  2. Using a stand mixer, mix the water with the flour, and mix on speed 1 until all the flour has been hydrated. Let this autolyse for a couple of hours. 
  3. Once the autolyse is done, add the salt, the yogurt, the honey, and the levain to the bowl. Mix on speed one for a minute to integrate everything, then mix on speed 2 for 9 minutes.  
  4. Add the cooked wild rice and cranberries to the mixing bowl, and mix on speed 2 until they are evenly distributed. This should only take a minute or two.
  5. Remove the dough from the mixing bowl and place in a lightly oiled covered tub. Let rest 30 minutes in a warm spot (oven with light on). 
  6. Do 2 sets of stretches and folds at 30 minute intervals and then 2 sets of sleepy ferret folds at 45 minute intervals, and then let the dough rise to about 30%. It should have irregular bubbles visible through the sides of the container and  bubbles on top as well. 
  7. Tip the dough out on a bare counter, sprinkle the top with flour and divide into portions of ~780 g. Round out the portions into rounds with a dough scraper and let rest 30 minutes on the counter. 
  8. Do a final shape by flouring the top of 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.
  9. Sprinkle a  mix of rice and all purpose flour in the bannetons. Place the dough seam side down in the bannetons. Let rest for a few minutes on the counter and then put to bed in a cold (38F) fridge overnight. 

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 but quickly place the dough seam side up inside. 
  2. Cover the pots and bake the loaves at 450 F for 25 minutes, remove the lids, and bake for another 22 minutes at 425 F. Internal temperature should be 205 F or more.

 I am quite happy with these loaves. Nice oven spring and beautiful colour. I probably won’t get a crumb shot as they are all promised to other people. 



Benito's picture

Always beautiful bread you bake Danni.  Happy Canadian Thanksgiving to you. 🍗


Danni3ll3's picture

Our Crumb's picture
Our Crumb

Screw the "Alan pic fix".  Who needs it: These look and sound delicious.  What a great Thanksgiving combo, wild rice and crans.



Danni3ll3's picture

I get to see these all the time! I don’t get to see Alan’s all the time especially since he doesn’t post repeats. 

isand66's picture

Glad you gave the refrigerated levain a try.  It really works well and provides more flexibility.

Love the combo of favors.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

vjcounsel's picture

My very first comment on the site after stalking for years  I noticed you use yogurt in most of your sour dough makes.  Wondering why?  I make my own yogurt (have diary goats) and did not think of doing this in many sour doughs I have made.  Think I will try it.

Danni3ll3's picture

the crust bring too tough and the tiny amount I use fixes that. I think goat yogurt in bread would be awesome!

Floydm's picture

Happy Thanksgiving!

Would you mind if I swap this into the slot on the homepage that I have your earlier post in? This is really nice.

Danni3ll3's picture

You know you don’t have to ask. 😊

cfraenkel's picture

I didn't even have to look to know this would be your post on the homepage.  I have been without an oven for 3 weeks, the thermocouple died, and the repair man estimated $600 to replace it.  It is a $20 we're waiting for the part.  I've had to venture forth to my local bakery (not a terrible thing) - there is one in town that mills their own flour, so the bread is safe for me.  Hopefully the part should arrive tomorrow. It's on the truck at least. Hope you had a great weekend.

Danni3ll3's picture

Of the crumb but better something rather than nothing. My daughter took the picture at a friend’s Thanksgiving dinner.