The Fresh Loaf

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20210517 School of CLAS - 100% Whole-grain Cranberry Walnut Bread

Yippee's picture

20210517 School of CLAS - 100% Whole-grain Cranberry Walnut Bread

To learn more about concentrated lactic acid sourdough (CLAS), please see here and here









Cranberry walnut bread is my family's favorite dessert bread. I used to make it mainly with AP flour. I am excited to transform this delicious recipe into a tastier and healthier 100% whole-grain bread using freshly ground flour and more advanced CLAS techniques. Thanks to CLAS, this whole-grain bread is as soft as its AP cousin and does not have the unpleasant grassy taste generally associated with whole-wheat bread. Rum-soaked cranberries, toasted walnuts, fresh flour, and CLAS create a moist whole-grain bread with mellow, complex flavors that one finds irresistible. 

As usual, it's super simple to make such delicious bread with CLAS. 


P.S. To prevent unsightly pinhole crumbs caused by excessive hydration of whole wheat flour, you can test the flour's absorption capacity by autolyzing it under different hydration levels and observing gluten development. The hydration at which the dough starts to slack/tear is the bottom line for you to stop adding water to the dough. 

Alternatively, if your dough contains more than whole wheat flour, you can still judge the maximum hydration of the dough during the mixing process without pre-testing (such as how I do it here).



3% whole rye CLAS

97% fresh WW flour ground by Vitamix (Central Milling organic hard red spring wheat berries)

72% water P.S. (just enough water to hydrate the flour so that you can knead/mix easily)

0.2% dry yeast

dough temp 86F/30C-ish 

86F/30C x 240 mins




8% water P.S. to reach your dough's maximum hydration (or slightly under) 

1.6% salt

38% rum-soaked cranberries

38% toasted walnuts

Total dough weight ~1650g


P.S. Mix

Knead/mix to further develop/strengthen the pre-dough's gluten to ~ medium+ development before adding more water

Continue to mix and add more water gradually to maximize the dough's hydration 



86F/30C x 60 mins





86F/30C x 60-75 mins



425F x 10 mins w/ steam

375F x 50 mins w/o steam (P.S. adjust timing according to dough size)



                                                             Better lighting reveals the attractive purple hue of walnut bread.               





Benito's picture

Love rum soaked raisins with walnuts Yippee, looks like a great loaf. Lovely crumb for 100% whole grain, must taste wonderful.


Yippee's picture

We can't stop eating it! The good thing is: It's whole grain--we don't fall into a food coma after eating it. And it is satisfying and keeps us full for a long time, perfect for dieting!




Tortoise Blue's picture
Tortoise Blue

Oh my goodness, Yippee. This looks dee-lish! . Are you using recently refreshed CLAS  from the fridge or a fresh batch? My CLAS is in need of a refresh, so I plan on this being my next bake. Thanks so much for sharing this formula.

Yippee's picture

So, it's quite fresh.  For your reference, I edited the post with notes of the process.  I hope they are helpful. 


Tortoise Blue's picture
Tortoise Blue

Yippee, thanks for the clarification as well as the addendum notes which are are most helpful. I'm planning on baking this on the weekend. I've referred to Rus' video on using CLAS with wholemeal flours.

jo_en's picture

Thank you Yippee for this very helpful comment on the water.

The 100% Whole Wheat Bread on YT


has 65% overall hydration and the dough is very stiff compared to an airy dough. 

I will add water to the "breaking point" on the next loaf.

The above original YT recipe says to just spray the top of the loaf and did not say to steam for the first part of bake (15 min).

I steamed it but am not sure if it made any difference.

The smell is wonderful though and different. Will still have to wait a few hours before tasting.

jo_en's picture

Dear Yippee,

In the original YT clas ww recipe for WW it gave 70 gr clas for total 700 gr flour. That is 10%.

In the above you use 3%. Is that better when you  put most of the ww flour into the pre dough?

Thanks for all your help!


Now I understand the percentages!

If 70 gr of clas is used with 700gr total flour then the baker's percent for clas is 10%.

However, amount of rye flour in 70 gr clas = (10/29) x 70 gr clas = 24.1gr rye flour;

Therefore, the baker's percent for rye flour from clas is 24.1/700= 3.45%