Cranberry Walnut is one of my favourite combinations for sourdough bread. The flavour is great, the walnuts are a nice addition to the texture and the cranberries add a nice splash of colour. These loaves are always requested for large family dinners around Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, but I usually have a loaf in the freezer at any given time throughout the year as well. Cranberry Walnut loaves are great loaves to have around the house. As with a lot of my bread, if we are not planning to eat the whole thing in a couple of days, I usually wait a day and then slice the whole thing up to put into the freezer. This is great because you can pull a slice or two out anytime you want and it is almost as good as when it was fresh. The nice thing with doing it this way is that you can have beautiful Cranberry Walnut toast for breakfast day after day! See the notes for Cranberry/Walnut prep.
Ingredients (Two Loaves)
640g (80%) Anita's All-Purpose
160g (20%) Nunweilers Red Fife Wheat
640g (80%) Water
16g (2%) Redmond Salt
160g (20%) Levain
120g (15%) of Rehydrated Cranberries
120g (15%) Roasted Walnuts
9:00am- Levain Build with 25g Starter, 75g Water, 75g Flour (75% White, 25% Dark Rye. But use whatever your starter likes.)
12:45pm- Autolyse with 620g of the water
1:30pm- Mix in 160g Levain
2:00pm- Mix in Salt with the remaining 20g of water
2:30pm- Coil Fold
3:00pm- Laminate the cranberries and walnuts into the dough
3:30pm- Coil Fold
4:00pm- Coil Fold
4:30pm- Coil Fold
5:30pm- Coil Fold
7:00pm- Divide and Pre-shape
7:30pm- Shape and put into Banneton, cover with plastic and put into the fridge
7:00am- Preheat Oven and Cast Iron Cookers (Lodge & Staub) to 550°F
8:00am- Bake at 450°F for 20 minutes with the lid on, then 20 minutes with the lid off.
See notes for Baking in a Challenger Bread Pan
On the day that I took photos I actually made a batch of three loaves. The recipe has been adjusted for two loaves.
I find that my favourite ratio of fillings sits at 15% cranberry and 15% walnut. I have baked a few loaves down at 10% cranberry with good results as well. It is pretty flexible so play around with what works well for you.
Sometimes I roast the walnuts in the oven at 450°F but other times I simply toast them on the stovetop.
In a pot of water I bring the cranberries to a boil and simmer them gently for 5 minutes before draining them. Allow the cranberries and walnuts to cool before adding them into the dough.
If you are using a Challenger Bread Pan you will not need to preheat the oven as long as other cast iron. I find that my sweet spot is to preheat the oven and cast iron to 500°F for about 30 minutes. Once up to temperature I will load the dough, put the lid on and then bake at 450°F for 20 minutes, then roughly 20 minutes with the lid off.
I keep my dough in my Brod & Taylor Proofer at 76-78°F to help with consistency and fermentation (warm and stable temperatures will help achieve great results).
When you laminate, try and spread out as thin as possible without tearing the dough. This helps develop the gluten and also gives a better, more consistent spread of filling throughout the dough. See video below for a lamination demonstration.
Your fermentation times may vary depending on a lot of different factors. Use these times for the folding and the duration of the Bulk Fermentation only as a guideline. What worked for me may need to be tweaked a little bit for your bake.