BBA Challenge: Cranberry (read Cherry) Walnut Celebration Bread

 This bread is about as perfect as it gets.  Great chewy crust, great crumb, slightly sweet flavor loaded with fruit and nuts.  This would go great on a holiday table.  I didn't do the standard braid shape because, frankly, after gardening all morning I was tired.  It came out fabulous as a boulee though.  Also, didn't have cranberries so I used cherries.  I'm wondering how chocolate would go in here for a chocolate-cherry-walnut bread?

Cranberry Walnut Celebration bread
 By Peter Reinhart in The Bread Baker's Apprentice

13.5 oz unbleached bread flour
1.5 oz granulated sugar
19 oz salt
.39 oz instant yeast
.75 oz orange or lemon extract
3.3 oz (2 large) eggs
4 oz buttermilk
1 oz unsalted butter melted
2 to 4 oz water at room temp
9 oz dried sweetened cranberries (I used cherries)
3 oz coarsely chopped walnuts
1 egg whisked until frothy for egg wash.

I stirred the flour, sugar, salt and yeast together in bowl of my mixer.  Add the paddle attachment and start to mix on medium gradually adding the extract, eggs, milk and butter until it forms a soft ball.  I needed to add a touch more flour to reach soft but not sticky mess.  Switch to the dough hook and knead on medium for 5 minutes.  Add the cranberries, knead another 2 minutes.  Add the nuts, knead another 2 minutes.

Remove the dough, form into a ball and place in a well oiled bowl.  Turn to coat.  Let rise 2 hours until doubled.

Now is when you would form into a double braid, but I just formed it into a boulee making sure to reserve surface tension, then covered and let rise again.  Paint with egg wash before covering. The recipe calls for 90 minutes but it took mine another 2 hours to reach desired size.  It was a bit chilly in here.  I'm a heavy girl, I like it cold!

Preheat oven to 325 degrees, paint with remaining egg wash, then bake for 25 minutes, turn 180 degrees and bake another 25 minutes.  Try to let it cool a bit before cutting if you can.


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