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Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread Recipe

Our Cranberry Walnut Bread Sourdough recipe makes a lovely bread dotted with plump cranberries and delicious walnuts for a rich flavor and pleasant texture. This sourdough bread recipe makes a hearty slice of toast, similar to our Cinnamon Raisin Sourdough Bread.

We enjoy our simple sourdough loaves but there is always something special when we add inclusions. They bring sourdough into a new realm of fresh baked bread that sparks creativity and food exploration.

This recipe makes a wonderful Holiday loaf that you could serve at any gathering with a warm baked brie cheese and herbs, offer a selection of chocolate and cream drizzles that your guests could enjoy dipping their slices in. Or, present small cuts on a charcuterie board with a variety of cheeses, meats and fruits.

Cranberry Walnut Bread

More Sourdough Bread Recipes

Sourdough Bread Recipes offer a wide variety of flavors, texture and densities. It is loved for its simplistic nature, health benefits and ability to be enjoyed with both sweet and savory foods.

Take a look at our Sourdough Section for a complete index of all our sourdough bread recipes. Here are a few you will love.

How do you add inclusions in Sourdough Bread?

Inclusions, or extra ingredients, are most often adding during the third fold. Things like seeds, nuts, dried fruits and herbs are all popular inclusions that you can add to your sourdough loaf. Simply prepare them as your wish and sprinkle them into the dough, working them in as you do the salt.

What advantage does the development of the dough have to the inclusions?

Adding your inclusions at the start of the kneading process allows for the flavor of the inclusions to be spread throughout the dough. Whatever seeds, herbs or fruits you add will be crushed or broken down by your hands while you work the dough. This will allow the oils and flavors to be released which will spread the flavor throughout the dough.

Do you need to soak inclusions before adding them to Sourdough?

Certain seeds will benefit from pre-soaking before being added to a sourdough; seeds like chia and flax need to be soaked before hand to allow them the opportunity to break down during the baking process. Dried fruits benefit from pre-soaking but it is not necessary for a successful bake.

The benefits of pre-soaking your dried fruits would include the fruit being softer and presenting a pleasant texture for eating rather than dry, firm and gummy. Pre-soaking the fruit will also give the fruit the opportunity to flavor the bread more fully by allowing the juices to release during the kneading process.

Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread
Cranberry Walnut Bread with 100% strong white bread flour
Cranberry Walnut Bread

Look at the pretty purple swirls running through the loaf. That is from the soaked walnuts that are included in this loaf, not the cranberries. Surprise!

Cranberry Walnut Bread Sourdough Recipe

The bread recipe used here is a tried and true basic Soft Sourdough Sandwich Bread which includes honey and avocado oil to create a soft, fluffy texture with a closed crumb that holds the inclusions beautifully.

This recipe is the base for our Soft Cinnamon Rolls and Cinnamon Raisin Bread as well.

The Method

This is a long cold rise dough. It is very simple to make with four sets of stretch and folds.

Sourdough Layered With Nuts And Berries
soaked dried dried cranberries and chopped walnuts on a degassed sourdough.

The Cranberries

The dried cranberries are sweetened so they add some beautiful flavor. Because they are dried the texture is very different than you get with fresh berries. We do recommend you pre-soak the cranberries to release their flavor and keep them soft during the baking process.

You can try this bread with fresh cranberries or frozen cranberries however, it will change the flavor and texture of the recipe.

The Flour

The recipe card uses 100% high protein bread flour, over 5 grams or 12% protein. The protein content for sourdough is very important and that will give you results you see below.

If you use 100% whole wheat flour the crumb will be denser but the flavor will be excellent.

Cranberry Walnut Bread Sourdough Recipe
cranberry walnut bread with 100% all purpose bread flour. The crumb was left open rather than degassed.
100% Whole Wheat Cranberry Walnut Bread Sourdough Recipe
Cranberry walnut bread with 100% white whole wheat flour.

The amount of walnuts and berries

As you can see below we loaded this dough with soaked walnuts and cranberries. This is more than the recipe card calls for. We used 2 cups each of cranberries and walnuts which gave a very full loaf with a lot of texture.

The crumb is also degassed. The result is a very moist crumb with small holes, and lots of nuts and cranberries. It is a delicious loaf, but may be difficult to work with.

Loaded Cranberry Walnut Bread

The loaf below is made with only 1 cup of cranberries and 1 cup of chopped walnuts. We also left the crumb open. The result is a moist but much lighter loaf.

Cranberry Walnut Bread Sourdough Recipe

In the recipe card we split the difference. We used about 1 1/2 cups each of the chopped nuts and berries.

Your Printable Recipe Card

Below are the detailed instructions with process photos and a video companion to help you with any techniques that are new to you.

If you print the recipe card all the photos will not print. This will help you reduce the clutter on your print out and save you ink and paper.

At the end of this recipe card is a video from our Beginner Sourdough Recipe. It will show you the techniques we use to make this recipe too. If you cannot find it go here to find the video on our youtube channel.

Cranberry Walnut Bread
Yield: 2 1 kilogram Loaves

Cranberry Walnut Bread Sourdough Recipe

Prep Time: 20 hours
Cook Time: 1 hour
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 21 hours 30 minutes

Cranberry Walnut Bread Sourdough recipe is a lovely, hearty winter bread the whole family will enjoy. Serve it fresh, toasted or grilled.

Ingredients

  • 300 grams starter-freshly fed and active
  • 650 grams warm water
  • 50 grams honey
  • 40 grams avocado oil
  • 1000 grams White bread flour (high protein)
  • 20 grams Salt
  • 200 grams Dried Cranberries
  • 150 Grams Chopped Walnuts
  • Water to soak nuts and cranberries

Instructions

PREP:

  1. Chop walnuts roughly (NOT too fine).
  2. Measure out the cranberries into a 4 cup bowl.
  3. Pour in the chopped walnuts
  4. Add water JUST to the top of the walnut berry mixture.
  5. Let sit two to four hours.Soaking Walnuts And Cranberries 

MIXING:

  1. Begin with a very active recently fed starter. It should pass the float test.Starter Float Test
  2. Set a large bowl on a digital food scale set to grams and press the tare button. The scale should read zero.
  3. Pour in the water to weight of 650 g. Press tare.
  4. Pour in 300 grams of starter. Press tare. The starter should form a floating mass on the water.
  5. Add the oil. Press tare
  6. Add the honey. Press tare.
  7. Whisk together the starter, oil, honey and water until they are mixed.
  8. Add the 1000 grams of flour.
  9. Mix the flour into the water/starter with a dough hook, spatula and your wet hands until you have a shaggy ball of dough.Dough Mixed-Autolyse Stage

AUTOLYSE:

  1. autolyse 1 hour. (this means rest the dough to allow it to hydrate)
  2. Sprinkle salt across dough.
  3. spritz with water bottle and work in the salt with wet hands.
  4. Rest 30 mins

STRETCH AND FOLDS:

  1. Begin Stretch and Folds. You need 4 sets of stretch and folds 30 mins apart. See video for technique.Window Pane Test-Last Stretch And Fold

AT THE THIRD STRETCH AND FOLD INCLUDE HALF THE SOAKED NUTS AND BERRIES. 

Adding the Soaked Walnuts and Cranberries:

  1. Drain the water out of the walnuts and berries. I leave mine wet but you can dry them with a paper towel as you prefer.Degassed Rolled Dough And Inclusions
  2. Degass the dough and roll into a rectangle about 1/2 inch depth.
  3. Layer on half of the nuts and berries. Sourdough Layered With Nuts And Berries
  4. Press the nuts and berries gently into the dough with your finger tips.Sourdough Bread. Inclusions
  5. The dough will look like this.Cranberries And Nuts Pressed Into Sourdough
  6. with your bench scraper roll the dough in on itself until it form a ball with the nuts and berries distributed through the dough.Forming Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread.
  7. Set the dough aside for 30 minutes. Stretch and fold the dough. (this will be messy and you will have to add back some of the nuts and berries that fall off. )
  8. Now add in the remaining nuts and berries.
  9. Reform the dough into a ball and set it in your bread bowl.
  10. Allow to bulk rise an hour on the counter. 

LONG COLD RISE:

  1. Refrigerate overnight.Long Cold Rise

BENCH REST DOUGH:

  1. Remove from fridge and warm to room temperature. (ABOUT TWO HOURS)
  2. Divide the dough into two equal sized dough balls by weight.
  3. Bench rest an hour until dough is elastic.Bench Rest-Cranberry Walnut Bread

SHAPE AND FINAL RISE:

  1. After bench rest tighten the dough surface by pulling the dough toward you. (see video for technique) This will shape the dough.
  2. Flip the dough upside down into a flour lined banneton. (you can also use any bowl with a flour infused cloth to prevent sticking)Cranberry Walnut Bread-Final Rise Pictured see I flipped on loaf upside down (further loaf) and picked up the other set it down bottom first. both work. but when you flip the loaves again the upside down loaf will be prettier.
  3. Loosely cover the bannetons (I set mine in old grocery bags) and refrigerate 2 to 4 hours before baking. Chilled dough has the best oven spring.

BAKING PREP AND INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven and dutch oven to 450° for at least 30 minutes.
  2. Remove one boule from the fridge and set it upside down onto a piece of parchment paper.Banneton Upside Down On Parchment
  3. Lift off the banneton. Raw Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread Dough
  4. Score the loaf.Scored Loaf Of Cranberry Walnut Bread
  5. Set in hot preheated dutch oven by holding the parchment and lowering the loaf. (see video)
  6. Bake covered for 30 minutes.
  7. Remove the lid.Cranberry Walnut Loaf In Dutch Oven-Raw
  8. Bake an additional 30-35 mins until the loaf is over 200 degrees F at its center.Halfway Through Baking
  9. Using a digital thermometer check internal Temp of loaf. It is done at 200°. If you don't have a thermometer pop loaves out to test for hollow on bottom. Or thump the loaf. Does is have a hollow sound?
  10. Remove from oven and cool on racks to room temperature before cutting the bread.Cranberry Walnut Bread Cooling
  11. Repeat with second boule.

Notes

  • Measure the ingredients CAREFULLY for best results.
  • THE SALT: I use Himalayan salt. All salt works. However, they have different volumes by weight. So you need to be careful. Weighing helps get it right. 
  • THE OIL: Avocado oil is recommended for best health. Use any neutral flavor oil you prefer.
  • THE FLOUR: Use any high protein (On the label 12 % protein or 5 grams protein) organic white bread flour. You can make this loaf with 50/50 white and WHITE whole wheat. The loaf will stay soft and have a great nutty flavor. Using 100 percent whole wheat or Hard red whole wheat will give you a different result. The recipe may need some adjusting. I suggest you stick with 100 percent white or 50/50.


The Amount of Nuts and Berries:


You CAN adjust the amount of nuts and berries you add to this recipe up to a point.Cranberry Walnut Bread Sourdough Recipe

I have actually added 2 full cups of both the nuts and cranberries. Itis difficult to get them all into the dough and form the loaves. But it is possible. Crumb Shot Cranberry Walnut Bread

You can also reduce the amount you add to 1 Cup each of the nuts and berries for a lighter bread.Lighter Loaded Cranberry Walnut Bread

Whole Wheat Flour Versions:

This recipe can also be made with 100 % WHITE whole wheat flour. It is a denser loaf but the flavor is wonderful! 100% Whole Wheat Cranberry Walnut Bread Sourdough Recipe

If you are using hard red winter wheat flour use a mix of 50/50 whole wheat and white flour for best results.

Conversion CUPS to GRAMS:

I do NOT recommend volume measurements for best results with sourdough baking. There are differences in the starter and flours that make weighing by Scale a MUCH more reliable method. But if your not using a scale here are the approximate volume measurements of the ingredients.

  • 2 2/3 Cups -300 grams starter-freshly fed and active
  • 2 3/4 Cups 650 grams warm water
  • 2 3/8 Tablespoons -50 grams honey
  • 3 Tablespoons- 40 grams avocado oil
  • 8 Cups- 1000 grams White bread flour (high protein)
  • 1 Tablespoon-20 grams Salt
  • 1 1/2 Cups dried cranberries
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Final NOTE:

The video in this post is for those unfamiliar with the techniques I use. It is actually demonstrating our Beginner Sourdough Artisan Bread Recipe. This cranberry walnut bread process uses many of the same techniques.

Nutrition Information

Yield

24 servings

Serving Size

1

Amount Per Serving Calories 247Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 0mgSodium 329mgCarbohydrates 41gFiber 2gSugar 8gProtein 6g

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Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread-Pin Image
Cranberry Walnut Bread Sourdough recipe makes a lovely winter bread. The whole family will enjoy this hearty, filling sourdough bread. It is full of delicious flavors and texture.

Jim

Friday 2nd of September 2022

Soak the dried berries ahead of time, drain and use the collected water in the recipe.

Don

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

This may be a silly question, but when you add the second half of the nuts and cranberries, do you degas and roll out the dough, or just fold it in with the 4th stretch and fold?

Diane

Thursday 7th of April 2022

Hi Don, So sorry to take so long to answer. I just realized you asked this. Of course it is not a silly question. Here is our answer. If you want to degass the dough that is fine. The crumb will be close and dense if you degass. if that is the crumb you desire just flatten the dough as best you can with your hands and then do the add ins. Most of the gasses will deflate or escape. You may have more gasses form in the dough as it ferments in the long cold rise. You can further deflate the dough at the bench rest and final rise. I hope this helps. Happy Baking!

Missy

Tuesday 22nd of March 2022

I have made your sourdough sandwich bread every week for 2 months, it's our favorite! I can't wait to make it into this artisan loaf. I plan to use dried figs and walnuts and my mouth is salivating already!

Diane

Wednesday 23rd of March 2022

Hi Missy, Figs and Walnuts are a Brilliant choice for this bread. Please let us know how it turns out for you. It is wonderful to hear you enjoy the sandwich bread too. Which one are you baking? Have a wonderful day!

Vicki

Saturday 8th of January 2022

I love this bread, I have made it multuple time and find it to be very forgiving for a not so good baker. Although I switched out the walnuts and cranberries for dried cherries and pecans. I just like them better. Thanks!

Diane

Monday 10th of January 2022

Hi Vickie, We're delighted you are enjoying this recipe. Thanks for passing along your ideas for the cherries and pecans. That sounds delicious. Happy Baking!

Catherine Thompson

Friday 24th of December 2021

Great recipe and very forgiving. I had to feed my starter a fair bit to get up to the 300 grams called for and I was worried it wasn’t active enough when I mixed everything together. Then I short cut the stretch and fold part by adding in half the nuts and berries at the second fold, folding one more time then adding the last half and putting it all to bed for the night (it was getting late and I had to go to bed!) the next day I put my loaves to rise in bannetons and then they were outside in the chilly garage then inside and I ended up cooking them at about 6:30 that night. They came out beautifully. Thank you for this nice recipe!

Diane

Friday 24th of December 2021

Happy Holidays Catherine, Thanks so much for the great review and details. It's so helpful to know how the recipe goes for our bakers. Have a wonderful Christmas!

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