Sourdough Cranberry Walnut Bread is full of plump cranberries, and chopped walnuts. These additions to the tangy dough provide delicious pops of flavor and crunchy texture. Rustic sourdough bread lovers are sure to enjoy it. This bread is perfect for breakfast, sandwiches and snacks.
This sourdough cranberry walnut bread makes a wonderful Holiday loaf that you could serve at any gathering with a warm baked brie cheese and herbs. Or 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.
Walnut cranberry sourdough bread is a very simple bread to make and a good introduction to inclusion bread baking. When we include flavorful ingredients in our basic sourdough breads we enter a new realm of fresh baked breads that sparks creativity and food exploration.
Simple three ingredient sourdough loaves like our Artisan Sourdough bread are wonderful crusty loaves with good fresh sourdough flavor and texture. This is an amazing food experience all on its own. but there is much more to the delicious craft of sourdough baking.
We have several inclusion sourdough bread recipes as well as this sourdough cranberry walnut bread you won’t want to miss. We’ve linked them at the bottom of this post.
How do you make sourdough bread more flavorful? One way to add flavor to your sourdough loaf is to Add inclusions to a basic sourdough bread recipe. This is a simple way to add more and different flavors and textures that will transform basic sourdough bread into a whole new flavor experience. This cranberry walnut sourdough bread recipe is a good example of that.
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.
We also offer you a layering technique that puts the inclusions into the degassed, rolled out dough. Then the dough is rolled and worked with to complete the recipe.
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.
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!
Sourdough Cranberry Walnut Bread 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.
The soft sourdough sandwich bread dough is the base for our Soft Cinnamon Rolls and Cinnamon Raisin Bread as well.
This is a long cold rise no knead dough method. It is very simple to make with four sets of stretch and folds.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
In the recipe card we split the difference. We used about 1 1/2 cups each of the chopped nuts and berries.
Your Printable Sourdough Cranberry Walnut Bread Recipe
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.
Sourdough Cranberry Walnut Bread Recipe
Sourdough Cranberry Walnut Bread recipe is a lovely, rustic winter bread the whole family will enjoy. Serve it fresh, toasted or grilled.
- 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
- Chop walnuts roughly (NOT too fine).
- Measure out the cranberries into a 4 cup bowl.
- Pour in the chopped walnuts
- Add water JUST to the top of the walnut berry mixture.
- Let sit two to four hours.
- Begin with a very active recently fed starter. It should pass the float test.
- Set a large bowl on a digital food scale set to grams and press the tare button. The scale should read zero.
- Pour in the water to weight of 650 g. Press tare.
- Pour in 300 grams of starter. Press tare. The starter should form a floating mass on the water.
- Add the oil. Press tare
- Add the honey. Press tare.
- Whisk together the starter, oil, honey and water until they are mixed.
- Add the 1000 grams of flour.
- Mix the flour into the water/starter with a dough hook, spatula and your wet hands until you have a shaggy ball of dough.
- autolyse 1 hour. (this means rest the dough to allow it to hydrate)
- Sprinkle salt across dough.
- spritz with water bottle and work in the salt with wet hands.
- Rest 30 mins
STRETCH AND FOLDS:
- Begin Stretch and Folds. You need 4 sets of stretch and folds 30 mins apart. See video for technique.
AT THE THIRD STRETCH AND FOLD INCLUDE HALF THE SOAKED NUTS AND BERRIES.
Adding the Soaked Walnuts and Cranberries:
- 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.
- Degass the dough and roll into a rectangle about 1/2 inch depth.
- Layer on half of the nuts and berries.
- Press the nuts and berries gently into the dough with your finger tips.
- The dough will look like this.
- with your bench scraper roll the dough in on itself until it form a ball with the nuts and berries distributed through the dough.
- 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. )
- Now add in the remaining nuts and berries.
- Reform the dough into a ball and set it in your bread bowl.
- Allow to bulk rise an hour on the counter.
LONG COLD RISE:
- Refrigerate overnight.
BENCH REST DOUGH:
- Remove from fridge and warm to room temperature. (ABOUT TWO HOURS)
- Divide the dough into two equal sized dough balls by weight.
- Bench rest an hour until dough is elastic.
SHAPE AND FINAL RISE:
- After bench rest tighten the dough surface by pulling the dough toward you. (see video for technique) This will shape the dough.
- Flip the dough upside down into a flour lined banneton. (you can also use any bowl with a flour infused cloth to prevent sticking) 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.
- 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:
- Preheat oven and dutch oven to 450° for at least 30 minutes.
- Remove one boule from the fridge and set it upside down onto a piece of parchment paper.
- Lift off the banneton.
- Score the loaf.
- Set in hot preheated dutch oven by holding the parchment and lowering the loaf. (see video)
- Bake covered for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid.
- Bake an additional 30-35 mins until the loaf is over 200 degrees F at its center.
- 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?
- Remove from oven and cool on racks to room temperature before cutting the bread.
- Repeat with second boule.
- 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.
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.
You can also reduce the amount you add to 1 Cup each of the nuts and berries for a lighter 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!
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
The video in this post is for those unfamiliar with the techniques I use to make sourdough and add inclusions. Use this processof adding the cranberry walnuts to get a good layered bread. Otherwise incorporate the add ins during the second and thrid stretch and folds.
Amount Per Serving Calories 247Total Fat 7gSaturated Fat 1gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 6gCholesterol 0mgSodium 329mgCarbohydrates 41gFiber 2gSugar 8gProtein 6g
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. Adding ingredients to a basic sourdough bread recipe brings in new flavors and texture to enjoy.
Here are a few more of our sourdough breads with inclusions we think you will love.
- Milk and Honey Sourdough Bread
- MultiGrain sourdough Bread
- Garlic Rosemary Sourdough Bread
- Sourdough Jalapeño Cheese Bread
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Ask questions and rate the recipe in the comments section below. Please share what you did with this recipe. We are always looking for more and better ways to make homemade food. Other cooks love your ideas!
Saturday 31st of December 2022
Love this recipe! Thank you so much! Very clear instructions!
Saturday 31st of December 2022
Hi Amy, We are so happy this recipe worked well for you. Happy New Year and Happy Baking!
Friday 2nd of September 2022
Soak the dried berries ahead of time, drain and use the collected water in the recipe.
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?
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!
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!
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!
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!
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!