Cranberry + Walnut Sourdough

The tart bite of cranberries combined with the crunch and earthiness from the walnuts has made this my go-to bread lately. I use this bread for toast, breakfast sandwiches, pressed lunch sandwiches and to soak up soups and stews.

Cranberry + Walnut Sourdough

Schedule: I based this loaf off of my sourdough schedule.

Since this is a 100% naturally leavened bread, I created a levain with my sourdough starter that was last fed 24 hours prior. This levain provides enough for 3 loaves of bread, plus a little extra to keep your starter going.

30 minutes before mixing the levain, salt and other ingredients into the dough, I performed an autolyse by mixing the water and flour together.

Ingredients:

Levain

Started at 8am with the following ingredients. Mix everything together and loosely cover and let it ferment for about 8 hours.

  • 50g unfed sourdough starter (last feeding was 24 hours prior)
  • 250g filtered water @ 85-90’F
  • 200g Bob’s Red Mill bread flour
  • 50g King Arthur whole wheat flour

Dough

  • 445g Bob’s Red Mill bread flour
  • 348g filtered water @ 90-95’F
  • 108g levain
  • 11g sea salt
  • 100g chopped walnuts
  • 35g dried cranberries
Cranberry + Walnut Sourdough after proofing

Method:

After mixing the dough, I performed 4 stretch and folds within the first 2-4 hours.

Before proofing, I added some oats to the banneton and then put the loaf on top to proof. Doing this helps the topping adhere to the loaf so it doesn’t just fall off.

I baked the loaf in a preheated dutch oven at 450’F for 38 minutes covered, then removed the lid of the dutch oven and baked for an additional 14 minutes.

Result:

I probably proofed this for a half hour or so too long so I didn’t get quite the rise as I was hoping for. The more you proof the dough past its peak, the gluten starts to lose its strength and it doesn’t hold its shape very well.

Even with some slight over proofing, the bread still turned out tasting great. I think 100g of crushed walnuts is perfect. I might up the dried cranberries another 10g in the next batch just to see how I like that.

The long bulk fermentation helps give this loaf a nice sourness that compliments the cranberries and walnuts very well.

Close-up of the crumb
You can tell that it over proofed slightly due to being slightly flat.

My Baking Notes

  • Ambient Temperature: 74’F
  • Started autolyse @ 3:00pm
  • Water temp: 92’F
  • Dough was 88’F at autolyse
  • Mixed @ 3:40pm
  • Dough was 78’F after mixing
  • 4 stretch and folds in first 4 hours
  • Started proof @ 7:00am
  • Preheated oven @ 9:45am
  • Into oven @ 10:25am

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