I did not set out to create a cranberry bread like this when I bought the cranberries but my original plans did not work out they way I wanted so I kept them on the refrigerator shelf. And every time I opened the door there they were staring, mocking me. At the same time I had been thinking about using more whole wheat in my breads to kick up the health benefits.
At the same time, I have been experimenting more with the age of the culture used to leaven the bread. You can read more about that here. So, this bread uses a levain (starter) that is 7 hours old instead of the normal 12 hour that I have been using. It does require a longer bulk fermentation because of the shorter levain but the end result has less tang normally associated with sourdough bread and because this uses fresh cranberries without any added sugar that is a good thing. The fresh cranberries have their own tartness that is complimented by the whole wheat flour.
Because we are using whole wheat flour we are also going to be using more water. This not only hydrates the flour better but helps give those large irregular holes in the bread. It has a nice tender crumb even a few days after the bake.
To make this bread you will need to make the starter 7 hours ahead of time. After the starter is ready disperse the starter in the water, add flour and mix just until hydrated. We are not adding the cranberries or salt until about 30 minutes after the mixing of the flour, water, and starter.
Don’t even worry about a blender with this either. You will get a wonderful bread mixing all by hand. And don’t worry about wearing your arms out on kneading. That’s not necessary here either. What we will do with this is stretch and fold at 30 minute intervals over a 4 hour period of bulk fermenting.
In other words, after you mix the water, starter, and flour, cover and let rest for 30 minutes. After the first 30 minutes add salt and cranberries by squeezing them into the dough and mixing just for a few seconds. Stretch and fold at 30 minutes after that. Do this about 7 more times then move onto shaping. Letting it proof for 1 1/2 hours should be sufficient before baking.
Here are the rest of the instructions and ingredients. So, bake this with those left over cranberries and enjoy fresh or toasted with a little butter spread on it.
- 1 ounce culture
- 5 ounces water
- 5 ounces flour
- All of the starter
- 10.8 ounces water
- 8.2 ounces white flour
- 5.4 ounces whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup fresh cranberries
- Prepare the starter 7 hours ahead of time.
- After the 7 hours disperse the starter in water then add flour and mix just until flour is hydrated. Cover and let rest for 30 minutes.
- Add salt and cranberries then cover and rest for 30 minutes. Stretch and fold at 30 minute intervals 7 more times.
- Shape and proof for 1½ hours.
- Preheat oven to 465 degrees an hour before baking. After proofing is complete bake for 30-35 minutes.
Submitted to YeastSpotting