I was in a cranberry state of mind during the Holidays so when David of Hearthbakedtunes chose Cranberry Sourdough Rye with Walnuts and Pecans as the bread of the month for the Artisan Bread Bakers FB Group, it fit right in with my theme.
These Cranberry Sourdough Rye Loaves, dotted with cranberries, walnuts and pecans and wrapped in love, are crusty on the outside and chewy on the inside. The flavor is exceptional, especially when you allow the dough to retard in the refrigerator overnight. The result is a lovely not too dense sourdough bread that you would be proud to serve on your table or give as a housewarming gift.
This is a bread you don’t want to be stingy with so be sure to share it with your friends and family. It makes two loaves so there’s plenty to go around.
I baked these loaves in a preheated Artisan Bread Cloche from Emerson Creek Pottery. This bread cloche is made in the USA and works great!
I retarded the loaves in the refrigerator overnight in lined banneton proofing baskets. I took them straight from the fridge and baked them cold without warming them up to room temperature. The first loaf was scored in a cross pattern. When it was baked it had some lovely ears. I got creative with the other loaf and decided to make up my own scoring pattern. It also had ears due to the steam heat created in the cloche.
- 272g whole rye flour
- 219g water
- 14g rye starter (mine is 100% hydrated)
- 590g high gluten bread flour or all-purpose flour (I used KAF all purpose flour)
- 45g whole rye flour
- 400g water
- 17g salt
- 1½ tsp yeast, optional (I omitted it)
- sourdough, all of the above
- 113g dried cranberries
- 58g walnuts, toasted, then chopped in large pieces
- 58g pecans, toasted, then chopped in large pieces
- cornmeal for dusting the cloche
- Mix the starter in the water, and then mix in the flour and let it mingle for about 14-16 hours.
- Weigh the dried cranberries, place them in a small bowl and cover with room temperature water. Let them soak in the water for 15 minutes. Drain and reserve the cranberry water for use in the dough for added flavor.
- Toast the nuts long enough to smell them but be careful not to burn them. Allow them to cool.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the water and mix in the sourdough build, then add remaining ingredients excluding the nuts, and fruit. Mix on first speed for three minutes, then on second speed for three minutes.
- Add the dried fruit and nuts and mix on first speed until combined. The dough temperature should be 78 degrees.
- Remove the dough, shape into a ball and place it in a lightly greased clean bowl. Let it bulk ferment for 60-120 minutes (60 if yeast is used)
- Divide the dough in half and shape each piece into a round loaf. Place the loaves seam side up in lined banneton proofing baskets sprinkled heavily with a blend of rice/AP flour. Cover the baskets with plastic wrap and let them retard in the refrigerator overnight.
- Preheat the oven with the cloche inside to 450 degrees for at least 30 minutes.
- After the oven is sufficiently preheated, remove one basket from the fridge. You’ll bake the loaf cold without warming it up to room temperature.
- Carefully remove the preheated cloche from oven and place it on a heavy towel or pot holder. Remove the lid to another towel or pot holder. Sprinkle the base of the cloche with cornmeal.
- Gently flip the first loaf out of the basket and onto the base of the cloche seam side down. Score it in the pattern of your choice. I scored the first loaf in a cross pattern. I scored the second loaf in a different pattern on a whim and I really liked the result. Alternately, place the loaf in the baker seam side up and let it open up during baking without scoring.
- Place the cloche in the oven and cover with the lid. Bake in preheated 450 degree oven for 20 minutes. Remove the lid, lower oven temp to 425 degrees F. and bake the loaf without the lid for an additional 15-20 minutes or until it is crusty on the outside and sounds hollow when thumped on the bottom.
- Remove the loaf to a wire rack to cool completely before slicing and serving. I found that letting it rest overnight before slicing was even better.
- Repeat the process with the remaining loaf. You can place the cloche back in the oven to preheat again before baking or place the cooled down cloche with the loaf in it directly in the preheated oven.
I was thrilled with the way that both loaves turned out. I had so much fun photographing them that I waited at least twenty-four hours before I even tried a slice. I’m glad I waited because the flavors had a chance to mingle. Enjoy slices with cheese or toast them and spread with butter.