Sunday, March 20, 2011

BBA #11 Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Bread

BBA Cranberry Walnut Celebration BreadThe Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge this week is very similar idea to my weekly whole-wheat challah with dried cherries: an enriched braided bread with dried fruit (cranberries), but with the addition of walnuts. Reinhart sees this as a great Thanksgiving bread, picking up the flavors of cranberry relish. It's not close to Thanksgiving, but it's still a nice bread.

BBA Cranberry Walnut Celebration BreadBaking notes: I made a half recipe, and with the smaller amount of dough I switched from an (even division) 6-strand braid to a 4-strand after a few tries, and then just braided fast and tried to tuck in the exposed fruit and nuts to keep them from burning during baking. This recipe has *lots* of cranberries to the amount of dough which made it very hard to work with. The pockets of fruit and nuts created thin areas of dough as I tried to get braidable lengths, and my strands would pull apart.

The amount of water I used was right in the middle of Reinhart's given range, though I kept it a little extra sticky to help hydrate the dried fruit.

For my half-sized loaf, I baked it 15 minutes, rotated the pan, and gave it 15 minutes more. The internal temperature was right on the money at that point.

BBA Cranberry Walnut Celebration BreadNice crumb, pretty bread, and good flavor. It's a winner all 'round.


  1. Very nice crumb, and nice color in the crust. I agree that it had a lot more cranberries than it really needed, but boy did it give it a wonderful flavor when I first bit into it.

  2. Nancy, I think your bread looks beautiful. I have never done a 4 braid, I think it looks great and I need to learn how to do that!

  3. You have a beautiful loaf of bread there! I halved mine too, and made smaller loaves using a single braid technique that I love...