CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS BREAD

 

December 18, 2015

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Mmmmm. This bread was wonderful. It was gently sweet and tender. The crust was dry and crunchy, without being crusty, and the slightly caramelized flavour was deep, dark and smokey. Rick and I enjoyed this bread, and he asked me to make it again. I said yes, for sure.

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Instructions

PREPARING THE CRANBERRIES AND NUTS

  • This also went smoothly, though it is my least favourite part of the process. I might have over toasted the walnuts.

Cranberries soaking.
Cranberries soaking.

Taking the skins off the toasted walnuts.
Taking the skins off the toasted walnuts.

MAKING THE DOUGH

  • These days, I’ve given up making bread by hand because this time of year is too busy.

Dropping the biga into the cranberry liquid.
Dropping the biga into the cranberry liquid.

The dough mixing.
The dough mixing.

  • I found this dough to be very stiff and the walnut and cranberries weren’t incorporating well. And even after all the rising and resting, the dough remained stiff and a bit hard to work with.

The bread dough was stiff and wasn’t accepting the nuts very well.
The bread dough was stiff and wasn’t accepting the nuts very well.

The dough wasn’t soft and pliable. I had to take out the “equipment” (a rolling pin)
The dough wasn’t soft and pliable. I had to take out the “equipment” (a rolling pin)

Where normally the dough pushes into place, this time I had to roll it into a rectangle.
Where normally the dough pushes into place, this time I had to roll it into a rectangle.

Still rolling.
Still rolling.

  • Interesting that rolling the cranberries into the dough like a jelly roll produced a pattern in the grain of the bread. Still too many cranberries in the dough, as they were popping out all over the place.

Adding the cranberries.
Adding the cranberries.

Rolling up the cranberries into the bread dough.
Rolling up the cranberries into the bread dough.

The dough was still really stiff.
The dough was still really stiff.

Seems like too many cranberries.
Seems like too many cranberries.

Giving the bread dough some extra love.
Giving the bread dough some extra love.

LET THE DOUGH RISE FOR A SECOND TIME

  • For some reason, it took forever for the dough to double.

Taking the dough to its warm spot.
Taking the dough to its warm spot.

SHAPE THE DOUGH

  • I left the dough in the fridge overnight and in the morning I shaped it into a classic torpedo.

The next morning.
The next morning.

Measuring the rectangle with a kitchen ruler.
Measuring the rectangle with a kitchen ruler.

Pinching the seam.
Pinching the seam.

The dough has finally risen for the last time.
The dough has finally risen for the last time.

SLASH AND BAKE THE BREAD

  • This time, I want a good clean slash, and I wasn’t going to be defeated. So I sharpened and honed my knife, and the knife slid through the dough like butter.

Sprinkling the unbaked dough with rye flour.
Sprinkling the unbaked dough with rye flour.

/images/media/articleImage_180528203743.jpgSlashing the bread dough.
Slashing the bread dough.

Cranberry Christmas Bread just out of the oven.
Cranberry Christmas Bread just out of the oven.

Cranberry Christmas Bread, The Finer Cookie.
Cranberry Christmas Bread, The Finer Cookie.

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  • Here's how it works: once a week, for the next two years, 25 Alpha Bakers commit to baking their way through every recipe of Rose Levy Beranbaum's newly published The Baking Bible . Each week we post our experiences on our blog sites: our successes, our failures, our like and dislikes . The recipes are scheduled in advance so that everyone will be baking the same recipe at the same time. Unfortunately, no recipes can be shared in my Alpha Bakers posts due to publishing restrictions, but if you love to bake, The Baking Bible is a must-have book. You can see other tutorials for the same recipe at the following link The Baking Bible Alpha Bakers at http://rosesalphabakers.blogspot.ca/
TAGS:  CRANBERRY   BREAD   BAKING BIBLE       LABELS: Alpha Bakers 

Comments

2 Comments

Catherine   2017-01-07

Fantastic photos as usual - the bread looks great. I found my bread to be a bit dry in the end so I'm wondering if I need to add more moisture next time. Love that your search for malt powder involved two countries - thats dedication!

Kimberlie 2017-01-07

Thanks Catherine. I just loved this bread. Even though the dough was stiff, the bread wasn't dry. I have so much Malt Power of every sort, I'll never get through it. Do you want some?

Rose Levy Beranbaum   2017-01-07

your bread looks fantastic but i have to ask you what kind of flour you used because although the dough is firm before adding the cranberries, the moisture from the cranberries makes it so sticky i always have to add a little extra flour! i'm sure you bake by weight so i suspect you are using a higher protein flour?

Kimberlie 2017-01-07

I used the flour you spec'd in your recipe. Could it be that I forgot to tare the scale? That could be possible. I don't remember adding any extra flour while kneading. In the end though, the bread didn't taste or feel dry. It had a wonderful consistency.

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CRANBERRY CHRISTMAS BREAD

Ingredients
Instructions

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