At the end of March, Cynthia Winward, a baker near us at Riverside Lodge in Provo, shared a bread recipe with our readers. Now she shares her recipe for cranberry and almond sourdough that I imagine would make great hot-cross buns, just in time for Easter.
Cranberry and Almond Sourdough Bread Recipe for 2 Loaves
- scant 5 cups (608 g) warm water*
- ⅔ cup (167 grams) sourdough starter
- 1 cup (110 g) sugar**
- 1 ¼ heaping cups (160 g) whole wheat flour
- 5 cups (640 g) bread flour
- 1 scant Tbl (16 g) salt
- 1 cup (150 g) cranberries or raisins
- 1 scant cup (100 g) sliced almonds or other nuts
- Put sourdough starter and water in bowl and mix all together with your hand. Add flour and mix until flour is all incorporated.
- Cover tightly. Let sit 30 minutes to 2 hrs covered.
- Add the salt to the top of the dough and mix it up the best you can with one set of stretch and folds.
- Do one more set of stretch and folds, 30-45 minutes apart.
- On the second stretch and fold, add the fruit and nuts. Don’t worry if all the fruit/nuts don’t get mixed in right now. They will on the next stretching. Do 1-2 more stretch and folds every 30 minutes. If my dough seems strong, I skip the last; if it seems limp I might add another.
- Let the covered dough ferment on the counter or in the oven with the light on in the same bowl for another 2 hours until it is about 1.5 times the size (if my kitchen is cold, I can let it go 3 hours).
Divide dough in half and pre-shape the dough on a lightly floured board into a round. Let sit for 20 minutes covered.
- Shape loaves as desired and put into well-floured banneton baskets or floured cloth-lined bowl. (Cloth should be a tea towel or other lint-free towel.)
Place bannetons in a plastic bag that you “blow up” with air, secure it closed with twist-tie. Put in fridge overnight to bake the next day.
Or to bake the same day, let dough rise another 2 hours, then bake right away.
- 30-45 minutes before you are going to bake, turn oven to 475°F (246°C) and place baking vessels in the oven. (Either a dutch oven, combo cooker or cloche). I use cloche bakers.
- Score the loaf and place bread in the pan. I use parchment paper to transfer to the pan.
- Bake covered at 475 for 25 minutes and remove the cover. Turn oven down to 400°F (2o5°C). Continue to bake for 15-20 minutes until bread reaches an internal temp of 205°F (96°C). (You might need to play with the temp and time depending on your oven.)
*This is a 76% hydration dough, increase or decrease to your desired percentage.
**To make this a regular sourdough, eliminate sugar, fruit, and nuts.
Cynthia says this sourdough “is about as good as it gets for bread—homemade, slightly tangy, chewy crumb. And that crust.
“This is not a normal bread recipe with commercial yeast that is fluffy and soft, made in your mixer, and done start to finish in a few hours. This will take all day or up to 24 hours. It is mostly hands-off, but you do need to be around to stretch and fold the dough. It is artisan bread, made the old-fashioned way.”
In the comment section below, tell us about your favorite Easter/Passover holiday bread recipes.
Author: Cynthia—I sure love cooking, sewing, my kids, modern machine embroidery, and decorating. I started meringuedesigns.net in 2007, a great place for modern embroidery designs. I live in Utah but I’ll always be a California girl. Visit her blog Deep Thoughts by Cynthia for more baking ideas.