Cranberries, walnuts and dried raisins bread

Hamelman would call this bread "Harvest bread". For me is a sweet bread with a country taste and great aroma.

I was on holidays in the last weeks and so my baking skills. I have returned home full of energy, of new ideas, of new horizons to chase and of new experience to get. But my mind was not on holidays and during my free time I was reading some bread books that for sure will be my next ones to try. However, when the weekend to make bread arrived, it was impossible for me to match with the schedules indicated in those books. So, I took back my old good bread book of Hamelman and stopped to one recipe with sourdough that I have skipped to try before.My experience with baking bread lead me to a slight modification of the recipe by removing completely the yeast and using only sourdough. Everything went well with the exception that I forgot one of the ingredient ... the temperature. Last weekend was so hot and so unusual for Belgium and tricked my senses for raising correctly the dough. I ended up with an over proofed bread but not extremely. The dough lost its shape when put on the hot stone and gain it back, only partially, during the bake. Nevertheless, the resulting bread was not destroyed and even if it was not that nicely raised bread, the taste was incredible. Can you imagine combining cranberries, walnuts and dried raisins? Can you imagine combining this into a bread? For some this looks like a cake. For me, it look like a perfect bread for breakfast. Oh, what a nutty, sweet and bread flavor. Even if I was not a big fan of sweet breads, this one made made me reconsider my tastes.
When I will do this recipe again I would consider changing only one thing: a colder day. This means, that I would do this bread when in the house would be something like 21ºC so that my breads won't get over proofed. I won't change a thing in the rest.


Preferment :
  • 120g whole wheat flour
  • 800g water
  • 24g sourdough

Final dough:
  • 600g bread flour
  • 280g whole wheat flour
  • 700g water
  • 21g salt
  • the above preferment
  • 220g walnuts 
  • 80g cranberries
  • 80g raisins

  1. Make the preferment 10-12hours before. Let it sit at 30ºC*.
  2. In the mixer bowl combine the bread flour, whole wheat flour and water until well incorporated.
  3. Let it sit for 30".
  4. Add salt and levain and mix for 10 minutes on the second speed.
  5. Add raisins, walnuts and cranberries and mix for 2 minutes.
  6. Bulk fermentation 5h20". Make a stretch and fold after 1h.
  7. Divide in 3 and shape as oblong.
  8. Final fermentation in floured bannetons for 1h30" at 29ºC*.
  9. Bake for 15" with steam at 260ºC in the preheated oven, then reduce to 220ºC and continue to bake for 30 minutes.

Example of my schedule:
  • Friday 10pm: combine ingredients for the preferment (Temp 30ºC*)
  • Saturday 8am: mix the flours and water for autolyse
  • Saturday 8:30am: add salt and preferment and mix
  • Saturday 8:40am: add walnuts, cranberries and raisins and start bulk fermentation (Temp 29ºC)*
  • Saturday 9:45am: stretch and fold
  • Saturday 2pm: divide and shape
  • Saturday 2:15pm: start final fermentation
  • Saturday 3:15pm: turn on the oven to preheat
  • Saturday 3:50pm: bake the bread at 260ºC
  • Saturday 4:05pm: reduce heat to 220ºC
  • Saturday 4:35pm: bread is baked, let it cool.
*If you do this recipe, I would advice to make it in a colder day when the temperature outside is around 21ºC.

This recipe was adapted from Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes - Jeffrey Hamelman, page 196-197.


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