This blueberry and cranberry loaf is based on a recipe for “election day bread,” which originally had raisins, candied citrus, and spices. Considering its name, doesn’t it make more sense studded with reds and blues?
But since blueberries are in season during the warmer months and cranberries during the cooler months, this combination doesn’t make sense from the standpoint of the farmer’s market-obsessed, either.
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adapted from the Election Day Bread recipe in Bernard Clayton’s New Complete Book of Breads
Blueberry-Cranberry Bread with Nuts
makes one 10-inch tube loaf
Red, white, and blue with a handful of nuts. Very American.
For the Yeast Batter:
1 1/2 cups bread or all-purpose flour (6.75 ounces / 191 grams)
3 teaspoons instant yeast
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups warm water, about 120ºF / 49ºF
For the Final Dough:
3 cups bread or all-purpose flour (13.5 ounces / 383 grams)
2 teaspoons salt
3/4 cup butter (6 ounces / 170 grams), at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar (7 ounces / 200 grams)
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup dried blueberries
1 cup dried cranberries
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts
1 tablespoon flour
confectioner’s sugar, for dusting (optional)
Final Dough Instructions:
Mix Batter Mix all of the yeast batter ingredients until smooth. The consistency will be similar to thick pancake batter. Ferment Cover the yeast batter and let rise for 30 minutes. The yeast batter will be bubbly and will rise considerably. Mix Dry Mix the 3 cups of flour and salt until thoroughly incorporated. Cream Cream the room temperature butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and continue mixing until smooth. Final Mix Add the butter mixture to the yeast batter and stir thoroughly. Add the salted flour about 1/4 cup at a time while stirring vigorously. The batter will be very sticky and have some gluten development. Dredge the blueberries, cranberries, and nuts in 1 tablespoon of flour and add to the batter. Mix until the fruits and nuts are evenly distributed. Pan Spoon the batter into a lightly greased 10-inch tube pan. Level and smooth the tops with a spoon. Final Proof Cover and let rise at room temperature until almost doubled in size, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Proofed cranberry-blueberry bread.
Preheat Oven 375ºF / 190ºC Bake Bake at 375ºF / 190ºC for about 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours, rotating the pan halfway through baking. Test for doneness using a wooden skewer or cake tester. Dust with confectioner's sugar, if desired.
Blueberry-cranberry bread dusted with confectioner’s sugar.
Blueberry-cranberry bread crumb.