Heavy on cranberries and walnuts, bejeweled strips of dough barely held itself together as I tried to make a braid out of it. It didn’t seem like the freshly kneaded ball could take the large amount of dried fruits and nuts, but sure enough, everything came together as advertised after a few folds.
As you can clearly see in Exhibit A above, the result is a fruit-nutty equivalent of Chips Ahoy! (a chocolate chip in every bite). What isn’t quite obvious from the photo is the essential scent of orange extract that pulls everything together.
Citrus and cranberries have a natural affinity, so much so that Trader Joe’s decided to package both as orange-flavored cranberries, easily my favorite TJ foodstuff. It must be pretty popular because it’s been around for a while — TJ products are quickly dropped if they don’t fly off the shelves fast enough.
I use orange-flavored cranberries anywhere regular dried cranberries are needed. It’s not bad for light snacking, too. The only bad thing about it is I’d forgotten what cranberries are supposed to taste like.
makes one braided loaf, boule, or batard
the shaped bread will fit on a half-sheet pan
Ingredients Volume Ounces Grams bread flour 3 cups 13.5 383 granulated sugar 3 tbsp 1.5 43 kosher salt 1/2 tbsp 0.2 5 instant yeast 3 1/2 tsp 0.4 11 orange or lemon extract 1 1/2 tbsp 0.8 21 large eggs, lightly beaten 2 3.3 94 whole milk, at room temp 1/2 cup 4 113 unsalted butter, melted 2 tbsp 1 28 water, room temp 1/4 cup 2 57 dried cranberries 1 1/2 cups 9 255 coarsely chopped walnuts 3/4 cups 3 85 1 whisked egg, for the egg wash
- Use about 3 tablespoons of citrus zest or an equal amount of orange liqueur (such as Grand Marnier) instead of orange or lemon extract.
- The combination of cranberries with pistachios are a close second.
Mix Stir the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast together. Add the orange or lemon extract, eggs, whole milk, butter, and water. Mix until a shaggy ball of dough is formed. Knead 5 to 6 minutes Rest 5 minutes Knead Add the cranberries and knead gently for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the walnuts. Gently fold the dough over itself until the cranberries and walnuts are evenly incorporated. Bulk Ferment 2 hours at room temperature Shape double-decker braid (as suggested in the original recipe), three-braid (as shown), boule, or batard.
Chockful of fruits and nuts. Just like high school.
Egg Wash Glaze with about half of the egg wash. Refrigerate the rest of the egg wash for a second coating after the final proof. Preheat Oven 325ºF / 165ºC Final Proof 60 to 90 minutes at room temperature while uncovered, or until almost doubled in size Egg Wash Glaze with the rest of the egg wash Bake Bake for 50 to 55 minutes at 325ºF / 165ºC, rotating the loaf halfway through baking if necessary. The center of the loaf will register 185ºF / 85ºC to 190ºF / 88ºC when done. Cool At least 1 hour
Freshly baked cranberry-walnut bread.