Monday, April 07, 2014

One For Sweetie

The tulips are blooming, the apple trees are in bloom, and Sweetie did a lot of grass mowing today. It had gotten remarkably long. He deserved something good to eat! As you may have guessed if you've read this blog for a while, I'm blessed with a wonderful partner, Sweetie, and he enjoys eating what I cook and bake. One of his favorite breads to bring home from Berkeley when he visits Acme Bread there is the Cranberry Walnut loaf.

I decided to try my hand at that kind of bread. My version is not as dense or dark, so I probably should have added more rye flour, but he loves it and I enjoyed making it.

I looked at quite a few recipes before throwing this one together. The cocoa and molasses add color and flavor and go well with the rye and whole wheat flours. I added the cooked mixed grains because I love the texture that they add, as well as nutrition. The walnut oil is a luxury and can be replaced with regular veggie oil or olive oil, but it goes so well with the walnuts.

I made this in a heavy duty stand mixer, using the dough hook, but ended up kneading it for about 5 additional minutes on a board to make sure there was plenty of gluten development. I kneaded in the walnuts and cranberries after the first rise. I shaped the nut and cranberry laden dough into two football shaped loaves, but they would bake up nice in loaf pans, too.

Cranberry Walnut Bread Elle's Way
makes 2 smallish loaves

1 packet (2.xx oz.) dry yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup mixed whole grains (rye berries, barley, wheat berries, rolled oats, etc.), cooked in 1 cup water, drained and cooled
2 tablespoons cocoa powder (unsweetened)
1 cup rye flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus another 1/2 cup for kneading
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
2 tablespoons molasses
1/4 cup walnut oil
1/3 - 1/2 cup chopped walnuts per loaf (2/3 - 1 cup total)
1/3 - 1/2 cup dried cranberries per loaf (2/3 - 1 cup total)

In a small bowl re-hydrate the yeast in the 1/4 cup lukewarm water. Let sit at least 5 minutes until yeast is foamy.

After yeast is ready, add to the cooled cooked grains in a stand mixer bowl and stir. Let sit 5 minutes.
While yeast mixture is sitting, in a large bowl whisk together the cocoa powder, rye flour, whole wheat flour, bread flour and 1 cup of the all-purpose flour and the salt. Set aside.

To the yeast mixture, add the 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water, molasses and walnut oil. Stir to combine. Set the stand mixer bowl with the yeast mixture on the stand mixer. Using the dough hook, on low speed, add the flour mixture, one cup at a time, to create a shaggy dough. With the mixer running still, add the remaining 1/2 cup all purpose flour a tablespoon at a time. Continue kneading with the machine about 5 minutes, then transfer to a floured board. Using the final 1/2 cup flour, if needed, knead an additional 5 minutes until dough is relatively smooth and silky.

Turn dough in an oiled bowl to coat with oil, then cover and let rise until doubled in bulk, about an hour.

Turn out onto lightly floured board, knock down, and divide in half. Return half the dough to the bowl.

Knead the walnuts and cranberries into the dough and form into a loaf. Repeat with the other half the dough.
Cover with oiled plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, about an hour.

Slash top and bake in preheated 375 degree F oven until loaf is dark golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped on bottom, about 45 minutes.

Let loaf cool before slicing. Will keep on counter, wrapped in a tea towel, a couple of days.


  1. That sounds a delicious combination and I love how chunky you've left the walnuts

  2. Marian9:49 PM

    Sounds fabulous! Hope I get time to try this one soon.