Friday, May 6, 2011

Sunny Cranberry Loaf

Here's another bread I entered in the 2011 National Festival of Breads contest. One of the "special" awards was for the best use of cranberries. Since fresh berries were out of season - and since the season is so short, anyway, I decided to use dried cranberries. I really liked the result.

The lemon oil was a last-minute idea. Originally, I was going to use butter, but then decided to add a bit more flavor with the oil. I like the result. If you don't like lemon, you could use a plain olive oil instead.

The resulting bread is interesting. A little sweet, a little tart. Nice for toasting, and it makes an interesting French toast as well.

If you're not fond of dried cranberries, substitute any dried fruit you like. Dried apricots or apples would be a good choice.

Sunny Cranberry Loaf

2 1/2 cups (11 1/4) ounces bread flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 teaspoons  instant yeast
1 tablespoon lemon-flavored olive oil
1 cup cold tap water (as cold as it comes from your tap)
2 tablespoons honey
1/4 cup roasted sunflower seeds (without the shells – just the meat)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tablespoon olive oil

Place the flour, salt, yeast, and lemon oil in the bowl of your food processor fitted with the kneading blade. Pulse several times to distribute the ingredients.

Combine the water and honey in a measuring cup. With the food processor running, pour in the honey/water mixture as fast as the flour can absorb it. Continue processing until the dough forms a ball, and let it run another 15 seconds.

Check the dough to see if it is fully kneaded. It should be smooth, shiny, and very elastic. If it is not fully kneaded, continue processing in 30-second increments, checking the dough each time. If it starts feeling warm, let the dough rest with the processor open for a minute or two to cool down, then continue processing as needed.

When the dough is fully kneaded, add the cranberries and sunflower seeds and process just long enough to incorporate the seeds and berries.

Flour your work surface lightly and turn out the dough. Knead it by hand briefly, then form it into a ball. Drizzle the olive oil into a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl and turn it a few times to coat it completely with the oil.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and set aside to rise until doubled, about 1 hour.

When the dough has risen, sprinkle some flour on your work surface, and sprinkle some cornmeal in the bottom of a 5 1/2 quart enameled cast iron Dutch oven.

Turn out the dough and knead briefly, then form into a ball. Place the ball into the Dutch oven, seam-side down. Put the lid on the Dutch oven and put it into a cold oven. Set a timer for 20 minutes. When 20 minutes are up, leave the Dutch oven in the oven and set the oven temperature to 400 degrees and bake for one hour.

When the bread is done, remove the Dutch oven from the oven, carefully remove the finished breads, and let it cool completely on a rack before cutting.

This has been submitted to Yeastspotting.



hobby baker Kelly said...

That is gorgeous! One of my favorite and most requested loaves has dried cranberries and orange peel in it. But my dad-in-law would love the sunflower seeds I know. I'll have to try it out! Thanks for sharing. :)

Connie said...

This looks great and tasty. Luckily I have cranberries and sunflower seeds. I don't have lemon oil, can I substitute it for lemon syrup? I put this on my list of breads to make.

Donna Currie said...

Lemon syrup would be nice, or even a little bit of grated lemon peel.

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