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Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread Recipe

Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread recipe makes a crusty artisan loaf of sourdough bread with a soft and tender crumb. Fresh cranberries and walnuts give this Sourdough Cranberry Walnut Bread the perfect contrast of sweetness and tartness.

I just love cranberries and walnuts combined and baked together. My Cranberry Walnut Bread with Yeast is so amazing that I just had to make a Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread Recipe version.

Top down view of a golden loaf of walnut sourdough bread with cranberries.

I want you to make this Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread Recipe. I’m not going to go into a lot of technical terms but I’m giving you a step-by-step walkthrough of what I did so it appears that it may be difficult to make. Don’t let that scare you from making it.

Why You’ll Love This Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread

  • Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread is a smaller loaf. That makes it easier to handle, slice, and serve.
  • The perfect tender crumb holds a load of butter.
  • This bread is perfect for your Holiday table or gifting!
  • We love serving this bread on a charcuterie board. It’s delicious with a slather of brie.

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  • Dutch Oven – I bake almost all of my sourdough in this pan. It’s great for soups and stews too.
  • Oven Mitts – Sourdough is baked in a HOT oven. I like these mitts because they protect my hands and forearms.
  • Bread Lame – Used to score the bread. If you have a sharp razor blade that will work too.
  • Proofing container – I use this container to proof my bread.

Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Recipe Ingredients

  • All-purpose Flour – bleached or unbleached
  • Whole Wheat Flour – this flour gives my bread a wholesome flavor
  • Salt – fine sea salt is what I prefer in baking
  • Honey – adds a nice sweet contrast to the tartness of the cranberries
  • Water – filtered or bottled water is what I prefer
  • Cranberries – fresh cranberries were used in this cranberry bread recipe
  • Walnuts – fresh walnuts

How To Make Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Recipe

9:00 p.m. The night before, feed your starter. Using a tablespoon of your starter add 100 grams of filtered water and 100 grams of flour. I use 50/50 mix of AP flour and whole grain wheat flour. You wont use all of it tomorrow. What you don’t use can be used to feed a new starter.

Step 1: Mix the Dry Ingredients

8:00 a.m. I recommend that you test your starter to make sure it’s ready to work. It should be bubbly and pass the float test.

In a large bowl, combine 240 grams of water with the flour, honey, and 70 grams of starter. Let the dough rest in the bowl for 30 minutes.

After 30 minutes, add the salt and the remaining 25 grams of water. Combine the salt with a pinching motion. The dough may come apart but will come back together. The dough is sticky at this point. Put the dough in a container to start the bulk fermentation (rising) for 3 to 4 hours.

Step 2: Bulk Fermentation

(9:00 a.m.) For the next 2 hours you will be giving the dough one turn every half hour. Set a timer for 30 minutes.

At 30 minutes, pull the sides of the dough stretching it over to the middle turning the container as you go for 4 to 6 stretches. It’s helpful if you wet your hand before sticking it into the container. It’s sticky, heavy and dense after the first few turns. Set the timer for another 30 minutes.

(9:30-9:40 a.m.) At the second turn, add the cranberries and walnuts. Moisten the dough with a splash of water and squeeze the cranberries and walnuts into the dough. Cover and set the timer for another 30 minutes.

Tip: It can be easier to keep it in the bowl until after the cranberries and walnuts are added because they’re easier to mix in and then put into a proofing bucket.

(10:15 a.m.) Complete the 3rd turn and set the timer for the last 30 minutes.

(10:45 a.m.) Complete the 4th turn. Set the timer for 1 hour. For the next 2 hours, you will gently turn the dough 2 to 3 times to prevent pressing the gas out of the dough.

(11:45 a.m.) The bread will become smoother and softer by the third hour. It may take another hour.

At this point, you watch for the signs that the dough is ready to be shaped. Once the dough increases in volume by 20% to 30% and is more cohesive, releasing from the sides of the bowl when turned as well as holding its shape for a few minutes are signs that it’s ready to shape.

Step 3: Shaping

(12:45 p.m.) Pull the dough out of the container onto a lightly floured work surface and shape it into a ball. Cover the dough (flour sack towel) and let it rest for 20 to 30 minutes.

(1:15. p.m.) Final shape is done by a series of folds. I always think of an envelope.

  1. Gently stretch the third of the dough closest to you up and over the middle third of the round.
  2. Stretch the right side horizontally and then up and over the center.
  3. Repeat on the left side.
  4. Pull a third of the dough that’s furthest from you up and over the other folds and anchor it with your fingers. Create tension by rolling the whole dough away from you.
  5. Cup your hands and using the resistance of the work surface pull the dough in a circular motion until the dough is a tight round.
A shaped loaf of walnut cranberry sour dough bread.
Pull in a circular motion towards you until the surface is tight

Step 3: Final rise

Lightly dust a banneton or tea towel-lined bowl. Lightly dust the top of the dough and pick it up with a bench scraper. Place it upside down in a banneton basket or a bowl (smooth side down).

At this point, you can place it in a warm place for 1 to 3 hours for the final rise and bake or you can cover it with a tea towel placed in a plastic grocery bag in the refrigerator overnight which is what I do.

Tip: If you choose to bake it the same day, watch it closely. Press the dough with your finger and if it rebounds slowly it’s ready to bake. If it rebounds quickly it needs a little more time. No rebound and you’ve over-proofed it.

Step 4: Bake in the morning

7:00 a.m. Place the dutch oven in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 425° F. Remove the bread from the refrigerator.

Turn the bread out of the banneton into the hot Dutch oven. Score it with a lame. Replace the lid and slide it into the oven. Reduce the heat to 400° F. Bake for 20 minutes with the lid on. Remove the lid and bake for approximately 10 more minutes. Test with an instant-read thermometer. Bread is baked when it reaches 205° F to 210° F.

Cool Completely

Don’t be tempted to slice into that bread just yet. It’s best if you let it rest on a cooling rack for 2 to 4 hours.

  • I used 3/4 cup of walnuts and chopped cranberries. You could go up to 1 cup each.
  • Freshly grated orange zest would be amazing in this sourdough bread.
  • Craisins (dried cranberries), cherries, or other fruits can be substituted.
  • Not a walnut fan? Use another nut. Pecans would be delicious.
Front view of a loaf of baked sourdough bread with cranberry and walnut.

How To Reheat and Store Sourdough Bread

Best Way To Store Sourdough Bread

Store sourdough at room temperature. Once the bread is cut you can store it cut-side down on a cutting board but never in plastic. I’ve also had good luck with linen bread bags. Wrapping it in a tea towel or Bee’s wrap works too.

Do not refrigerate sourdough bread. The condensation will create a gummy crust.

How Long Will Sourdough Bread Last?

The chemistry that occurs in sourdough makes it last longer and keeps it fresher than other fresh bread. Your bread should be good for up to 5 days. If it gets dry make homemade croutons!

Can I Freeze Sourdough Bread?

Yes! I often make up to 6 loaves at a time. Once the bread is completely cool, wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and then foil. It will be good for up to 3 months

How To Reheat Sourdough Bread

  • We make sandwiches and heat them briefly in the microwave.
  • You can freshen up or revive a loaf of sourdough by sprinkling it with a little water and putting it in a 250° F for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Toast it in a toaster or the oven. It’s amazing

Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread Recipe FAQs

Can you use dried cranberries for baking?

Yes! Dried cranberries bake up sweet and delicious. They can be added right to the dough or plumped up ahead of time by letting them soak in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes. Soaking makes them plump and juicy.

Another option is to put them in a microwave-safe bowl, cover them with liquid, and microwave them for 30 to 60 seconds. Let them sit for 5 minutes. I wouldn’t adjust the honey even if you use craisins.

Can I use frozen cranberries?

Yes, you can. I recommend chopping them while they’re frozen. Let the chopped cranberries thaw on a paper towel to reduce any liquid.

Closeup view of sliced Sourdough Cranberry Walnut Bread with the loaf in the back.

More recipes you may enjoy

Don’t forget to come back and let me know how your Sourdough Cranberry Walnut Bread turned out.

Top angled view of a baked loaf of sourdough walnut cranberry bread.

Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Recipe

Author: Julie Menghini
Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread is a crusty artisan loaf of sourdough bread with a soft and tender crumb and the perfect sweet and tart contrast.
4.46 from 24 votes
Prep Time 23 hours
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 23 hours 30 minutes
Course Bread
Cuisine American
Keyword: Cranberry bread, Sourdough
Servings: 12 servings (1 loaf)


Starter (Night before)

  • 1 tbsp sourdough starter
  • 100 gr water I use filtered water
  • 50 gr whole wheat flour
  • 50 gr Unbleached All-Purpose flour can use bleached

Dough (Next Day)

  • 300 gr bread flour
  • 50 gr whole wheat flour
  • 70 gr starter
  • 40 gr honey
  • 265 gr water – divided
  • 7 gr fine sea salt
  • 65 gr cranberries chopped
  • 65 gr shelled walnuts chopped



  • The night before making the bread dough feed the starter by combining 1 tablespoon of starter with the 50/50 flour mix and water in a bowl. Cover the bowl with a dish towel or lid and let it sit out at room temperature.

Bread Dough

  • The next morning, add the flour to a large mixing bowl.
  • Measure out 240 grams of water and add 70 grams of the fed starter you made the night before and 40 grams of the honey. Roughly stir it together.
  • Add the water mixture to the flour and mix with your hand or a wooden spoon until all of the flour is incorporated. Cover the bowl with a dish towel and allow the mixture to rest for 30 minutes.
  • After the rest, add the salt and the remaining 24 grams of water to the dough. Mix together using a pinching motion. The dough may break apart but will come back together. Put the dough in a clear proofing bucket or covered container.
  • Set the container in a warm or draft-free area and set a timer for 30 minutes. At the end of the 30 minutes, add the chopped cranberries and walnuts.
    Set a timer for another 30 minutes. Fold the dough on top of itself by pulling the sides of the dough over the middle while turning the container as you go for about 6 turns each time. Repeat 2 more times for a total of 4 folds in 2 hours.
    In the first few turns, the dough will feel heavier and less elastic. I find it helpful to wet my hand before turning the dough so it doesn't stick to my hand.
  • After 2 hours, the dough will become lighter and stretch easier. You will want to handle the dough gently as you perform another series of folds so you don't press all of the gas out of the dough. Set a timer for 1 hour for the final fold.
  • Turn the dough out of the container and gently shape it into a ball by turning the edges until the surface of the dough has some tension. Cover the dough with a towel and set a timer for 30 minute to allow the dough to rest.
  • After 30 minutes, dust the top of the dough with a light sprinkling of flour. Using a bench scraper, flip the dough over so the floured side is on the bottom.
  • The final shape is done by a series of folds. I always think of an envelope.
    1. Gently stretch the third of the dough closest to you up and over the loaf.
    2. Stretch the right side out horizontally and then up and over the center.
    3. Repeat for the left side.
    4. Pull the third of the dough that's furthest from you up and over the other folds and anchor it with your fingers. Create tension by rolling the whole dough away from you in a circular motion.
  • Pick up the dough with the bench scraper and place it in a banneton or bowl that's been dusted with flour. The smooth top is now on the bottom. Dust the top of the dough with flour and cover it with the dish towel. Place the container in a plastic bag and refrigerate it overnight or up to 12 hours. (See notes for same day baking).


  • The next day, place a dutch oven in the oven and preheat the oven to 425 °F. When the oven is preheated, carefully add the loaf to the pan and score it with a lame.
    Immediately lower the oven temperature to 400 °F. Cover the loaf and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until the bread reaches an internal temperature of 205 °F to 210 °F
  • Remove from the dutch oven and cool completely on a cooling rack, 2 to 4 hours.


For same day baking, let the bread rise after shaping for 1 to 3 hours at room temperature. If you press your knuckle into the side of the dough and it springs back slowly, it’s ready to bake.

Nutritional Disclaimer

This recipe was calculated using the exact brands and measurements I used to make this recipe. If you are following a strict diet please note changing anything will cause the nutritional info to change. My calculations are intended as a guide only.

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

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A sliced loaf of Sourdough filled with fresh cranberries and walnuts.
4.46 from 24 votes (13 ratings without comment)
Recipe Rating


Friday 1st of December 2023

Can you please send out the amounts in measurements like cups and teaspoons for those of us who do not have a scale to measure in grams? Even if it is approximate it would help. I would love to try this recipe!

Julie Menghini

Friday 1st of December 2023

Hi Marybeth. You can use for converting metric to US volume.

Wendy Kohn

Wednesday 1st of November 2023

The recipe is confusing. It says start at 8 pm, and finish 1am? Am I suppose to mix up starter and then in the morning do the rest and bake in the evening. I've made lots of sourdough bread and have a great starter but these instructions are confusing. Maybe if the ingredients for starter list the 70gr of starter to be included with the water and flour the night before, it would make more sense.

Also, if it was explained what you do the next day as apposed to making it seem like I have to stay up all night to make the bread, it would really help clarify. I clearly am not alone in my confusion.

Can someone clarify?

Julie Menghini

Thursday 2nd of November 2023

Hi Wendy, I can see why you were confused. I feed my starter around 9 p.m. the night before mixing the bread. It should read the next morning at 8 a.m.(not pm) is when you mix the dough by combining 70 grams of the starter you mixed the night before with 265 grams of water and flour the next morning.

Thanks for bringing this to my attention. If you have any more questions, please let me know. ~ Julie


Friday 28th of July 2023

So sorry the recipe in grams. It looks wonderful.


Tuesday 21st of February 2023

You don't mention how much starter to put in the levain. I used 30 g and it seemed to be enough.

Cathy Johnson

Friday 3rd of March 2023

@Julie Menghini, The 70 grams is to make the dough in the recipe. The levain instructions only say to use filtered water, wheat flour, and AP flour. The starter amount is missing.

Julie Menghini

Wednesday 22nd of February 2023

The recipe states to use 70 grams but I'm glad that it worked for you.


Thursday 6th of October 2022

This recipe was so good! I absolutely loved this bread.

Julie Menghini

Friday 7th of October 2022

Thank you, Susannah! We love our sourdough breads!

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