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.
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.
Table of contents
- Why You’ll Love This Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread
- Tools Recommended for Cranberry and Walnut Sourdough
- Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Recipe Ingredients
- How To Make Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Recipe
- Popular Substitutions and Additions to this Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread Recipe
- Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread Recipe FAQs
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.
Tools Recommended for Cranberry and Walnut Sourdough
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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 p.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) 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) 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) Complete the 3rd turn and set the timer for the last 30 minutes.
(10:45) 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) 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) 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) Final shape is done by a series of folds. I always think of an envelope.
- Gently stretch the third of the dough closest to you up and over the middle third of the round.
- Stretch the right side horizontally and then up and over the center.
- Repeat on the left side.
- 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.
- 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.
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
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.
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.
Popular Substitutions and Additions to this Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread Recipe
- 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.
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
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Friday 7th of October 2022
Thank you, Susannah! We love our sourdough breads!
Thursday 6th of October 2022
Followed your recipe exactly and it came out beautifully! I didn't think I'll be able to make bread this good. Thanks so much - always enjoy your recipes!
Friday 7th of October 2022
Thank you so much Mindy! That's a heartfelt comment that made my day!
Tuesday 4th of October 2022
A winner! Thanks for your detailed process, so helpful when reading about it. What a stunning and super tasty bread!
susan | thewimpyvegetarian
Tuesday 4th of October 2022
There's so much to love about this recipe - that it's small enough for just my husband and me (or maybe just for me...), and I've baked lots of yeasted breads, but have yet to use my Dutch oven. I need to do this.