Saturday, June 20, 2009

Cranberry Walnut Bread

I bring to you my second ever baking on my brand new baking stone. Have I told you yet how much I adore it? Anyway, I had this insane craving for cranberry walnut bread after watching Rose make it. I wanted a bit of a more low maintenance bread and I decided to consult, once again, Hamelman's Bread book for a recipe. I settled on his Golden Raisin Walnut Bread, opting to swap out the raisins with cranberries. The dough was quite easy to assemble, first requiring a biga to be put together the night before preparing the final dough. As usual, I made it by hand with no hassle. I gave the biga an overnight cold rise, because the weather is so warm that I didn't want to risk it overfermenting. I kind of winged the dough also. I opted to use about half whole wheat flour and and half regular flour instead of the lower proportion of ww flour written in the book. I kneaded it the next morning, and in the process, jammed my finger up resulting in a massively swollen, black and blue unuseable finger. At least it wasnt broken. But that's another story. The dough had beautiful strength but I gave it a fold after taking it out of the fridge anyway and then let it hang out at room temperature. I shaped them into two batards and let them proof. I slashed one on the diagonal and one straight. I have to say I was more pleased with the diagonal slashing--they just opened up nicer. All that needs to be said is that this bread turned out AMAZING and exactly what I had envisioned and was craving. The crust was wonderfully nutty and perfectly crispy. The crumb was pretty tight and held a lovely mosaic of the nuts and craisins. It looked perfect and tasted even better. I proudly send this one to Yeastspotting once again!

Cranberry and Walnut Whole Wheat Bread
adapted from Bread

4 ounces a.p or bread flour
4 ounces whole wheat flour
5 ounces water
1/8 tsp instant yeast

Final dough:
1 lb, 5. 6 ounces bread flour
2.4 ounces whole wheat flour ( this is the original amount-- but I used about half and half- do as you please!)
1 lb, 2 ounces water
1 tbsp salt
1 1/4 tsp yeast
5.1 ounces walnuts
5.1 ounces dried cranberries

Place all of the dry biga ingredients in a bowl. Whisk to combine. Add the water and knead to form a smooth ball of dough.

Place in a bowl and refrigerate overnight. Here is the biga. Doesnt look much risen,but it definitely did some gluten building.Place the dry ingredients for the final dough in large bowl,and whisk. Add the water,and being whisking.Add the biga in chunks and pieces and keep mixing. Knead well to form a cohesive dough.Golden walnuts and ruby jewels. Mmmm. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and sprinkle with the nuts and cranberries. Knead them in. They might be stubborn initially, but they eventually all fall into place. Place in a greased bowl. Stick in the refrigerator. I removed it from the fridge, gave it a fold, and allowed it to dechill at room temperature.
Turn the dough out and divide it into two pieces. Shape the dough into batards and allow to proof at room temperature. Preheat your baking stone at the highest temperature. The breads will bake at 460.When the breads have proofed, slash them and sprinkle them with water. Place the in the oven and allow to bake for twenty minutes. Then turn the oven down about twenty degrees. Because of the sugars in the dough, you dont want to overcaramelize and burn the bread. Bake until really dark and a thermometer registers about 190-210. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack. Photograph like crazy because you're so proud of how they turned out. This is a VERY vital step. Slice and enjoy. This would be great with butter or jam.

Photograph some more and pat yourself on the shoulder. You made awesome bread!

1 comment:

Susan said...

The photographing and patting on the shoulder are definitely important steps here. Nicely done!