BBA#11: Cranberry-Walnut Celebration Loaf

Eleven breads down, thirty-two more to go!

A reminder to readers: recipes for all the breads from “the BBA challenge,” are found in Peter Reinhart’s book.

My hopes were not high for this one.   It’s a bit too festive for my taste, and I had trouble with a previous braided loaf (Challah), which made me a little worried.  However, much to my own amazement, this loaf was not difficult and turned out very well. My only remark is that the water  called for in the recipe (1/4 to 1/2 cup) seems excessive. I did not add any water, and the dough was already almost in need of a little flour.  Be careful if you make it, and hold back on the liquid  (thanks, Susie! If it wasn’t for your heads up, I would’ve probably ended up with trouble in my hands… :-))

The dough contains eggs, milk, cranberries and walnuts;  it is leavened by commercial, instant yeast.   After rising for 2 hours it is cut in 6 pieces (3 large, 3 small), that are shaped into logs, and braided. The small braid is placed on top of the big one, forming a double-braided loaf, quite impressive!



… a final shot of the crumb….


We both loved the bread!  It’s rich, but not overly sweet due to the tartness of  the cranberries, and great toasted.   The orange extract complements the cranberries, but if I made it again I’d use orange zest instead.