Today is November 17, 2021

Published 7:00 am Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Homemade Bread Day

Crusty Cranberry Nut No Knead Bread

Ingredients

  • 3 cups plus 2 tablespoons (390g) all-purpose flour (plus more for hands)
  • 2 teaspoons coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Platinum Yeast
  • 3/4 cup (95g) chopped nuts (such as walnuts or pecans )
  • 3/4 cup (105g) dried cranberries (See note)
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (about 95°F/35°C)

Instructions

  • Stir the first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl. Stir in the warm water. The dough will be pretty sticky– don’t be tempted to add more flour– you want a sticky dough. Gently shape into a ball as best you can. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Set on the counter at room temperature (honestly any normal room temperature is fine!) and allow to rise for 12-18 hours. The dough will double in size, stick to the sides of the bowl, and be covered in air bubbles.
  • Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and, using lightly floured hands, shape into a ball as best you can. Doesn’t have to be perfect! Transfer dough to a large piece of parchment paper. (Large enough to fit inside your 6-qt pot, and one that is safe under high heat.)
  • Using a very sharp knife, gently score an X into the top. Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap and leave alone for 30 minutes.
  • During this 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 475°F (246°C). (Yes, very hot!) Place your dutch oven (with the lid) or heavy duty pot inside for 30 minutes so that it’s extremely hot before the dough is placed inside. After 30 minutes, remove the dutch oven from the oven and carefully place the dough inside by lifting it up with the parchment paper and sticking it all– the parchment paper included– inside the pot. Cover with the lid.
  • Bake for 25 minutes with the lid on. Carefully remove the lid and continue baking for 8-10 more minutes until the bread is golden brown. Remove pot from the oven, carefully remove the bread from the pot, and allow to cool on the counter for 30 minutes before breaking/slicing/serving.
  • Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Notes

Make ahead tips:

  1.  The dough takes up to 18 hours to rise, so this is a wonderful recipe to begin 1 day ahead of time.
  2. You can also bake the bread, allow it to cool, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature before serving.

Dutch Oven: 6 quart or higher Dutch oven or any large oven-safe pot with a lid (lid is crucial– see post!). If your Dutch oven is smaller than 6 quarts, you can halve the recipe (instructions remain the same, just halve each ingredient) or make the recipe as directed in step 1. Shape the dough into 2 balls in step 2. Bake them one at a time in your smaller Dutch oven. While the 2nd dough waits, lightly cover and keep at room temperature. The bake times (25 mins and 8-10 mins) are both a little shorter for smaller loaves.

No Dutch oven? See post above for alternative.

Bread Flour or Whole Wheat Flour: I use all-purpose flour here since it’s more readily available to most bakers. However, I love baking bread with bread flour and it can definitely be substituted with no other changes needed to the recipe. You can also swap all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour. The bread will have a tougher and heartier texture, as expected. To maintain a chewy and softer texture, use half all-purpose flour and half whole wheat flour.

Cranberries: Dried cranberries (or raisins!) are best for this wet dough. I haven’t tried this bread with fresh or frozen cranberries.

Parchment Paper: If your parchment paper can only be heated to a certain temperature, bake the bread at that temperature. Bake the bread a little longer to compensate for the lower temperature.

Recipe by Sally’s Baking Addiction.

 

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Cranberry-infused cocktail for autumn entertaining

Besides the ubiquitous “pumpkin spice,” nothing says “autumn” more than tart cranberries. Cranberries are a major component of Thanksgiving feasts, turning up alongside and atop turkey as well as in quick breads and desserts.

Cranberries are loaded with health benefits, which include reducing the risk for ulcers and preventing gum disease. Also, just eight ounces of cranberry juice cocktail contains 137 percent of the daily recommended value of vitamin C.

Cranberries can even be used to craft great cocktails. Move over mulled ciders, this crisp “Cranberry Margarita” from The Cape Cod Cranberry Growers’ Association makes a great autumn-inspired beverage.

Cranberry Margarita

Serves 1

1 1/2 shots of tequila

1 shot of cranberry juice cocktail

1/4 cup of whole berry cranberry sauce

1/2 shot of triple sec

10 ice cubes

Sweetened dried cranberries, for garnish

Lime, for garnish

Combine all ingredients except garnish in a blender. Blend on high until smooth and frosty. Serve in a margarita glass. Garnish with dried cranberries and a lime wheel