Cranberry Boule Bread Recipe
5 Hours 40 Minutes
A hint of sweetness compliments this delicious cranberry boule bread recipe without sacrificing the homemade notes of freshly-baked bread. What makes this bread particularly fun is that it tastes similar to a sourdough bread with an undertone of tanginess, which pairs beautifully with dried cranberries and a touch of maple syrup.
Just like many other homemade bread recipes, the longer you can let the bread rise, the more flavorful the final product will be - BUT you can make the dough and bake the bread the same day. An olive oil coating and sprinkle of coarse sea salt will give this added flavor, especially if made the same day.
Baking the bread in a Dutch oven creates steam that will give the bread a crispy exterior crust and tender interior crumb. If you want to achieve the same effect without a Dutch oven, you can use a baking stone or nonstick sheet pan. Place a cast iron skillet on the lower rack of the oven and preheat it with the oven. Add a cup of water to the cast iron skillet when you place the bread in the oven and allow the steam to create that crispy crunch!
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You can bake this bread the same day you make the dough, or you can let the final rise happen overnight. The Dutch oven is what gives the dough its crispy crust!
- 8 people
- Prep time: 5 Hours|Cook time: 40 Minutes|Total time: 5 Hours 40 Minutes
- Add 1/2 cup lukewarm water to a measuring up and stir in the yeast. Add granulated sugar, stir to combine, and allow the yeast to develop while you measure the flour.
- In the mixing bowl of your choice (preferably of a stand mixer) that is placed on a scale and zeroed out, measure 20 ounces or approximately 4 cups of all-purpose flour. If you don't have a kitchen scale handy, measure out about 4 cups of flour. Keep another 1/2 cup handy to add too the dough if it seems to loose when you mix it.
- Add the yeast mixture to the flour. Then, add another scant 1 cup of water.
- Add salt, apple cider vinegar, and pure maple syrup to flour mixture. Using the paddle attachment on the stand mixer (or beaters on a hand mixer), mix on low-medium speed until the ingredients come together. Switch to the dough hook attachment and mix on low speed (I alternate between setting 2 and 4 on the KitchenAid mixer) for a few minutes before adding dried cranberries.
- After adding cranberries, mix about 15 minutes, or until the dough is elastic enough to grab a piece and stretch without immediately breaking. Cover with a dish towel or plastic wrap and set aside. Allow the boule bread dough to double in size, about 4 hours.
- On a lightly-floured surface, knead the dough to redistribute yeast and other ingredients. Cover with a dish towel and allow to rest for about 10 minutes.
- Using a circular motion, shape the dough into a boule and score the top with a knife, making an x shape. Add a little olive oil to the bottom of the Dutch oven, to help prevent sticking. Place boule-shaped bread in the Dutch oven. Cover again and allow to rest for another hour, or overnight. Otherwise, preheat the oven to 450ºF while it rests for the final hour.
- Rub the exterior of the dough with olive oil - or another neutral-flavored oil - and sprinkle with a little coarse sea salt.
- Cover the Dutch oven and bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid and bake for another 10-15 minutes, or until the edges have a deep golden color and the bread sounds hollow when you carefully tap on it.
- Allow to cool until safe to handle and transfer to cooling rack to cool completely. Enjoy and store in an air-tight container. Use within 5 days or freeze for longer storage.
- Acceptable substitutions: (1) honey in place of pure maple syrup, (2) nuts or dried fruit of your choice, (3) bread flour in place of all-purpose flour, and (4) Pecan oil or neutral-flavored oil of your choice, in place of olive oil.
- Bread flour in place of all-purpose flour.
- If you do not have a Dutch oven, you can use a baking sheet. Ceramic products work best with bread, but I have successfully made this on a regular non-stick baking sheet. For best results, place a cast iron skillet on the lower oven rack while it preheats and add a cup of water to the cast iron pan to generate steam when you add the bread to the oven. This will help give it a crisp crust, which is achieved naturally when baked in the Dutch oven.
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