Walnut cranberry bread is a delicious bread that can be used as a sandwich bread or just enjoyed with some butter or jam. I have relished this bread from Costco and Publix in the past but now enjoy making it at home using my bread machine.
Ingredients for cranberry walnut bread
Bread flour has more gluten and works best to make bread. However, if you are out of bread flour, you can also use all-purpose flour. I use the King Arthur brand of bread flour and all-purpose flour and use it interchangeably to make a variety of bread without much difference between the two.
How to make cranberry walnut bread dough?
I love making cranberry walnut bread at home by making the dough in the bread machine. It is so easy and convenient. All you need to do is place the wet and the dry ingredients in the order recommended by the bread machine manufacturer and start the dough cycle.
The bread machine will do the mixing, kneading, and take the dough through its first rise. You can read more on how to make dough in bread machine. I have made artisan bread and baked it in the Dutch oven but you can also bake the bread directly in the bread machine.
To make cranberry walnut bread dough in breadmaker, place the water, flour, salt, and yeast in the pan and start the dough cycle. Just before the final kneading, add the dried cranberries and chopped walnuts to the pan and let it continue with the kneading and the rising phase. Some machines may have the nut dispenser and can add the nuts automatically during the cycle.
Once the dough cycle is complete and the dough has been through the first rise, remove it on a parchment paper and shape it into a ball. Place the dough ball along with the parchment paper in the Dutch oven for the final rise.
How to bake cranberry walnut bread in Dutch oven?
To bake an artisan style rustic and crusty cranberry walnut bread you will need a Dutch oven. After the first rise is done in the bread machine, shape the dough into a ball and place it in the Dutch oven lined with a parchment paper.
I have used a 4 qt. Dutch oven to bake this bread. Keep the Dutch oven in a warm place to allow the dough to go through the final rise until it doubles in volume. This can take up to an hour and will vary depending on the the ambient temperature.
Optionally, to speed up the process, you can warm the oven for 5 minutes and then allow the dough to rise inside it for about 30-40 minutes. To bake the walnut cranberry bread in the Dutch oven, preheat the oven to 450 °F with the rack at the middle level.
Place the Dutch oven in the oven and turn the temperature down to 400 °F and bake the bread for 25 minutes with the lid on. This helps trap the moisture and makes the bread crusty.
Finally bake the bread in the Dutch oven without the lid for about 20 minutes. The bread will have a nice golden color. Place it on a cooling rack and allow it to cool down completely before slicing it.
What to eat with cranberry walnut bread?
Cranberry walnut bread is hearty and delicious. It can be served with some butter, cream cheese or jam, as is or toasted. It is also a perfect sandwich bread and can be used to make grilled cheese.
How long does cranberry bread last?
Homemade cranberry walnut bread lasts for about 3-4 days at room temperature, depending on the weather and ambient temperature. If you want to store it for long then it is best to freeze the bread. Frozen bread can last up to 3 months.
Should cranberry bread be refrigerated?
Bread, when refrigerated, becomes dry. So it is not advisable to refrigerate it. The best way to store homemade bread is to keep it in an airtight container at room temperature or store it in the freezer.
How to freeze cranberry bread?
To freeze homemade cranberry walnut bread, allow the bread to cool down completely on a cooling rack. Then cut the bread into desired number of slices using a serrated bread knife or an electric knife.
Cutting the bread before freezing makes it easy to use when needed later. After slicing, place the slices in an airtight container or in freezer safe Ziplock bags and store them in the freezer. The bread stays good for about 3 months in the freezer.
When you want to serve the bread, simply take out as many slices from the freezer and toast it in the toaster or in the oven. Enjoy it with some butter, jam, or serve it with some delicious bowl of soup!
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Bread Machine Cranberry Walnut Bread
Making cranberry bread dough in bread machine
- Place all the wet and dry ingredients in the bread machine pan in the order recommended by the bread machine manufacturer.
- Select and start the dough cycle.
- Add the cranberry and walnuts when the machine beeps for add-ins. (Or add them to nut dispenser before the cycle starts)
- Remove the dough after the dough cycle is complete.
Shaping the dough
- On a lightly floured surface knead the dough into a ball.
Baking the cranberry walnut bread
- Preheat the oven to 450 °F
- Score the dough with a sharp knife and then cover the lid.
- Place the Dutch oven with the dough in the oven and bake covered for 25 minutes at 400 °F.
- Bake the bread uncovered for 20 minutes at 400 °F.
- Take the bread out and place on a cooling rack.
- Once the bread is completely cooled down, slice it with a serrated knife or an electric knife.
- The cranberry walnut bread can also be directly baked in the bread machine. Use the French bread cycle for a crusty bread.
- It is best to weigh the flour using a food scale for best and consistent results.
- Dough can also be kneaded in a stand mixer and then proved in the instant pot or oven for about 1 hour before shaping into rolls.
- Check out this post for detailed instructions on how to knead dough in stand mixer and proof it in the instant pot.
- Follow the remaining steps starting from "shaping the dough"