Thursday, July 30, 2009

cranberry walnut celebration bread - bread baker's apprentice challenge #11

Another week, another bread. Bread number 11 in the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge is a braided cranberry walnut loaf, and if I'd known it was going to be so delicious I would have pushed myself even more to make last weeks corn bread.

This loaf was my first attempt at a celebration braid - one larger 3 braid, with a smaller 3 braid on top. Quite a sexy looking get-up if you ask me. While it worked well, even if the braids did fall apart slightly, some sections end up so small you may need to cut a few times to fill your tummy. Peter does mention of course you can bake it as a boule or in a regular loaf pan, something I would try next time.

This bread is absolutely jammed pack full of cranberries (9 oz) with a healthy side (3 oz) of chopped up walnut pieces. The trick I've learned with a bread like this, is to knead the dough without the goodies first. Once you are almost ready to give up, start incorporating the bonus goodies. By the time you're happy, the goodies will be peppered throughout and the dough will be ready to rise.

I was really impressed with the crust of this bread; for some reason it really appealed to me. The loaf was devoured in a day and a half as my fellow homesteaders enjoyed the bread with every meal, and my father claiming it made for a great midnight snack. We are all out of walnuts at the moment or else I wold bake it again pronto. Next time however I will cut myself a larger piece...or maybe hide it somewhere!


ATigerinTheKitchen said...

Wow...that looks great! I'm making it today. Am a little nervous about the top braid falling off. Any tips on how to keep it on?

Chris said...

Thanks. I didn't have any problems with the braid falling off, I think the added weight of all those internal goodies keeps it pretty steady. I did egg wash the heck out of it, but nothing between the layers.

My only problem was the braids becoming a bit loose, but I still attribute that to having no hair, therefore no braiding practice!

You'll love this bread.

Kelly said...

Beautiful! I loved this bread too. I didn't think I could get all of those cranberries and nuts in there. I looked at the ball of dough, looked at the bowl full of cranberries and another full of nuts and thought, "This will be interesting." Turned out great, as did yours. Well done!

KimHo said...

(drop jaw) (pick up jaw).

Wow, that looks good!

Chris said...

We shared the same thought Kelly, but leave it to PR to prove us wrong. It worked and tasted fantastic to boot!

Thanks Kim. Appreciate the kind words.

Sarah said...

Mmm, this looks great! Cranberries are my favourite. Not Saskatoons. :P

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