Cranberry Walnut Sourdough

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Looking for a treat? Walnut cranberry sourdough is exactly what you need! Tangy cranberries, crunchy walnuts, and delicious sourdough, you can’t go wrong.

As I continue baking sourdough regularly, I continue to experiment with quantities, bake times, cold proofing, long bulk ferments, and especially inclusions.

These days, my favorite versions of sourdough are absolutely loaded with dried fruits, nuts, cheese, herbs, and spices. I love trying different ingredients to keep things interesting!

Plus, creative flavors take my sourdough bread recipes to the next level. And this sourdough cranberry walnut bread is definitely next level!

This cranberry walnut sourdough bread recipe is dedicated to experimenting.

Overhead view of sliced cranberry sourdough.
Jump to:

Tips + Tricks

No. 1 –> If you’re overwhelmed with all things sourdough, I can help you! I have guides on everything from making a 24 HOUR SOURDOUGH STARTER, to PICKING THE BEST STARTER JAR, to FEEDING SOURDOUGH STARTER, to STORING SOURDOUGH STARTER, to PROOFING IN THE FRIDGE, to FREEZING SOURDOUGH BREAD, to USING UP DISCARD, and more.

No. 2 –> Don’t have a banneton basket? I have a guide on BANNETONS AND BANNETON ALTERNATIVES!

No. 3 –> I’ve included times in the directions within the body of the post and a baker’s schedule to help give you an example of how I work this recipe into my day. You can shuffle the times as they work for you!

No. 4 –> If you like fully loaded bread with extra inclusions you can add up to 125g dried cranberries and 100g chopped walnuts as I did for the loaf in these photos. It can be a bit more difficult to work with, though, just a word of caution.

Side profile of walnut cranberry sourdough bread.

Key Ingredients

Active sourdough starter: Your starter should have been fed within the last approximately 6-8 hours and has at least doubled in size. This recipe is based on a sourdough starter with 100% hydration (equal amounts of flour and water by weight, not volume.)

Dried cranberries: I like to use sweetened dried cranberries for this recipe. They add a little sweetness to go along with the tart tang. Choose really fresh dried cranberries that are still plump, fragrant, and delicious for the best results.

Labeled ingredients photo.

How To Make Cranberry Sourdough Bread

Make the dough (1:00 pm):

  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine 330g warm water with 150g of active sourdough starter until mostly combined. I like to use a Danish dough whisk, but anything will work.
  2. Add 500g bread flour to the bowl and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Knead the dough with your hands until all the shaggy bits are incorporated.
  3. Cover the bowl and set aside for 45 – 60 minutes.

Stretch and fold (1:30 -3:30 pm):

  1. Uncover the bowl, sprinkle 10g of salt on top of the dough, then, using damp hands, grab the dough and gently pull it until the flap is long enough to fold over itself, then fold the flap, rotate the bowl 90 degrees, repeat 4 times. Recover the bowl, and set it aside for 30 minutes
  2. Add 100g dried cranberries and 80g chopped walnuts to the bowl, then repeat the stretch and fold process at least 3 more times. The intervals can be as short as 15 minutes, or as long as 60 minutes, but it should be completed at least 4 times during the BULK FERMENT.

Pre-shape + shape (4:00 pm):

  1. Lightly flour the work surface and use a bowl scraper to turn the cranberry walnut sourdough out onto the floured surface. Try to get the smooth top part face down so that the sticky underside is on top facing you, this will make shaping the dough easier.
  2. Fold the edges into the middle, alternating sides as though lacing the dough together. Then starting from the bottom, tightly roll the dough into a batard. Stop there if making a batard, or tuck the long ends underneath to create a boule.
  3. Allow the dough to rest covered for 20 minutes.
  4. Place your hands underneath the dough and using your pinkies, apply pressure to the dough and drag it along the work surface to increase surface tension in the dough. Avoid overtightening the dough because it may tear with the inclusions.
  5. Dust the top of your boule or batard with rice flour, then use a bench scraper to pick up the dough, flip the dough, and place it upside down, or seam side up, into a banneton to prove. Don’t have a banneton? Check out these BANNETON ALTERNATIVES.

Cold proof:

Cover the banneton with a reusable plastic bag and place it in the fridge. During the proving period, the dough will rise in the banneton, but due to the cool temperatures in the fridge, it won’t be a marked difference. See my post on PROOFING SOURDOUGH IN THE FRIDGE for more information.

Pre-heat oven (8:30 am):

  1. Place your dutch oven, cloche, or desired baking dish in the oven and preheat to 450f. If you don’t have a dutch oven, I do have a recommendation on HOW TO BAKE SOURDOUGH BREAD WITHOUT A DUTCH OVEN.

Bake (9:30 am):

  1. Once the oven is preheated, remove the dough from the fridge and invert the banneton onto a sheet of parchment paper.
  2. Use a lame, sharp knife, or clean razor blade to score the dough, I usually like to make one deep curved slash when adding inclusions, but you can get as fancy as you like!
  3. Carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven, and using the parchment paper as a sling, transfer the sourdough loaf from the counter into the dutch oven.
  4. Bake the dough at 450f covered for 20 minutes and uncovered at 450f for 25-30 minutes, or until the loaf is cooked through. You can test the doneness of the loaf with an instant-read thermometer. Bread is cooked once it reaches 205 – 210 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature.

My apologies, I didn’t take pics of the baking process, so I’ll borrow from my SAME DAY SOURDOUGH RECIPE – both recipes use the same baking process, BATARD BANNETON, and dutch oven.

My apologies, I didn’t take pics of the baking process, so I’ll borrow from my same day sourdough recipe – both recipes use the same baking process, batard banneton, and dutch oven.

Cool:

  1. Remove baked bread from the dutch oven and transfer it to a wire mesh cooling rack to cool completely before slicing. I like to leave it for at least 2 hours before slicing, as slicing too soon can affect the crumb and texture of your loaf.
  2. Check out my guide on STORING SOURDOUGH BREAD to ensure it stays fresh for days, or learn HOW TO FREEZE SOURDOUGH bread for a rainy day.
Baked cranberry sourdough on a wire mesh cooling rack.

Baker’s Schedule

  • Day 1 –>
    • 7:30 am: Feed your sourdough starter
    • 1:00 pm: Mix up the dough.
    • 3:30 pm: Stretch and fold process is complete.
    • 4:00 pm: Pre-shape and shape dough, then slide it into a lastic bag and place in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
  • Day 2 –>
    • 8:30 am: Set a dutch oven into the cold oven and preheat both together at 450f.
    • 9:30 am: Flip the cranberry walnut loaf onto a parchment paper square, score the top of the loaf then bake.
Sliced cranberry walnut sourdough loaf.

Batch + Storage

Batch:

This recipe bakes a nice-sized loaf of sourdough cranberry bread. This is the perfect amount for our family of 4 to serve with at least 2 meals.

Storage:

If you’ve got leftover sourdough, you’ve got serious willpower! There are a couple of ways to STORE SOURDOUGH BREAD to help prolong its quality after cutting.

Your boule can be kept cut side down on a cutting board for up to 12 hours before the crust becomes too crisp. This is our go-to. I recommend transferring it to a bread bag after 16-18 hours though.

Your sourdough loaf can also be frozen. To FREEZE SOURDOUGH, cool the loaf to room temperature, then tightly wrap it in plastic wrap, slide it into a bread bag, seal it up, and stick it in the freezer for 1-2 months. To use after freezing, remove the loaf from the freezer, unwrap, and allow it to come to room temperature (1 -2 hours) before slicing and enjoying.

Sliced cranberry walnut sourdough.

Variations + Substitutions:

  • Swap the walnuts for pecans
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom!
  • Add some fresh orange zest
  • try different dried fruits, like raisins or blueberries

More Awesome Sourdough Recipes!

Brod + Taylor folding proofing box: As mentioned above, THIS PROOFING BOX has revolutionized my sourdough baking, and really reinvigorated my love of the dough. As an added bonus, it folds up in a nice compact little package when it’s not in use.

Cast iron dutch oven: Much of the success of this bread depends on having a heavy-ass cast iron dutch oven, as it traps in steam and boosts the oven spring of your sourdough.

The blue one in these photos is a 6-quart oval dutch oven that I find perfect for baking batards. As an added bonus, due to the shape, I can fit this dutch oven and a round one in the oven to bake double the volume! If you don’t have a dutch oven, I have a guide on HOW TO COOK SOURDOUGH WITHOUT A DUTCH OVEN.

Scale: It’s really hard to make sourdough without a scale. Sorry, but them’s the facts! bread baking and bread dough are a bit of a science. A GOOD KITCHEN SCALE will treat you well over a huge range of recipes, not just sourdough. Think of  HOMEMADE BACON!

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📖 Printable Recipe

Overhead view of sliced cranberry sourdough.

Cranberry Walnut Sourdough Bread

Allyson Letal
Craving something unique and delicious? Cranberrywalnut sourdough is the perfect combination of sweet and tart! The crunchy walnuts and juicy cranberries make this artisan loaf a delicious treat.
4.60 from 10 votes
Prep Time 12 hours
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 12 hours 45 minutes
Course Sourdough
Cuisine American
Servings 10 slices
Calories 277 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 150 g sourdough starter active
  • 330 g water warm
  • 500 g bread flour
  • 10 g sea salt
  • 100 g dried sweetened cranberries
  • 80 g chopped walnuts

Instructions
 

Make the dough:

  • In a large mixing bowl, combine 150g of active sourdough starter with 330g warm water until mostly combined.
  • Add 500g bread flour to the bowl and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Knead the dough with your hands until all the shaggy bits are incorporated.
  • Cover the bowl and set aside for 45 – 60 minutes.

Stretch and fold:

  • Uncover the bowl, sprinkle 10g of salt on top of the dough, then, using damp hands, grab the dough and gently pull it until the flap is long enough to fold over itself, then fold the flap, rotate the bowl 90 degrees, repeat 4 times. Recover the bowl, and set it aside for 30 minutes.
  • Add 100g dried cranberries and 80g chopped walnuts to the bowl, then repeat the stretch and fold process at least 3 more times. The intervals can be as short as 15 minutes, or as long as 60 minutes, but it should be completed at least 4 times during the BULK FERMENT.

Pre-shape + shape:

  • Lightly flour the work surface and use a bowl scraper to turn the cranberry walnut sourdough out onto the floured surface.
  • Fold the edges into the middle, alternating sides as though lacing the dough together. Then starting from the bottom, tightly roll the dough into a batard. Stop there if making a batard, or tuck the long ends underneath to create a boule. Allow the dough to rest covered for 20 minutes.
  • Place your hands underneath the dough and using your pinkies, apply pressure to the dough and drag it along the work surface to increase surface tension in the dough. Avoid overtightening the dough because it may tear with the inclusions.
  • Dust the top of your boule or batard with rice flour, then use a bench scraper to pick up the dough, flip the dough, and place it upside down, or seam side up, into a banneton to prove. Don't have a banneton? Check out these BANNETON ALTERNATIVES.

Cold proof:

  • Cover the banneton with a reusable plastic bag and place it in the fridge. During the proving period, the dough will rise in the banneton, but due to the cool temperatures in the fridge, it won't be a marked difference. See my post on PROOFING SOURDOUGH IN THE FRIDGE for more information.

Pre-heat oven:

  • Place your dutch oven, cloche, or desired baking dish in the oven and preheat to 450f. If you don't have a dutch oven, I do have a recommendation on HOW TO BAKE SOURDOUGH BREAD WITHOUT A DUTCH OVEN.

Bake:

  • Once the oven is preheated, remove the dough from the fridge and invert the banneton onto a sheet of parchment paper.
  • Use a lame, sharp knife, or clean razor blade to score the dough, I usually like to make one deep curved slash when adding inclusions, but you can get as fancy as you like!
  • Carefully remove the dutch oven from the oven, and using the parchment paper as a sling, transfer the sourdough loaf from the counter into the dutch oven.
  • Bake the dough at 450f covered for 20 minutes and uncovered at 450f for 25-30 minutes, or until the loaf is cooked through. You can test the doneness of the loaf with an instant-read thermometer. Bread is cooked once it reaches 205 – 210 degrees Fahrenheit internal temperature.

Cool:

  • Remove baked bread from the dutch oven and transfer it to a wire mesh cooling rack to cool completely before slicing. I like to leave it for at least 2 hours before slicing, as slicing too soon can affect the crumb and texture of your loaf.

Notes

Batch:

This recipe bakes a nice-sized loaf of cranberry sourdough bread. This is the perfect amount for our family of 4 to serve with at least 2 meals.

Storage:

If you've got leftover sourdough, you've got serious willpower! There are a couple of ways to STORE SOURDOUGH BREAD to help prolong its quality after cutting.
Your boule can be kept cut side down on a cutting board for up to 12 hours before the crust becomes too crisp. This is our go-to. I recommend transferring it to a bread bag after 16-18 hours though.
Your sourdough loaf can also be frozen. To FREEZE SOURDOUGH, cool the loaf to room temperature, then tightly wrap it in plastic wrap, slide it into a bread bag, seal it up, and stick it in the freezer for 1-2 months. To use after freezing, remove the loaf from the freezer, unwrap, and allow it to come to room temperature (1 -2 hours) before slicing and enjoying.

variations + substitutions:

  • Swap the walnuts for pecans
  • Add a pinch of cinnamon or cardamom!
  • Add some fresh orange zest
  • try different dried fruits, like raisins or blueberries

baker's schedule

Day 1 –>
  • 7:30 am: Feed your sourdough starter
  • 1:00 pm: Mix up the dough.
  • 3:30 pm: Stretch and fold process is complete.
  • 4:00 pm: Pre-shape and shape dough, then slide it into a plastic bag and place in the fridge for up to 48 hours.
Day 2 –>
  • 8:30 am: Set a dutch oven into the cold oven and preheat both together at 450f.
  • 9:30 am: Flip the cranberry walnut loaf onto a parchment paper square, score the top of the loaf then bake.

Nutrition

Serving: 1sliceCalories: 277kcalCarbohydrates: 49gProtein: 8gFat: 6gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 391mgPotassium: 90mgFiber: 2gSugar: 8gVitamin A: 3IUVitamin C: 0.1mgCalcium: 17mgIron: 1mg
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Sliced cranberry sourdough loaf with text overlay: walnut cranberry sourdough.

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12 Comments

  1. This looks delicious!! I’ve loved some of your other recipes, particularly the small batch sourdough loaf. Can’t wait to try!

  2. 5 stars
    This bread was delicious down to crust… we all fought for the butt end. Walnuts and cranberries- who knew!

  3. Can you bulk ferment for 8 or more hours then shape and put in fridge for another 8-12 hrs? I usually make my dough at night let it rise overnight then I put it in fridge in basket for another 8 hrs, so I bake it on the second day not same day..also do you only use bread flour with this recipe, could I substitute some of the bread flour for whole wheat flour? Thanks

    1. I haven’t tried a long bulk ferment before a shape and then cold retard – my concern would be that the dough would over-ferment because it takes a few hours before the whole dough is cooled off and the fermentation process slows down!

  4. I did make this bread, had to change a few things like cook time uncovered. Maybe my oven but I have learned from making the Rye sourdough I make that I can only bake uncovered for 5 mins. I tried 10 the first round of 4 I made and changed the next 4 at 5 mins.
    I bake at least 8 loaves at a time. Neighbors and friends love my bread. It is a treat for them. Great bread!!! Came out fantastic with a few changes.