This delicious, hearty bread is perfect for chicken or turkey sandwiches, and it makes fabulous toast. I love it as it is, but the zest of an orange could be added if you like that flavor.
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Rising/Resting: 1 hour, 45 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes
Yield: Makes 2 Large Loaves
- 2 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons water, 21 ounces, room temperature
- 5 teaspoons instant yeast
- 6 3/4 cups bread flour, 30 ounces
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 cups walnuts, coarsely chopped, about 6 to 7 ounces
- 1 1/2 cups dried sweetened cranberries
In a large mixing bowl or bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attachment, combine the instant yeast and water. Let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.
Add the flour, salt, sugar, and melted butter. Mix until the dough comes together then knead for about 10 minutes by hand on a lightly floured surface or with dough hook with the stand mixer. Add more flour, in small amounts, if needed to keep the dough from sticking to the bowl or hands.
Add the walnuts and cranberries and knead them in until they are distributed throughout the dough. This is best done by hand unless you feel your mixer can handle the task.
Oil a large bowl.
Transfer the dough to the bowl and roll over to coat all sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Sprinkle lightly with cornmeal.
Punch down and transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface. Divide into 2 portions. Form into tight rounds. Place on the baking sheets. Cover the loaves with a lightweight kitchen towel and let rest for 45 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350° F. Position the oven rack in the center of the oven.
Bake the loaves for 30 to 40 minutes, until they are nicely browned and sound hollow when tapped on the bottoms. The internal temperature will be around 195° F when done.
Makes about 4 pounds of dough for 2 large loaves.
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