Cranberry_walnut_Bread_close_Smal

In recent weeks, my life has felt like a string of brilliantly sunny surfing sessions intertwined with new baking discoveries… glorious way to live, my friends. If we could only get rid of that pesky work thing that keeps getting in the way!

This particular recipe started humbly. I really wanted to figure out flour proportions for yeast dough that would not contain any spelt  – and that would not feel chalky or fall apart. The penates inhabiting my kitchen must have felt generous that night and what came out of the oven is a rich, hearty loaf with a comforting texture and lots of earthy flavor. Just sweet enough to be eaten as dessert, but not to sweet as to shy away from savoury toppings. If that’s your drift… it sure is mine. Cranberry Walnut Bread with Brie, once!

The cranberries are optional, I promise you – the bread will still be delicious without them. If you’re worried about the fructose load combined with the fructans in walnuts, leave them out. Just throw in a few extra tablespoons of sugar, or leave the ingredients as they are and later slather the slices with a thin layer of low FODMAP preserves for a hint of sweetness. I chose to include the dried berries as the end amount in one slice is more than safe for me to handle; my slices are very modest. Yes they hold together. Did I mention how much I love this new recipe? It will be a treasure next winter, toasted and spread with butter before a pre-work morning run… For now, it works great as a power snack, I’m definitely taking a loaf or two on my surfari in April.

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Cranberry Walnut Bread

(Yield: 1 loaf, ~ 15-20 thin slices, preparation: 30 minutes, total time: 3-4 hours, difficulty: medium)

  • 1/2 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 tablespoon yeast granules
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 1/4 cups brown rice flour
  • 1 cup gluten
  • 1/2 cup potato starch
  • 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup warm water
  • 1 cup walnut pieces
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries (optional)

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First, wake up the yeast. Warm up the milk till it’s at body temperature or slightly higher (~100 degrees Fahrenheit or 37-40 degrees Celsius), add one tablespoon of sugar and the yeast granules. Trick for judging the temperature without a thermometer: if the milk feels like the forehead of someone running a high fever, it’s just a smidgen too hot. By the way, yeast cells have it figured out. Who wouldn’t want to live get their groove on in a warm, sugary milk bath? Cheeky little Cleopatra impersonators. Leave them to their business and while the starter is getting frothy (10-15 minutes), mix all the remaining dry ingredients except walnuts. A big bowl may be a good idea since the dough will rise. Next, melt the butter – make sure to cool it down a tad so that you don’t burn your fingers or kill the yeast. Add it to the flour, followed by eggs, starter and water; again, make sure the water is warm to the touch but not hot. Mix all ingredients well and knead lightly for 3-4 minutes till the dough is a little elastic. It will never feel like wheat dough, but maybe like it could be getting there. Finally, put the walnuts in a sturdy plastic bag, wrap it in a kitchen towel and bash the whole getup with the bottom of a saucepan or with a rolling pin till about half of the nut pieces turned to meal. This does not have to be exact, so if you’ve got some frustration to work out… have at it. Very important: do not seal the bag or you’ll have an explosion on your hands! Add the abused walnuts to the dough, knead a few more times, cover with a clean linen cloth and leave in a warm place to rise for about 2 hours. While that is happening, go amuse yourself otherwise. My favourite options: running in preparation for the feast I’m about to subject my waistline to, cleaning… or cooking something else. The exact rising time may vary depending on the temperature but when the dough has roughly doubled volume, it’s ready. At this point line the inside of a loaf tin with oil or butter, mix the cranberries into the dough (optional) and transfer it to the tin. Bake at 330 degrees Fahrenheit (165 degrees Celsius) for 40 minutes, followed by another 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (175 degrees Celsius). Then, learn from my mistakes and do not try to yank the loaf out of the tin before it’s completely cool – I was trying to take good pictures for you guys! Instead wait some 30-40 minutes, then carefully lift the loaf out and place on a wire rack to cool/lose some moisture.

Cranberry Walnut Bread Milk_small

When cool, this bread will hold together even when sliced very thinly, about 1/4 inch is what works for me. And oh wow, it’s so delicious. I’ll try drying it for backpacking food – to give it a little extra oomph, you could add another 4 tablespoons of butter and replace the 1/4 cups of water with just 2 tablespoons. I really need to stop baking! Next recipe will be something healthy. Well, maybe after the cheesy pizza crescent rolls I’m working on now.

Go. Enjoy the bread. Let me know how it went.

4 Comments »

  1. Silvana says:

    One of the most delicious breads I have eaten lately. Now, if you toast it then is impossible to stop eating it, as this takes the flavor to a different level. I need to make a long supply of this delicious bread! Thanks for sharing this tasty recipe dear!

  2. Jan says:

    Thanks for your great recipes. I am surprised to see that you add gluten to your baking – can you explain how this is low FODMAP?
    Thanks!

    • odrowaz says:

      Hi Jan,

      Thanks for your comment! Gluten is not a FODMAP at all, it’s a protein and FODMAPs are all carbohydrates. It’s a common misconception; a lot of gluten-free foods are low FODMAP because they do not contain wheat (and thus, the carbohydrates fructans), but being gluten-free is not a pre-requisite to being low FODMAP. Hope this helps!

      Zaneta

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