With the November 2018 full moon falling the day after Thanksgiving, cranberry sauce was begging to be a signature ingredient for the Full Moon Baking Club. Every year I make a cranberry sauce and every year I have leftovers. So this year, I made sauce with a plan. One of my favorite bakeries, Pain D’Avignon in Hyannis, MA makes these delicious cranberry-pecan rolls so I wanted a cranberry sauce that could steer me in that direction. I made this cranberry sauce using some during my Thanksgiving meal and the rest in this bread. It used walnuts instead of pecans but… close enough. My goal was texture.
Speaking of texture, I baked this bread in a dutch oven because it makes a world of difference when it comes to the crust. If you want that crispy/chewy/artisan bread effect at home, bake your breads in a dutch oven. The lid helps trap moisture and produces steam while baking. That humid baking environment, matched with high heat equals crusty loaves that mimic professional bakery results. It’s one of the simplest answers to creating rustic breads in an everyday home kitchen.
If you find yourself needing a dutch oven, I recommend the one linked below made by Lodge Cast Iron. There are a lot on the market, some quite a bit more expansive than others but I prefer this one because it’s affordable, comes pre-seasoned and is made entirely of cast iron. Some have nobs on the lids with a lower heat tolerance than the pot which can throw off one’s cooking plan. Whatever style you prefer, just make sure it’s safe for high temperatures. You’ll need it to handle temperatures of at least 450 degrees for breads.
I forgot to take pictures of the bread in progress so hopefully you checked-out the video when it was all going down on Instagram The high was making pink dough. The low was a mild panic where it suddenly occurred to me I was making a fruit cake. Otherwise, you didn’t miss much. I did however snag a few shots of the cranberry sauce in the works. Also, if you need a holiday gift, this mixing spoon and several others are still available.
Ok bakers, it’s time to get on with this recipe because there are only two weeks till the next full moon. Do you even still have cranberry sauce? Probably not and that’s my fault for being so slow on posting the recipe but all the more reason to archive this recipe for next year! Or, if you’re really game to make bread (which you should be), I encourage you go for it! Just omit the cranberry sauce and see what happens. You might be pleasantly surprised. That’s the beauty of bread. With a little practice, you’ll find it’s a very forgiving art.;)
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 cup cranberry sauce
- 2 tsp. active dry yeast
- 3 cups flour
- 1 tsp. salt
- In a bowl mix together the water and cranberry sauce.
- Add the yeast and let it disolve.
- In a separate, large bowl, stir together the four and salt.
- Pour the cranberry mixture into the bowl with the flour and mix to combine.
- Mix the ingredients together helping to form the dough.
- Gently form the dough in the bowl, then turn it out onto a floured surface.
- Knead the dough on the counter for at least 10 minutes, adding more flour as necessary to keep it from sticking.
- The dough should become smooth and springy with all ingredients throughoughly combined. Keep kneading if feeling unsure about the consistancy. It's practically impossible to over-knead dough by hand and if anything, more kneading will only improve the texture.
- Once well formed, shape it into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, cover it, and let it rest/rise for an hour or until doubled in size.
- Once doubled, knead it again for another 10ish minutes, dusting with flour to keep it from sticking if necessary.
- After kneading, shape into a round form and place smooth side up on a piece of parchment paper and cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. (I like to place my dough and parchment on a pie plate to help keep the round shape during the second rise.)
- Let it rise for another hour or until doubled in size.
- Preheat the oven and your dutch oven to 450 degrees F.
- When the dough is ready, carefully transfer the parchment paper with the dough into the dutch oven. Cover with the lid and bake for 25 minutes.
- Next, remove the lid and reduce the temperature to 410 degrees F. Bake for 15 more minutes or until the inside temperature reaches 190 degrees F.
- Cool on a rack for 20ish minutes before slicing.
Ok folks, we got two weeks! The holiday and the Full Moon Baking Club countdowns are on so lets role with the festive and make Eggnog Bread! Do people even like eggnog? Probably not, yet somehow it winds up in the fridge every year. Well, this year we are gonna use it up! Eggs, milk and sugar can make for a tasty loaf so let’s just do it and embrace the holiday spirit. And since the full moon is on the 22nd of December, we can count on some leftovers to make holiday french toast.
See you in a couple of weeks! And if you made it this far and have no idea what the Full Moon Baking Club is click here, catch-up, and join us on the 22nd!
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