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Walnut Cranberry Sourdough Bread

This walnut and dried cranberry sourdough will surprise you with its unique color, nutty flavor and a touch of sweetness. The secret here is to toast walnuts and let them soak overnight, then use the liquid in the dough.


Sourdough starter 

  • 5g sourdough starter
  • 35g water
  • 30g bread flour
  • 5g rye flour

Walnut soaker

  • 45g roasted walnuts 
  • 250g water


  • 270g bread flour (90%)
  • 30g stone ground whole wheat flour (10%)
  • 207g water from walnut soaker  (69%)
  • 15g (5%) water (from walnut soaker) added along with salt
  • 60g levain (20%)
  • 6g salt (2%)
  • All soaked and chopped walnuts
  • 45g dried cranberries 



  • 7 am add starter to the water and whisk together, add flour, mix well, cover loosely, let it sit at a room temp 74-78F for about 8-10 hours until starter reaches its peak (at least triples in volume).
  • Learn how to make starter from scratch here.
  • Prepare roasted walnuts and cover them with water to soak, until needed.


  • 5 pm  drain the water from walnuts in a separate container. Mix walnut water with flour and cover, let it rest 1 hour for autolyse.
  • During the autolyse process flour absorbs water, becoming fully hydrated. This activates gluten development.
  • 6 pm add sourdough starter. 
  • Mix on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 min, or KitchenAid on speed 3 for 3-4 min until well incorporated.
  • Cover, let it rest for 30 min.
  • 6:30 pm add salt and extra water. 
  • The process of adding extra water is called bassinage, it helps to tighten up gluten. Mix on low speed of your mixing machine for 2-3 min, or with KitchenAid on speed 3 for 5-6 min until well incorporated. The dough should come up together, but still be sticky on the bottom.
  • Continue gluten development and structure building by performing stretches and folds during the warm fermentation period.
  • Leave to rest 30 min. At 74-78F /23-26C.
  • Meanwhile chop the walnuts and weigh the cranberries.
  • 7 pm spray your work surface with water, wet your hands to perform lamination.
  • Lamination is the process of stretching the dough as thin as you can without ripping it.
  • Spread the walnuts and dried cranberries all over the dough, fold and it let rest for 45 minutes.
  • 7:45 pm 1st stretch and fold.
  • 8:30 pm 2nd stretch and fold.
  • 9.15 pm 3rd stretch and fold

Performing stretches and folds will help with gluten development. Keep monitoring the dough, if it rises too fast, you can shorten the time between stretches to 40 minutes or less.

After the final stretch let the dough proof for 30 minutes at 76-80F/ 23-26C. You should see some bubbles on the surface, the dough has to become lighter. We are looking for 40%-50% rise. 

Preshaping sourdough 

  • 9:45 pm transfer the dough on to a work surface and dust its top with flour. Flip the dough over so the floured side faces down.
  • Fold the dough onto itself so the flour on the surface remains entirely on the outside of the loaf. This will become the crust.
  • Place the dough round on a work surface and let it rest for 30 minutes uncovered.

Shaping sourdough 

  • 10.15 pm dust the dough with flour. Use a dough scraper to flip it over on to a work surface so the floured sides face down.
  • Starting with the side closest to you, pull the right 2 corners of the dough to the left, then fold them up into half of the dough. Repeat this action with the other side too.
  • Finally, roll the dough. Shape it into a smooth, taut roll.
  • Transfer the roll, seam side up, to a prepared proofing basket (loaf pan with kitchen towel).
  • Cover it with plastic and return the dough to the 80F (27C) environment for 15 minutes.
  • Then transfer the dough to rise for 14-24 hours in the refrigerator.

Next morning:

  • Preheat your oven to 500 F, place a cast iron pan with the lid inside for 45 minutes -1 hour.
  • Remove the dough from the fridge. 
  • Flip it over on a parchment paper, score it with a sharp knife or a scoring lame. 
  • Transfer the loaf on to the hot cast iron pan, cover with the lid (to create steam for a beautiful and crusty crumb).
  • Bake at 500F for 15 minutes with lid on.
  • Remove the lid, lower temperature to 450F. 
  • Bake for 20 more minutes until golden brown.


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Recipe Name
Walnut Dried Cranberry Sourdough Bread
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4.51star1star1star1star1star Based on 4 Review(s)

16 thoughts on “Walnut Cranberry Sourdough Bread

  1. Hello , looks amazing , Whats the difference of adding the walnut water ? And some say the cranberry has to be included while shaping the dough in order not to burn .. your opinion

    1. I’ve done a lot of breads with nut and raisin inclusions and have pondered the same question. I’ve settled on just accepting a small number of incinerated raisins (in this case, cranberries) as “part of the charm”. However, if it still bothers you, one thing I’ve done is to gently remove from shaped loaves any dried fruit pieces that are mostly or completely exposed on the top of the loaf after you’ve flipped it out of the basket onto the parchment or peal. Just be careful to remove the bits slowly and gently, trying not to tear the “skin” on top of the loaf. Don’t go after the ones that are more than halfway under the surface.

      I hope this is helpful.

    2. Hi, walnut water gives that color. I’m my opinion doesn’t matter when to add cranberries, the one on top will burn anyway.

  2. Hello
    I want to ask about the cranberry should I put it water also to soak or no need??

    1. Hi!
      You can presoak them too. Or use dried

  3. How many stretch and folds before lamination?

    1. All stretches and folds have to be performed after lamination.

  4. I made this and WOW!!!!! It was fantastic! The flavor was so good! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Lori, thank you so much for your kind feedback. I’m glad you liked it.

  5. I’ve made this recipe twice already and am on my third time because it’s so delicious!!!! The walnut water not only gives the dough a lovely colour, but I discovered that it imparts the roasted walnut flavour more thoroughly throughout the loaf.

    This recipe will be constant repeat whenever I have a sourdough baking day🤗

    1. Thank you!
      I’m so happy you liked the recipe 🙏

  6. I love this bread! After a very successful first bake. For my next bake I tried substituting pecans and dried Mount Morency cherries. It’s also a winner! Next time I’ll be increasing the percentage of whole wheat to around 25%.

    Btw… I’ve been doing 78% hydration all along and will increase to 80% when I up the amount of whole wheat. The dough handles really well with the additional water and I think improves oven spring and crumb texture (a bit less dense).

    Thanks again, Natalya, for this wonderful recipe!

  7. Hey!
    you are amazing and have great recipes
    I have 2 questions:
    A. Is there only 300 grams of flour in this bread?
    or maybe i missed something.
    B. Can i bake the bread in non iron pot?

    1. Hi!
      Thank you!
      Yes, the recipe calls for 300g flour.
      You can bake on a stone or baking steel. But make sure to create enough steam.

  8. Love this Cranberry walnut bread, can you clarify the shaping please. I could not find pictures of this process in your recipes. Does it mean 1st fold – from right all the way to the left edge to form a rectangle shape, 2nd fold – bottom all the way to the top to form a square, repeat with the left side. The final fold will be a square, how do you eventually make a oval shape to fill into the oval basket? Thanks

  9. Amazing recipe, I have used inly bread flour and still very satisfied.

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