An intense electrical storm rolled through on the last Friday night of the summer. We awoke to no cable TV or Internet. I started the laundry, swiffered the dog hair, made a pie crust, baked a batch of Milky Way cookies, and cooked my French Fridays with Dorie dish for the following week. Still no Internet. I looked ahead to this recipe which I had contemplated skipping. Would anyone eat it besides me? Nope…I was certain. But one of my favorite loaves from Whole Foods is their cranberry walnut bread…and I could certainly substitute the raisins called for in this recipe with dried cranberries. I definitely had some spare time…though the kitchen, full of dirty mixing bowls and flour dusted counters, looked like the storm had struck indoors! What’s a little more mess?
This recipe required a lot of patience. The dough needed to rest overnight for proper flavor development, then spend at least 4 hours on the counter top returning to room temperature before the sending rising. I made only half a batch (measuring out 1 1/2 tablespoons of egg to equal one half egg), so instead of 3 small loaves, I made one medium one. Vibrantly colored from the pumpkin and speckled with ruby spots of fresh and dried cranberries, this loaf shouted autumn.
Unfortunately, I was out of the correct yeast so I didn’t get the rise I wanted…it certainly couldn’t have been baker error…haha. My loaf was on the dense side. I loved the pops of tartness from the fresh cranberries, the sweetness from the pumpkin and craisins and the crunch from the walnuts…but lesson learned…you need fresh yeast for the best results. I did not love this one enough to rebake it…you’ll have to check out what my fellow Baking with Julia bloggers thought of this recipe here. The recipe can be found at This Bountiful Backyard where Rebecca is our host blog for the week.