Today I am delighted to share this easy no knead sourdough loaf. This cranberry orange combination is slightly sweet, and mildly flavored with orange essence. Even my non cranberry fans love it! It actually pairs lovely with a savory dish, lending some slight sweetness and tang. The tart orange and sweet cranberry is the perfect compliment to the sourdough flavor. A simple way to dress up your standard loaf and give it a fancier feel, yet easy enough for a weeknight meal.
- What you’ll love about this cranberry orange sourdough loaf
- The benefits of sourdough
- What you’ll need for this Cranberry orange sourdough loaf
- The Steps
- Printable Recipe
What you’ll love about this cranberry orange sourdough loaf
Cranberry orange is my favorite scone flavor. I had an inspirational idea one year to fold the same components into my sourdough loaf. The result was fabulous and paired so well with a savory soup- particularly butternut squash soup. We’ve been enjoying it in the fall and winter regularly ever since.
Dried cranberries lend a sweetness, without being overly sweet, and add just a little bit of tartness. The orange essence is deeply developed with just the zest. No juice is needed in this recipe. The zest and the leaven work together and allow the flavors to develop and permeate the loaf as it proofs. The dried cranberries also will swell a bit as it proofs lending them a softer more palatable less chewy texture.
Although I have been baking with sourdough for over 10 years now, converting my old stand-by recipes has been a slower process. It has only been in the last 5 years that I have been comfortable with the longer leavening loaves. I used to shy away from the fully leavened loaf and just stayed in the territory of discard quick bread recipes. Boy, was I missing out! These sourdough loaves are so easy and the flavor is unbeatably rich. I just need to plan enough time is all.
The benefits of sourdough
If you’re here reading this recipe, chances are you have treaded into the sourdough territory already, and know it’s many benefits. But in case you don’t, here are a few reasons I prefer baking with sourdough for it’s health benefits, aside from the delicious flavor and texture.
1. Sourdough has been around for thousands of years.
The first discovered sourdough levain was said to be made by the Swiss in 3700 BC. However, it basically originated when farming and agriculture was established.
2. It’s full of healthy bacteria that makes the wheat more digestible
Even though there are many probiotics present in the starter, they are not there after the high temps during the bake. But there’s good news because of that! Those little probiotics get to work during the proof and actually break down the phytic acid in the wheat that is hard for humans to digest.
3. Vitamins and minerals become more absorable.
Because the phytic acid binds to vital minerals and nutrients that are found in wheat, when the sourdough breaks it down, those nutrients become more bioavailable to our bodies. Good news indeed!
4. Lowers the sugar and gluten content in your baked goods
When your starter is mixed with fresh flour it has a party eating away at the gluten and sugars found in it. This means you consume much less gluten and sugar the longer your sourdough ferments, as those little probiotic bacteria are a hungry bunch!
It’s really not that complicated. Once you have a starter, all that is required more than any other type of baking is a bit more time. So, don’t let it scare you away. If you’ve done any yeasted baking before, you have all the experience you need. Go find yourself some starter. Or make your own! Just some folding and resting is what else you’ll add. Nothing less complicated than that. I actually prefer to do this for my breaks, too- fold and rest. 😉
What you’ll need for this Cranberry orange sourdough loaf
The basic ingredients are simple.
You will only need:
1/2 cup dried cranberries
Zest from 1 orange
3 cups all purpose unbleached white flour
1/2 cup fed and active Sourdough starter
1 cup room temp water
2 teas. salt
All of the ingredients get mixed up the night before and left to develop overnight.
Depending on where you’re at in your sourdough journey, you can use your favorite sourdough rustic loaf recipe with the additional cranberries and zest added.
If you are a beginner, here is the easy no knead basic recipe that I started with until I gained confidence to branch out into more complex recipes. There are more steps to a fuller higher air pocketed loaf, but I don’t want to scare any beginners away at this point. You can still achieve a lovely tasty loaf with minimal hands on time.
This recipe is simple. There is some time that needs to pass, but the hands on time is quite minimal.
Basic tools you will need
- (Optional) kitchen stand mixer,
- Parchment paper
- Enameled Dutch oven or cast iron pot with lid
- Parchment paper
- zester or small grater
- measuing cups and spoons
- I love using a dough whisk for the the first mix
The night before
Combine all the ingredients together and cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid. It might be shaggy. You can mix it in a stand mixer if you prefer, but you don’t need to get it perfectly stretchy. The dough will develop with time in the fridge. Let rest and ferment overnight in the fridge- up to 18 hours.
The next day
Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it around into a ball as you tuck it under creating tension on the exterior of the loaf.
Place onto some parchment paper and lightly cover with flour and let rest for 2-4 hours.
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When getting close to bake time. Put your dutch oven into your oven with the lid on and preheat to 450*.
When oven is hot, score your loaf with a sharp razor edges, focusing on the curved top edges and center. Just make some light marks.
Open your oven and take the lid off the dutch oven. Pick up your dough with the parchment paper and place inside the pot. Place lid back on- tucking paper in.
Bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid, turn down temp to 400* and bake another 10 min.
Remove loaf to a cooling rack and let cool before slicing.
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- Zest from 1 orange
- 3 cups all purpose unbleached white flour
- 1/2 cup fed and active Sourdough starter.
- 1 cup room temp water
- 2 teas. salt
- THE NIGHT BEFORE: Combine all the ingredients together and cover the bowl. It might be shaggy. You can mix it in a stand mixer if you prefer, but you don’t need to get it perfectly stretchy. The dough will develop with time in the fridge. Let rest and ferment overnight in the fridge- up to 18 hours.
- THE NEXT DAY: Scrape the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and roll it around into a ball as you tuck it under creating tension on the exterior of the loaf.
- Place onto some parchement paper and lightly cover with flour and let rest for 2-4 hours.
- When getting close to bake time. Put your dutch oven into your oven with the lid on and preheat to 450*.
- When oven is hot, score your loaf with a sharp razor, focusing on the curved top edges and center. Just make some light marks.
- Open your oven and take the lid off the dutch oven. Pick up your dough with the parchment paper and place inside the pot. Place lid back on- tucking paper in.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Remove lid, turn down temp to 400 and bake another 10 min.
- Remove loaf to a cooling rack until cooled.
As always, thanks for joining me here!