Just a quick note: I wanted to personally thank each and everyone of you for your support re: Artisan Sourdough Made Simple! It’s truly overwhelming to read all of your comments, reviews, and to see your bread pics on social media and blogs! It’s very inspiring. And the book is currently #1 on Amazon for new releases in bread baking! I couldn’t have done this without you. Please continue to use hashtag #ArtisanSourdoughMadeSimple so I can see more beautiful bakes from the book!
♦ ♦ ♦ ♦
Seasonal baking: it’s one of my favorite things about sourdough.
Here on Long Island, the leaves are changing colors, pumpkin spice everything is cluttering the stores, and all I can think about is Thanksgiving dinner (and the delicious leftovers, of course!).
This hearty cranberry pecan sourdough is not in my book, however it’s lightly adapted from my Saturday Morning Fruit toast. It’s soft, chewy, slightly sweet… and if you toast the pecans prior to baking you’ll get an extra hit of nutty flavor which is always welcome, if you’re in the mood.
Speaking of pecans, if you bake with them often, Costco sells huge bags of assorted nuts at a reasonable price (I can’t remember the exact cost, but check it out the next time you are in the store).
If you prefer smaller bags of nuts, hit up Trader Joe’s and buy their ‘pecan pieces’ which cost less/ per pound than whole pecans. There’s absolutely no reason to spend more money on whole nuts; you’re going to chop them up anyway.
The best part about this recipe is that it’s basically no-knead and the dough rises overnight.
Your work involved? Minimum.
Here’s the sourdough schedule I follow that you can adapt to your liking:
- A few days before baking, feed your starter until bubbly and active. The exact amount of time it will take depends on how often you feed your starter and where you store it. Warmer starters (i.e. room temperature) that are fed often (1x per day) will be ready to use faster.
- Because this is an overnight dough, make the dough in the evening. I usually do this after dinner around 8 PM or so. After the initial mix, let the dough rest (autolyse) for 1 hour. Toast the pecans. Then add the pecans and cranberries to the dough.
- Cover the bowl with a damp towel and let rise overnight at room temperature. Current room temperature here is 68 F (with the heat on!).
- Between 6-7 AM the following day, the dough should be double in size.
- Shape into a log, place in a buttered loaf pan, and let rest again for 1-2 hours.
- Bake by 8-9 AM!
Got all that?
I highly suggest you make this recipe now, so you can imagine what an open faced turkey sandwich is going to taste like on this sourdough! Or perhaps a toasted slice with salted butter? French toast? Croutons?
Happy baking everyone!
PS: Many of you have asked where to purchase a sourdough starter. My starter is available very small batches. Please email me if you’re interested! firstname.lastname@example.org
- 65 g (1/3 cup) bubbly, active starter
- 300 g (1¼ cup) warm water
- 500 g (4 cups + 2 tbsp) bread flour
- 9 g (1½ tsp) fine sea salt
- 150 g (1 cup) dried cranberries
- 50 g (1/4- ⅓ cup) pecan pieces or whole pecans, roughly chopped
- Butter for coating the pan
- Start in the evening: in a large bowl, whisk the starter and water together with a fork. Add the flour and salt. Continue mixing with your fork until the dough becomes stiff. Then get in there with your hands and finish mixing until the flour is fully absorbed and a rough-looking dough forms. Cover with a damp cloth and let rest for 1 hour.
- Meanwhile, lightly toast the pecans in a small, dry skillet. Transfer to a bowl to cool.
- Add the cranberries and toasted pecans to the dough. Fold the dough over the fillings several times until they are fully incorporated- this might take a little elbow grease, but don't worry it's actually fun to do!
- Cover the bowl with the same damp cloth you used earlier. Let the dough rise overnight at room temperature. This will take 8-12 hrs or so.
- In the morning, remove the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Gently dimple the surface all over to release any large air pockets. Roll the dough into a log and let rest for 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile, coat a 9x5 inch loaf pan with butter. After the dough has rested, pull it towards you to tighten its shape (use lightly floured hands if the dough is sticky). Place into your loaf pan seam side down.
- Cover and let rest for 1-2 hours, or until the dough rises about 1-inch above the rim of the pan.
- Preheat your oven to 450F. Place dough on the center rack and reduce the heat to 400 F. Bake for 45-50 minutes. If the loaf starts to brown too quickly, loosely tent with foil (some of the cranberries will burn, which is okay. Just pick them off the top before serving).
- Cool in the loaf pan for about 10 minutes. Then transfer the bread to a wire rack to finish cooling for 1 hour before slicing.
- This loaf will stay fresh for about 3 days, stored in a plastic bag. Any leftovers make great French toast!