Weather: 30 degrees, a light dusting of fresh snow

After Christmas, my sister, Nadia, began posting lovely photos on Facebook of some mouth-watering cranberry orange artisan loaves she was making and giving to friends as gifts. Of course, I poked her for the recipe. She replied saying that it was my Dutch Oven Crusty Bread with cranberry and orange added. She said that everyone loved them and she kept getting requests for the recipe. With her suggestions, I soon made a loaf. Although I haven’t gotten to sample her version (and hers may very well be even better!), this is one very special loaf of bread. In this somewhat serendipitous long-distance collaboration, she and I have developed a recipe together. How happy.

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You’ll get the same crackly, crunchy crust and same tender interior with those nice yeasty pockets as the original recipe – but you’ll also get mouthfuls of moist, tangy cranberries, a little burst of citrus from the orange, and a subtle sweetness all around. For some handy step-by-step photos, visit the original Dutch Oven Crusty Bread recipe. Enjoy.

Cranberry Orange Dutch Oven Crusty Bread

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  • 3c flour
  • 1t yeast
  • 1t salt
  • 1c dried cranberries
  • zest of two oranges
  • 1 ½ c warm water

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together flour, yeast, salt, cranberries, and zest. Add water, stirring until a shaggy mixture forms (mixture will be loose and sticky; this is what you want). Cover bowl with plastic wrap and set aside for 12 hours (up to 24). Overnight works great.

Preheat oven to 450. Place a cast iron dutch oven with a lid in the oven and heat the pot for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, pour the risen dough onto a heavily floured surface (mixture will be sticky) and lightly shape into a round loaf.

Remove hot pot from the oven and carefully set in the dough. Cover and return to oven for 30 minutes. Then, remove the lid and bake an additional 10-15 minutes. Carefully remove bread from oven and from pot and place on a cooling rack.

 

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