It seems everything becomes festive when added some cranberries. This is perfect Thanksgiving celebration bread. It looks stunning when comes out from the oven. It definitely adds holiday atmosphere to the dinner table.
Ingredients: Makes 1 large braided loaf
3 cups (13.5 ounces) bread flour
3 tablespoons (1.5 ounces) granulated sugar
3/4 teaspoon (.19 ounces) salt
3.5 teaspoons (.39 ounces) instant yeast
1.5 tablespoons (.75 ounces) orange or lemon exract
2 larger (3.3 ounces) eggs
1/2 cup (4 ounces) buttermilk or any kind of milk, at room temperature
2 tablespoons (1 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 to 1/2 cup (2 to 4 ounces) of water, at room temperature
1.5 cups (9 ounces) dried sweetened cranberries
3/4 cup (3 ounces) coarsely chopped walnuts
1. Mix everything in a mixing bow and make a soft dough.
2. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes. Add cranberries continue to knead the dough for 2 more minutes. Then add walnut, knead the dough till walnut evenly distrusted.
3. First fermentation at room temperature till double in size.
4. Transfer the dough to the counter. Divide dough into 6 pieces, 3 big pieces and 3 small pieces. Roll out all 6 pieces into strands. Braid the large strands using the 3-braid technique, and then braid the small strands in the same pattern. Then center the small braid on the larger one. Brush the entire bread with egg wash.
5. Proof at room temperature uncovered for 2 hours, until it nearly doubles in size. Brush the bread with egg wash again.
6. 325F, middle rack, bake for 25 minutes. Rotate the pan if necessary.
7. Cool the bread on a cooling rack at least an hour before severing.