Cranberry Yeast Bread #BreadBakers

A beloved recipe can be something you make all the time, or only once or twice a year.  This month I challenged the Bread Bakers to share their favorite bread recipes.  This could be a standby, something you make all the time because it's just so good, something you make rarely as a special treat, or something that people request that you make often or for special occasions.  I chose to make something that is a special request.  My mother in law adores this bread and I have been making it for her almost every year for more than 20 years.  I found the recipe around 30 years ago when I was first learning to make bread and it has always been appreciated any time it appears.  As a matter of fact, last month when we all happened to be at my folks' for a weekend, it was snatched up quickly with a "Mine!" the second it was noticed by mum-in-law!  We did manage to save a few slices for my folks for toast and some french toast...  This month, I made a double batch!!

This is a versatile loaf that also makes lovely rolls, knots, and mini loaves.  It was originally 100% all purpose flour, so feel free to use whatever flours you wish.  Baker's note: scalded milk is an old fashioned notion, I think originally meant to deactivate the enzyme in raw milk that eats gluten.  It is not strictly necessary, but I swear the resulting loaves are loftier and have better structure than when you don't do it.  (I love the smell of scalded milk; reminds me of custard.)  Plus, you can toss in the butter cold, and use up crystallized honey and then have it all melted together and proper temperature in minutes.

Cranberry Yeast Bread
makes 1 loaf


1 cup milk, (227g) scalded
2 tbsp butter, (28g)
3 tbsp (63g) or honey
3 tbsp water
2 tsp (10.5g) salt
2½ cups (300g) all purpose flour
1 cup (113g) white whole wheat flour (I used a combination of fresh ground spelt and Edison wheat, sifted)
2¼ tsp (7g) instant yeast
 ¾ cup (~85.5g) dried cranberries
1 tbsp grated orange zest or dried peel

Scald the milk in a saucepan or the microwave.  Stir in the butter and honey.  Cool to about 110ºF. Combine the flours, instant yeast, cranberries and zest in a stand mixer or large bowl.  Add the milk mixture and stir until roughly combined.  (It will be dry and shaggy.)  Mix the salt with the water and add to the dough.  Knead with the dough hook or by hand until the dough is smooth and fairly elastic.  It should be somewhat firm, but not stiff.  Add water by tbsp if the dough is too dry.

Cover the bowl and let the dough rise for one to two hours, until doubled in size.  (Time to double will depend on the ambient kitchen temperature.)  Lightly flour a work surface and turn out the dough.  Pat out the dough into a rough rectangle and fold in the top and bottom in thirds and seal along the long edge.  Then fold in the short ends and flatten the dough again.  Let it rest for a few minutes, then fold the top long edge down to the bottom and seal the edge together once again to form a loaf.  Gently roll the shaped loaf until it is long enough to fit, seam side down, into a buttered 8x4" loaf tin.

Happy dough

 Cover and let it rise for ~60 minutes.  Preheat the oven to 375ºF, and place a rimmed sheet pan or baking dish on the lowest shelf of the oven. Add enough boiling water to cover the bottom of the sheet pan/dish, then bake the bread on the shelf above the water for 40-50 minutes until the inside registers 190-200ºF on an instant read thermometer.

Let the bread cool completely on a wire rack before slicing it. Enjoy!


Bread Bakers Event for July 2021 - Favorite Breads:
Be sure to check out all the favorites baked this week!
#BreadBakers is a group of bread loving bakers who get together once a month to bake bread with a common ingredient or theme. You can see all our lovely bread by following our Pinterest board right here. Links are also updated after each event on the #BreadBakers home page. We take turns hosting each month and choosing the theme/ingredient.


  1. Thanks for the great theme Kelly. Your bread sounds wonderful.

  2. Thanks for hosting this month Kelly. I can see why this bread is one of your favorites.

  3. Love the cranberries peeping from the bread!

  4. Really gorgeous loaf! Packed with cranberries.

  5. We love cranberry breads here!

  6. Hello Kelly, your bread looks perfect. Such beautiful slices and a lovely crumb. Thanks you for a great theme.

  7. Ooooh, I love the combination of the dried cranberries with the orange zest. I'll bet this smells wonderful as it bakes. Fabulous loaf, Kelly!


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