Crusty Cranberry Pecan Bread

Bread is a welcome addition to any meal, and this festive bread is excellent for Thanksgiving or Christmas. I baked it in a dutch oven or large pot. It turns out crusty with cranberries and pecan baked in the bread. Honey adds a light sweetness that enhances the flavor of the bread. 

If you follow my blog, I am all about making tasty food that is easy with readily available ingredients purchased at the local supermarket. When I am entertaining, I like to spend as much time with my guest, not hiding in the kitchen. This bread is so effortless. Bake it anytime, not just for special occasions.

And the bread is just as delicious toasted the next day with sweet butter or cream cheese spread on top!

Ingredients 

3 cups + 2 Tablespoons all-purpose plus more for hands, King Arthur Flour

2 teaspoons coarse sea salt 

1/2 teaspoon Platinum Yeast from Red Star instant yeast

3/4 cup chopped pecans

3/4 cup dried cranberries

1 Tablespoon honey

1 and 1/2 cups (360ml) warm water (about 100°F )

Instructions

Stir the first 6 ingredients together in a large bowl. Add the warm water and mix. The dough will be sticky– don’t be tempted to add more flour. Gently shape it into a ball. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap. Set it on the counter at room temperature, away from drafts, and allow it to rise for 12-18 hours. The dough will double in size, stick to the sides of the bowl, and be covered in air bubbles.

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and, using lightly floured hands, shape it into a ball. Transfer the dough to a large piece of parchment paper. (Large enough to fit inside a dutch oven). Using a very sharp knife, gently score an X into the top. Cover dough lightly with plastic wrap and leave alone for 30 minutes.

During these 30 minutes, preheat the oven to 475°F. Place your dutch oven (with the lid) or heavy-duty pot inside for 30 minutes, so it’s extremely hot before the dough is placed inside. After 30 minutes, remove the dutch oven from the oven and carefully place the dough inside by lifting it up with the parchment paper and setting all– the parchment paper included– inside the pot. Cover with the lid.

Bake for 25 minutes with the lid on. Carefully remove the cover and continue baking for 8-10 more minutes until the bread is golden brown. Remove the pot from the oven, carefully remove the bread from the pot, and allow to cool on a wire rack for 20 minutes before serving.

Cover and store leftover bread at room temperature for 1 week.

Enjoy!

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