Cranberry Orange Braided Bread

The recipe calls for you to make the starter and leave it to sit overnight.  That develops more flavor. However, if you can't do this (or forget to do this) you can indeed make the starter and just let it sit for as long as you possibly can (at least an hour at the minimum).  

starter

  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • ½ cup cool water
  • ¼ teaspoon instant yeast

dough

  • 2¼ cups all purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • ⅓ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) soft unsalted butter
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 large egg yolk, white reserved
  • ¼ teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia flavor*
  • grated peel of 1 large orange

filling

  • ¾ cup dried cranberries
  • ¾ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup brown sugar

topping

directions 

1) To make the starter: Combine the starter ingredients, cover, and leave at room temperature overnight.

2) To make the dough: Mix the starter with the dough ingredients, kneading until elastic and satiny (I did this in my KitchenAid mixer bowl with a dough hook). Let the dough rise in a greased, covered bowl for 1 to 2 hours, until puffy.

3) Divide the dough into three pieces. Flatten each piece into a 6" x 12" rectangle.

4) Mix the filling ingredients together, and spread each rectangle with some of the filling.

5) Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Starting with a long edge, roll each rectangle into a log. Braid the logs together on the parchment paper.

6) Cover the braid, and allow it to rise for 1 to 2 hours, until puffy.

7) Preheat the oven to 350°F.

8) Combine the egg white with 1 tablespoon water, and brush onto the braid. Sprinkle with pearl or sparkling sugar.

9) Bake the braid for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown.

10) Remove the bread from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool.

Yield: one 12" to 14" loaf.

* if you don't have this ingredient, replace it with 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

from King Arthur Flour


The Italian Dish

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