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2000s Recipes + Menus

Whole-Wheat Bread with Walnuts and Cranberries

Makes2 loaves
  • Active time:30 min
  • Start to finish:3 hrs (includes cooling)
October 2008
We love adding molasses—left over from both the Dark Gingerbread Pear Cake and Grilled Skirt Steaks with Tomatillos Two Ways recipes—to whole-wheat bread doughs. It seems to soften both the rugged flavor and the texture of the wheat. This homey, free-form bread makes a great breakfast, toasted and slathered with butter. And it’s easy, too, requiring only a few minutes of kneading and one quick rise.
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus additional for kneading
  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 (1/4-oz) package fast-acting yeast such as Fleischmann's Rapid Rise yeast
  • 1 cup warm water (120° to 130°F)
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (120° to 130°F)
  • 1/4 cup molasses (not robust or blackstrap)
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups walnuts (8 oz), lightly toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries (7 oz)
  • Whisk together flours, salt, and yeast in a bowl. Whisk together water, milk, molasses, and butter in another bowl until combined well, then stir into flour mixture until a wet dough forms. Stir in walnuts and cranberries. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead, working in just enough additional flour to prevent dough from sticking, until smooth and elastic, 7 to 10 minutes. Form dough into a ball and put in an oiled bowl, turning to coat, then let rest in bowl, uncovered, in a draft-free place at warm room temperature 10 minutes.
  • Divide dough in half and form into 2 balls. Arrange about 4 inches apart on a large baking sheet. Loosely cover with oiled plastic wrap and a kitchen towel and let rise in a draft-free place at warm room temperature until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 425°F with rack in lowest position.
  • Lightly sprinkle dough with some flour and bake until golden brown and bottoms sound hollow when tapped, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a rack to cool.
Cooks’ note: Bread keeps, wrapped well, at room temperature 2 days or frozen 1 month.