Cranberry Chocolate Sourdough Bread

8 minute read

Cranberry chocolate walnut sourdough bread is a delightful fusion of rich, earthy flavors and contrasting textures in a unique and indulgent holiday bread. I absolutely love to have a slice of this bread lightly toasted and generously slathered in grass-fed butter for breakfast or as a mid-day snack, it is truly delightful! This crispy, chewy, tangy sourdough is filled with bittersweet chocolate, tart cranberries, and earthy, crunchy walnuts, making it a perfect treat or gift for the holidays. Feel free to substitute in your favorite additions, customizing your sourdough to your taste. The best part is how easily this gorgeous loaf comes together and how impressed your family and friends will be.

Cranberry Walnut Chocolate Chip Sourdough Bread Recipe

Why Sourdough is So Good for You!

Have you ever wondered why sourdough is considered a healthier bread? There are several reasons why sourdough is a great choice when looking for a tasty and nutrient dense bread. Sourdough bread is rich in fiber, minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, vitamins B1 (thiamine), B3 (niacin), B5 (riboflavin) and B9 (folate).

Sourdough bread can be easier to digest for those with gluten sensitivities. I do NOT recommend eating sourdough bread if you have celiacs disease or any type of severe sensitivity to gluten without checking with your physician first. One of the reasons sourdough can be more digestible for those with gluten sensitivities is due to the long fermentation process that sourdough bread undergoes. This allows for the wild yeast and bacteria present from your starter to break down proteins and carbohydrates (fructans) found in the flour [1].

Sourdough bread can be helpful for individuals working to maintain more stable blood sugar levels as it has a lower glycemic index, which supports healthier blood sugar regulation by reducing the potential for a severe blood glucose spike due to its slower absorption. This is thought to occur due to the fermentation process and how the carbohydrates are broken down and changed [2].

Chocolate cranberry sourdough bread

Why Organic Unbleached Flour vs. Conventional Flour

If you do a lot of home baking like do it’s important to choose your ingredients wisely, let’s unpack why I only buy and use organic unbleached flours when I bake.

Why Organic? Organic flour is milled from grains that have been grown without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. By using organic flour in your baked goods, you are also increasing the nutrition found in the foods you create. Organic grains have higher levels of zinc, magnesium and protein than their conventional counterparts [3].

Why Unbleached? Bleached flour is refined, and that is enough reason to cut it out of your diet! During the processing of refined foods such as flours, sugars and oils, the key and essential nutrients get stripped away, yielding a product that is nutritionally void. Chemicals you say? Why yes! Bleached flours are full of chemicals, such as potassium bromide which has been shown to be a carcinogen linked to kidney and thyroid cancer [4].

Making Sourdough is super simple and only uses 4 ingredients: your starter, flour, water and salt. That’s it, but the results are amazing: soft chewy bread with a satisfying crispy crust full of tangy flavor and all the benefits of the fermentation process.

The Best chocolate chip sourdough bread recipe

What You’ll Need to Make Cranberry Chocolate Chip Sourdough

Dutch Oven
Parchment Paper
Mixing Bowl
Bench Scraper
Digital Scale
Spatula
Bread Lame or Sharp Knife
Spray Bottle
Banneton

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Sourdough Bread Ingredients

50g Fed Starter*
450g+125g Organic Unbleached Bread Flour
362g Cool Filtered Water
10g Pure Vanilla Extract
10g Fine Salt
1/2 cup Unsweetened Dried Cranberries
1/2 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 cup Unsalted Raw Walnuts, roughly chopped

*Discard and feed the starter about 10-12 hours before making the bread. I like to use the starter at the peak once it has doubled, you can still use it as it is beginning to fall, but once it is 1-2 hours after peak, wait until it has been re-feed to start the process.

**To make Chocolate Chip Sourdough Bread just omit the dried cranberries and walnuts and add in 1.5 cups of chocolate chips at the beginning of the folding process. This is an absolutely delicious dessert bread, we honestly can’t get enough of it!

  1. Start by adding your starter, the water and the vanilla to a large bowl, mixing well with a spatula until roughly combines. Add 450g flour and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Cover and let rest for 4 hours at room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator overnight.
The best sourdough bread recipe

Shaggy dough

2. The next day, add the remaining flour and salt and knead into the dough. It will take about 5-minutes, but the dough will take in all the flour, just keep kneading. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 1-hour.

How to make artisan sourdough bread

After kneading in the remaining flour and salt

3. After 1-hour, add the fillings (dried cranberries, chocolate chips, and walnuts) and start the folding process, four sets of folds every 30-minutes. Fold each side (4 sides) towards the center/opposite side of the dough, repeat until all four sets have been completed. Cover in-between folds.

Easy holiday sourdough bread

After 4 sets of folds

4. Cover and allow to bulk ferment for 2-12 hours until the dough has doubled in size. Timing of this step depends on environmental factors and each loaf will take a different amount of time.

Pro Tip: Take a marker and indicate on the outside of your bowl the size of the dough before bulk fermentation to have a nice indicator of when it has doubled.

Fool proof method for making sourdough bread

After bulk fermentation

5. Once the dough had doubled in size, turn it out onto a clean counter (you can lightly dust with a pinch of flour if you want.) Gently, using a bench scraper, pull the dough inward to form a ball and begin shaping the dough into a ball. (Do this by tucking the dough under as you spin the dough in a clock wise motion to strengthen it. Continue until the dough is shaped, about 15-30 times and gently pop any bubbles that form near the surface.)

6.  Transfer dough to your floured (rice or regular flour) banneton, or towel lined colander and cover or wrap in a large plastic bag. Set in the fridge 12-24 hours for the cold fermentation. I typically like to bake any sourdough with something sweet the next day, but you can ferment the dough up to 72-hours.

7. Preheat oven to 450 degrees with the Dutch oven inside.

8. Tear off a large piece of parchment and turn the dough over onto it. Score the dough: typically a large score along the side or you can do a cross over the top. Trim the parchment so you have handles at the end but so that it’s not so large to fit in the Dutch oven.

9. Transfer to the Dutch oven and spray with water 6-10 times (optional for that mouthwatering crispy crust). Cover and bake for 35-minutes covered, and then 5-7 minutes uncovered.

10. Remove and discard the parchment paper, cool completely on a wire rack.

11. Slice and serve!

Easy chocolate chip sourdough bread

Chocolate Chip Sourdough Bread

 

Cranberry Walnut Chocolate Chip Sourdough Bread Recipe

Cranberry Chocolate Chip Sourdough Bread

Amy Lippert
Chocolate cranberry walnut sourdough bread is a gorgeous bread that marries the warmth of chocolate, the tartness of cranberries, and the crunch of walnuts, making it a perfect treat.
Prep Time 2 days
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Bread, Sourdough Bread
Cuisine American
Servings 16
Calories 172 kcal

Ingredients
  

Instructions
 

  • Start by adding your starter, the water and the vanilla to a large bowl, mixing well with a spatula until roughly combines. Add 450g flour and mix until a shaggy dough forms. Cover and let rest for 4 hours at room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator overnight.
  • The next day, add the remaining flour and salt and knead into the dough. It will take about 5-minutes, but the dough will take in all the flour, just keep kneading. Cover and let rest at room temperature for 1-hour.
  • After 1-hour, add the fillings (dried cranberries, chocolate chips, and walnuts) and start the folding process, four sets of folds every 30-minutes. Fold each side (4 sides) towards the center/opposite side of the dough, repeat until all four sets have been completed. Cover in-between folds.
  • Cover and allow to bulk ferment for 2-12 hours until the dough has doubled in size. Timing of this step depends on environmental factors and each loaf will take a different amount of time.
    Pro Tip: Take a marker and indicate on the outside of your bowl the size of the dough before bulk fermentation to have a nice indicator of when it has doubled.
  • Once the dough had doubled in size, turn it out onto a clean counter (you can lightly dust with a pinch of flour if you want.) Gently, using a bench scraper, pull the dough inward to form a ball and begin shaping the dough into a ball. (Do this by tucking the dough under as you spin the dough in a clock wise motion to strengthen it. Continue until the dough is shaped, about 15-30 times and gently pop any bubbles that form near the surface.)
  • Transfer dough to your floured (rice or regular flour) banneton, or towel lined colander and cover or wrap in a large plastic bag. Set in the fridge 12-24 hours for the cold fermentation. I typically like to bake any sourdough with something sweet the next day, but you can ferment the dough up to 72-hours.
  • Preheat oven to 450 degrees with the Dutch oven inside.
  • Tear off a large piece of parchment and turn the dough over onto it. Score the dough: typically a large score along the side or you can do a cross over the top. Trim the parchment so you have handles at the end but so that it’s not so large to fit in the Dutch oven.
  • Transfer to the Dutch oven and spray with water 6-10 times (optional for that mouthwatering crispy crust). Cover and bake for 35-minutes covered, and then 5-7 minutes uncovered.
  • Remove and discard the parchment paper, cool completely on a wire rack.
  • Slice and serve!

Notes

*Discard and feed the starter about 10-12 hours before making the bread. I like to use the starter at the peak once it has doubled, you can still use it as it is beginning to fall, but once it is 1-2 hours after peak, wait until it has been re-feed to start the process.
**To make Chocolate Chip Sourdough Bread just omit the dried cranberries and walnuts and add in 1.5 cups of chocolate chips at the beginning of the folding process. This is an absolutely delicious dessert bread, we honestly can't get enough of it!

Nutrition

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Nutrition Facts
Cranberry Chocolate Chip Sourdough Bread
Amount per Serving
Calories
172
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
5
g
8
%
Saturated Fat
 
2
g
13
%
Polyunsaturated Fat
 
2
g
Monounsaturated Fat
 
0.4
g
Cholesterol
 
0.1
mg
0
%
Sodium
 
250
mg
11
%
Potassium
 
83
mg
2
%
Carbohydrates
 
28
g
9
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
5
g
6
%
Protein
 
4
g
8
%
Vitamin A
 
2
IU
0
%
Vitamin C
 
0.1
mg
0
%
Calcium
 
26
mg
3
%
Iron
 
0.4
mg
2
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword Artisan Sourdough, Chocolate Chip Sourdough, Cranberry Chocolate chip sourdough, Cranberry Walnut Sourdough, Holiday sourdough, Sourdough bread
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Cranberry Chocolate Chip Sourdough Bread, Almond Milk & Cookies

Slice of Chocolate Chip Sourdough

FAQs

Q: What is the best way to add an orange flavor to this bread?
A: When you do the second addition of flour, add 1-2 tablespoons of orange zest to get that beautiful, fragrant aroma and taste!

Q: Can I use sweetened dried cranberries for this recipe?
A: This is really your preference, however, keep in mind that most sweetened dried cranberries are sweetened with ultra refined sugar and some even contain inflammatory seed oils, so read the ingredients.

Q: What is the shortest amount of time you would recommend doing the cold fermentation?
A: I would at a minimum allow the dough to cold ferment overnight, but the longer you can wait, the more developed that iconic sourdough flavor becomes.

Q: What if I don’t have a bread lame to slice the dough?
A: You can use a really sharp knife, and it doesn’t have to be perfect, the more rustic looking the better in my opinion!

Q: What is the best way to store fresh sourdough bread?
A: After the first day, I always pre-slice my sourdough and store it in the freezer to keep it fresh. If you are eating it fairly quickly, you can store it in a paper bag on the counter to prevent too much moisture build up.

Q: How will I know when the bulk fermentation is done?
A: You want to keep an eye on your dough during this time as environmental factors will alter the timing of the bulk fermentation. On warmer days it will go faster than on cooler days. In general, I have found that at 72 degrees my bulk fermentation takes around 4-8 hours, at 68 degrees it can take up to 12-18 hours. Keep an eye on it and use a marker to mark the outside of your container so you know when it has doubled.

Q: Do I need to use a hungry or fed starter for this recipe?
A: I prefer to use an active starter that has been fed and it at it’s peak. I would not recommend using the starter straight out of the fridge as it will not be as strong as an active starter that has been fed for a few days before.

Q: How many days do I need to feed the starter at room temperature after having been in the refrigerator before I can make sourdough bread?
A: It really depends on your starter and how long it has been in the fridge. Ideally, discard and feed every 24 hours until you see that the starter is doubling in size at about the 10-12 hour point, then you know it’s strong and ready.

Note: This post contains Amazon affiliate links to the products and kitchen gear I love. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no cost to you. Thank you for supporting Almond Milk and Cookies!

2 Comments

  1. keto gummies for weight loss reviews

    Not sure where you’re getting your info, but fantastic topic I need to spend some time learning more or understanding more Thanks you wonderful post I was seeking for this information for my mission.

    Reply
    • Amy Lippert

      Thank you! I am a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner with degrees in Chemistry and Biology and do a lot of research on various nutrients and foods that nourish the body!

      Reply

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Welcome to Almond Milk and Cookies where good food, health and lots of flavor go hand-in-hand!

I am a holistic nutritionist with an auto-immune disorder, a love of cooking, and a passion for holistic health.

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