Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Loaves

Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Loaves


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Slightly sweet and also savory, these are yeasted mini loaves that are perfect for the holiday table. They have a bit of spice in them which balances the tartness of fresh cranberries. They are even better warmed with butter. Work great in place of dinner rolls!

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Time needed

3-4 hour preparation + 35 min cooking

Serving Size / Yield

3 servings


  • 2 2/3 to 3 C. bread flour
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbs. warm water (80 degrees to 90 degrees F)
  • 2 tsp. active dry yeast
  • 5 Tbs. unsalted butter, room temp
  • 1/3 C. granulated sugar
  • 8 oz. (1 C.) canned pumpkin (not the pie filling)
  • 1 large egg, room temp
  • 3/4 C. walnut pieces, toasted
  • 2/3 C. cranberries (if frozen, thaw and pat dry to remove excess water)

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1. Mixing and Kneading: Whisk 2 2/3 C of the bread flour with the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a large bowl.
Pour the water into a small bowl and add the yeast.  Whisk to combine and let sit for 5 minutes until it’s creamy.
In an electric mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar until creamy.  Scrape the sides, and on medium speed add the egg and pumpkin.  Let it cream until it’s incorporated, scraping the sides to make sure all the creamed butter gets mixed in.  The mixture will look curdled and that’s ok.  Set the mixer to low and add the yeast followed by the flour mixture 1/2 cup at a time, scraping in between to make sure that all the dry gets incorporated.  Once the mixture starts to turn into a dough, switch to the dough hook.  (If the mixture is too loose, add a few more tablespoons of flour.)
Let the dough mix with the dough hook for 10-15 minutes, scraping the sides and the hook periodically with a rubber spatula.  The dough will look like a batter, but as it is worked, it should become a very sticky dough that will start to ball up on the hook.
Once the dough is developed, add the walnuts and let mix for one minute.  Then, add the cranberries but only let mix for a short time to avoid crushing them.  If a few pop, that’s ok.
2. First Rise: Scrape the dough into a lightly buttered large bowl and cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Set in a warm spot to let it rise for 1 1/2 – 2 hours until the dough has doubled in size.
3. Chilling the Dough: Once the dough has doubled, fold the edges over on itself to deflate the dough.  It should shrink to almost its original size.  Wrap the bowl tightly again and place in the fridge to sit overnight.
4. Shaping the Dough: Remove the dough from the fridge at least 6 hours before you plan to bake it.  Leave the dough covered and place in a warm place to let it reach at least 64 degree F.  If you don’t have a thermometer, feel the dough and it should slightly cool spongy. This can take up to 3-4 hours.
Lightly butter three 5 3/4×3 1/4 by 2 inch loaf pans.
Roll the dough onto a lightly floured surface and divide into 3 equal parts.  Pat each part into a 5×7-inch rectangle.  With the narrow end parallel to you, start with the end farthest from you, roll the dough toward you.  Seal the seam by pressing it with your fingertips and then place the dough, seam side down, in the prepared plan.  Repeat with the remaining two pieces.
5. Second Rise: Cover the pans lightly with a light-weight dishtowel and allow them to rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the dough has nearly doubled.  It should rise slightly above the rim of the pans.
6. Baking the Bread:  Place a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.  Bake the loaves for about 35 min or until the tops are deeply golden.  Place on a wire rack to cool.  Remove the bread from the pans after 5 minutes and allow to cool the rest of the way on the wire rack.

Submitted by: Ashley Doelling

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