Cranberry Multigrain (50%) Bread

This recipe comes courtesy of an old friend in Thunder Bay.  It is a rustic multigrain loaf with the tart/sweet flavour of cranberries.

This recipe calls for a lot of water, a little yeast, and a fairly long cold fermentation.  I have messed with Tony’s recipe just a little bit.  I am deathly allergic to walnuts.  The original recipe called for walnuts.  I will add it into this recipe as an option, though the photos of the loaves will be loaves without walnuts.

Tony does a fold/knead after the autolyse period.  I folded every 30 minutes for 90 minutes before placing the dough in the fridge.  This was due to the fact that the dough seemed, to me, to be very wet.  Tony did mention that the flour he uses tends to absorb the water fairly quickly.  I used plain old no name APF, Robin Hood Whole wheat, and a generic rye flour, so it may just be the different brands of flour that make the difference.

With rustic bread we aren’t looking for pretty, we are looking for pretty delicious, and this bread is just that.


Cranberry Multigrain (50%) Bread
Prep Time
1 hr 40 mins
Cook Time
45 mins
Total Time
2 hrs 25 mins

The is a delicious rustic bread made with three flours, yeast, water, salt and CRANBERRIES!

Course: Breads
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 2 loaves (1100 gr each)
Author: John Winslow
  • 537 grams All Purpose White Flour 50%
  • 268.5 grams Rye Flour 25%
  • 268.5 grams Whole Wheat Flour 25%
  • 913 grams warm water divided for autolyse - 85%
  • 21.5 grams Salt 2%
  • 5.5 grams active dry yeast .5%
  • 161 grams cranberries 15% I used craisins
  • 161 grams walnuts 15% (optional)
  1. In a saucepan, cover cranberries with water.  Simmer for about 5 minutes to soften. Drain the water and place in between two sheets of paper towel to get rid of excess water.

  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flours, and walnuts, if used.

  3. Weigh out 813 grams of warm water and add to dry ingredients.  Mix thoroughly by hand until all flour is incorporated.  Don't worry if there is a little bit of dry flour. on the outside of the ball of shaggy dough.

  4. Cover and allow to autolyse for about 30 minutes or so.  This allows the flours to absorb the water.  After about 20 minutes add yeast to remaining 100 grams of warm water and stir gently.  Let sit for 10 minutes.

  5. After 30 minutes or so,  sprinkle the salt over the ball of dough and pinch/fold it into the dough.  Pour the water and yeast mixture over the dough, and toss in the cranberries.  This is the fun part.  Get one hand in the dough and start pinching and folding the dough until all the cranberries, water and yeast are mixed into the dough. Cover and let sit at room temperature.

  6. After 30 minutes, complete a 4 way fold*.  Bottom to ¾ of the way to top, top to ¾ of the way to bottom. and the same thing left to right. Cover.  Repeat this step 2 more times after 30 minute rests in between.

  7. After the third fold, cover with plastic wrap, or a lid, leaving a small section open for the gases to escape.  Place in the refrigerator to ferment for at least 10 hours.  12 to 14 would be best.

  8. Remove from the refrigerator.  Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface.  Be careful not to get flour on both sides of dough as you need a sticky surface for next step.

  9. Divide the dough into two equal portions.  Preshape each portion.  Cover with plastic for 10 minutes.  This allows the gluten to relax after the horror of being torn apart.

  10. After ten minutes, shape the dough into the shape of loaf you are planning to bake.  Cover and allow to proof for about 75 minutes (more or less depending on room temperature and altitude etc.  ~75 minutes is at 18º C.

  11. About 60 minutes before proofing is done, preheat your oven to 500ºF.  I have an internal oven thermometer as the thermometer built into the oven sucks.  Place a baking stone, or the flat lid of a cast iron frying pan in the oven while preheating.  Also, place a roasting pan on the bottom rack to be used as the steam plant, in the first stage of the bake.

  12. Right before going into the oven, score the loaves right down the centre, approximately ½" deep.  Place on parchment paper, or on a pizza peel, either of them lightly sprinkled with corn meal.  Slide the loaves, or parchment and loaves onto the baking surface.  Pour a cup of hot water into the roasting pan and quickly close the oven door.

  13. Bake at 500º with steam for 8 minutes.  After 8 minutes, remove the steam pan and turn the temperature down to 405º.  Bake for ~35 minutes until the internal temperature of the bread is 200-205º.

  14. Remove from oven to a cooling rack.  Allow to cool for at least 2 hours before slicing.

Recipe Notes

*Folding the dough technique can be found here