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Cranberry-Pecan Bread

  • ACTIVE: 1 HR
  • TOTAL TIME: 6 HRS plus overnight rising
  • SERVINGS: makes two 2-pound loaves
  • HEALTHY
  • MAKE-AHEAD
  • VEGETARIAN

Maggie Glezer, author of A Blessing of Bread, had a revelation on a trip to Aurillac, France, when she saw how the locals pair bread with wine—for instance, having rye bread with oysters and a crisp Muscadet. Inspired, she created this chewy wheat bread with pecans and dried cranberries. It's wonderful spread with Camembert and served with a Pouilly-Fumé.

  1. 3 1/3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for kneading
  2. 3 1/3 cups white whole wheat flour, preferably King Arthur brand
  3. 1 tablespoon instant dry yeast
  4. 4 teaspoons fine table salt
  5. 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries (7 ounces)
  6. 2 cups pecan halves (7 ounces)
  7. Vegetable oil
  1. In a bowl, combine both flours with the yeast. Add 3 1/4 cups of warm water and stir until a soft dough forms. If the dough is too stiff, add 2 more tablespoons of warm water. Let the dough rest for 15 minutes.
  2. Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Knead and work the dough until smooth but still very sticky, about 5 minutes. Flatten the dough and sprinkle it with the salt; knead until the salt is evenly incorporated, about 5 minutes. The dough will tighten slightly. Flatten the dough and scatter the cranberries and pecans on top. Fold the dough over the fruit and nuts and knead them in. Lightly oil the bowl, add the dough and turn to coat. Cover and let stand until doubled in volume, about 2 hours.
  3. Line 2 large baking sheets with parchment paper; brush with oil. Punch down the dough, then cut into 2 pieces. Flatten each piece of dough into a 10-inch oval. Fold in the short ends as you would a billfold and pinch the ends. Pat the dough into a 9-inch oval loaf; transfer to one of the baking sheets, seam side down. Repeat to form the second loaf. Lightly brush 2 pieces of plastic wrap with oil and loosely cover the loaves. Refrigerate overnight.
  4. Uncover the loaves; let stand at room temperature for 2 hours, until slightly risen. Using a knife, make a 1/2-inch-deep slash down the length of each loaf.
  5. Preheat the oven to 400°. Bake the loaves for about 40 minutes, shifting the baking sheets halfway through. The loaves are done when they're browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center registers 170°. Transfer the loaves to a rack and let cool before slicing.
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