Let’s create a festive Christmas Sourdough recipe that captures the spirit of the season.
- 1 cup active sourdough starter
- 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
- 4 cups bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- Zest of one orange
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Day 1: Preparing the Dough
- Activate Your Starter:
- Ensure your sourdough starter is active and has been fed within the last 4-6 hours.
- Mixing the Dough:
- In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of active sourdough starter with 1 1/2 cups of lukewarm water. Stir to combine.
- Incorporating Flour:
- Gradually add 4 cups of bread flour, stirring continuously to form a shaggy dough.
- Adding Flavors:
- Mix in the salt, orange zest, dried cranberries, and chopped walnuts (if using). Knead the dough until the ingredients are evenly distributed.
- Let the dough rest for 30 minutes to an hour. This allows the flavors to meld, and the flour to fully absorb the moisture.
Day 1 (Continued): Kneading and First Rise
- Sprinkle the salt over the dough and knead for about 10 minutes or until it becomes smooth and elastic.
- First Rise:
- Place the kneaded dough back into the bowl, cover it with a damp cloth, and let it rise at room temperature for 3-4 hours or until it has doubled in size.
Day 1 (Continued): Shaping and Second Rise
- Shaping the Dough:
- Gently turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Shape it into a round loaf by folding the edges towards the center.
- Adding Festive Touches:
- Place the shaped dough in a well-floured banneton or bowl. If desired, sprinkle a bit of flour on top for a snowy effect.
- Second Rise:
- Cover with a cloth and let it rise for an additional 1-2 hours.
Day 1 (Continued): Preparing for Baking
- Preheat Your Oven:
- Preheat your oven to 450°F (230°C). If you have a Dutch oven, place it in the oven to heat as well.
- Scoring the Dough:
- Optional but recommended: Score the top of the dough with a sharp knife or razor blade in a festive pattern, such as a Christmas tree or snowflake.
Day 1 (Continued): Baking
- Baking in a Dutch Oven:
- If using a Dutch oven, carefully transfer the scored dough into the preheated pot. Cover with the lid and bake for 20 minutes.
- Uncovering and Finishing:
- Remove the lid and bake for an additional 20 minutes or until the crust is golden brown.
- Allow your festive Cranberry Orange Sourdough to cool on a wire rack before slicing. Share the joy of homemade Christmas bread with your loved ones!
- Orange Glaze (Optional): For an extra touch, mix powdered sugar with a bit of orange juice to create a glaze. Drizzle it over the cooled bread for a sweet and shiny finish.
- Creative Scoring: Experiment with different scoring patterns to create festive designs on your bread.
This Christmas Cranberry Orange Sourdough Bread is a delightful addition to your holiday table, combining the warmth of seasonal flavors with the artistry of sourdough baking. Enjoy the festive aroma and the joy of sharing homemade goodness with family and friends!