Saturday, February 06, 2010

Cherry Walnut Stick Bread for Sat. Blog Showcase

Hey, they can't all be *show stoppers*!

Today I'm participating

in the
Saturday Blog Showcase

co-hosted by Lori at

All that Splatters

and Ann at

Thibeault's Table

It is Ann's turn to host the Blog Showcase this week.
You are to try a new recipe each week that another blogger has shared.
Prepare the recipe during the week then link your post to
The Saturday Blog Showcase.

Include the recipe in the body of your post
(if it is not a copyright violation to do so)
and a link back to the recipe on the originating blog.

Last week, Monique, who has the beautiful blog titled La Table De Nana

posted her version of the Ottolenghi Cookbook's "Dried Cranberry & Walnut Stick Bread",

which she had read about on the blog, Passionate About Baking

Since she said one could substitute dried cherries for the cranberries in the recipe &

I just happened to have a HUGE tub of cherries from MI on hand, I decided to try making it.

I took special care to convert the metrics to our American measurements in cups & ounces.

I'm pretty sure I did it correctly, as I googled each measurement for conversion.

Here is the dough, ready for the first rise. So far so good, right? Just wait!

No, really, it actually turned out pretty good, despite a several mis-steps on my part.

I forgot to make the 3 slashes across the top. This is done to allow the steam to escape & avoid big air holes forming in the bread.

I also think I lost a great deal of the air from the second rise when I rolled it off the floured towel onto the baking sheet.

Next time, I'll just let it do its second rise on the baking sheet itself & avoid that move all together.

It is a very dense bread & I'm sure it was made even denser by my clumsy transfer efforts

and the fact that I didn't form it into TWO LOAVES!!!!

Duh? I don't know how I missed that small but important fact.

It was still delicious, especially toasted with the addition of some homemade grape-walnut jam from last summer.

Below is the recipe from Monique's site, in her words & measurements.

I'll let you do your own conversions if necessary, just in case I made a mistake.

Dried Cranberry & Walnut Stick

adapted from Sour Cherry & Walnut Stick, Ottolenghi - The Cookbook

160ml lukewarm water (not more than 30C; I used a little extra)

2 1/4 tsp tightly packed fresh yeast (or 1 1/2 tsp active dried)

1 tbsp olive oil

40ml orange juice (from about 1 large orange)

200gm plain flour

50gm whole wheat flour

65g buckwheat flour

1 tsp salt

50g dried cranberries (or sour cherries)

50 gms walnuts, roughly broken up into pieces

Oil to oil bowl


Put the yeast into the warm water & stand for 10 minutes, then add the orange juice, olive oil & salt. Stir to mix well.
Mix the flours together in a big bowl, and knead with yeast mixture for 8-10 minutes into a smooth and silky dough, adding a little more water if required. Knead in the cranberries & walnuts. Put into an oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap & leave in a warm place to double.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Trying not to beat too much risen air out, pull the edges so that they all met in the centre to form a puffed round cushion shape. Using a long object, divide the dough into 2 equal spheres. Press down a little & fold one half over the other. Crimp the edges with your fingers like you were making Cornish pastry. Now roll this on the floured surface to create a torpedo like baguette shape. Lay it gently on a floured tea towel, cover loosely with cling film, and leave to rise in a warm place for another 45 minutes.
Heat the oven to 220C, place a bowl of hot water on the base. Roll the bread off the tea towel onto the baking sheet gently so as not to lose air. Use a sharp serrated knife to give it 3 diagonal slashes, 1cm deep.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, till the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. (I baked for about 30-35 minutes). Leave to cool on a wire rack.

Thanks Monique!
I'm glad I tried this recipe & I will be repeating it.... correctly!

Thank you for visiting & have a nice weekend.



  1. Well, there you go again, making my mouth drool so early in the morning. I swear, one of these days I'm taking a LONG ride and then I'll get to really taste all those goodies you always make. Yum!

  2. Rett it looks gorgeous..I have to say the recipe is in Deeba's magic words not mine:) Poor you.. I often go through recipes so fast I inadvertently miss something:) But that's how we learn!!Your silver photo w/ the princess in the middle is adorable:)

  3. I think it looks great. I love a dense bread toasted with jam. I hate it when I miss something in a recipe...but, it doesn't look as if it hurt anything. I think it looks perfect!


  4. Rett, it looks wonderful!! I'll bet it makes for some great toast. Two thumbs up on a recipe - I have to try it now!

    Happy Saturday Blog Showcase!


  5. Rett, Wow! First Monique and now you. I really need to make this bread. I like the idea of using dried cherries. I bet it would be wonderful with a little cream cheese.

  6. Rett I love those Michigan dried cherries! A friend sent me some and now I'm addicted! Your bread looks sensational! Especially toasted with that home made grape and walnut jam. YUM!

  7. Rett,
    I am hungry and you made it even worse! This bread looks so yummy!

  8. The bread looks so good! Thanks for sharing!

  9. HI Rett!!!!
    First I will give you an Aplus for trying a recipe in metric!!!!!
    I never thought about that before in a recipe exchange!!!!!
    It looks so delicious!!!! If I was brave and had time to convert it --I just might try that!!!! I love any type of sweet bread!!!!
    I do keep busy with that daughter and grand of mine!!!!!
    Luckily this week is a nice slow pace one, Daddy has Tues and Wed off this week so I only get to have her 1 day this week :>(, I'm sure I'll see her more!!!! They just live about 1 mile away!!!!
    We are going to Mary Poppins the Broadway play on Thursday night!!!! Taking little one with us too, so we will see how she behaves for this!!!
    Going to a Superbowl Party today, one of our neighbors, he used to play for the AZ Cardinals, got traded last year to the COLTS, so he is in his 2nd SUPERBOWL in a row!!!!SO the neighborhood is so excited!!The party is at the house right next door to me, so we can walk!!!! Yeah!!!
    have a great day
    we are planning another AZ bloggers luncheon for March, would love for you to join us!!!!

  10. It looks lovely. I like that you served with with some homemade jam, even better.

  11. That is one gorgeous bread, Rett!

  12. Your loaf is beautiful, Rett. Denser breads with fruits and nuts added are my favorite. They have so much flavor and are perfect with a pat of butter and a spoonful of jam.

  13. Hi, Rett... you are making me hungry, girl! LOL! YUM!

    I think this really looks pretty. You did a great job.

    Sending you warm hugs across the miles...


    Sheila :-)

  14. Rett... can you believe that I missed the MONKEY??? Argh! I can't believe it! I watched the game and missed the monkey. I have no idea where I was when the monkey was on, but I missed it! I bet it was a hoot! :-)



  15. Hi Rett!

    Hope you are having a great week.
    Many thanks for visiting my blog and for your sweet comment! Many thanks also for sharing this yummy bread recipe. I am not a bread baker so I really appreciate your super-helpful tips and hints, especially that the dough needs to be divided in half!

    Best wishes and happy cooking,


Thank you so much for leaving a comment. I read them all & each one is so very special to me & I try really hard to return the visit!