January 05, 2016

Five Grain Loaf with Cranberries & Pecans ~ #Twelve Loaves

I met this month's #TwelveLoaves theme with a mixture of excitement and trepidation.  Bread baking is still quite new to me, and I'm trying to find my way.  Every month I learn a little more about how the dough should feel after each stage, so would the theme of New-to-You Flour Breads be my undoing?
My previous attempts at bread baking have all been made with all-purpose flour. I grabbed a couple of my cookbooks but there were just so many flours I could choose from. The first problem I faced was the decision of whether I should choose a recipe and then hope I could find a store that stocked the flour, or should I go to the store and choose the flour and then come back and look for a recipe. Yeah, I may live in paradise, but it can sometimes be so frustrating to find the ingredients I need and it is not uncommon to find something out of stock and you just have to wait for the next shipment. Fortunately I was able to find a selection of flour at the second store I tried, so I purchased a few different types and came home to find a recipe.

After finding a recipe I liked, I then chickened out and did not proceed.  It seemed like it would be perfect but maybe a little out of my league as I do not own a banneton basket and I wasn't sure I could improvise.  Luckily this recipe pushed me in the the right direction to something similar using oat flour, rye flour, brown rice flour and stone ground whole wheat flour - and some all-purpose too. Hey, the brief was to try a new-to-you flour, so why not try three or four new flours?

Is it normal to get butterflies before baking bread because I swear that it happens to me each time. Maybe it is just the perfectionist in me wanting everything to go smoothly and turn out well, and that cloud of self doubt sitting on my shoulder.  I keep telling myself that I need to bake bread more often to really start getting the "touch" but there just never seems to be enough time any more.  Regardless, I will not give up and I will continue to learn from this amazing group.

So, this bread.....It was by no means perfect, but I am sure it is more user error than the recipe itself. The flavor was good but it just seemed kind of heavy.  As I mentioned above I do not have enough experience to know if I did something wrong or if these flours are meant to be somewhat heavier.  I'm guessing they are, but something still seemed a little off.  When it came out of the oven it was really good with a pat of butter (Kerrygold, of course) melting on top of the slice but once it cooled it was kind of hard.  This did not stop us from enjoying it by toasting it for breakfast, but I am definitely going to have to try this recipe again.

If you would like to know more about #TwelveLoaves and see what the other bakers made for the New-to-You Flour Breads theme please scroll down below the recipe. Thanks to Lora from Savoring Italy for getting us all organized for this month.

Five Grain Bread with Cranberries & Pecans

  • 125g pecans, roughly chopped
  • 100g dried cranberries or raisins
  • 12g active dry yeast
  • 60ml lukewarm water
  • 720ml water, room temperature
  • 500g unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 125g oat flour or finely ground rolled oats
  • 125g rye flour
  • 125g stone ground whole-wheat flour
  • 125g brown rice flour
  • 15g sugar 
  • 15g salt

  1. Toast the pecans for 5-7 minutes in a 205°C oven. 
  2. Let them cool down and then chop them into pieces with a sharp knife.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, stir the yeast into the 60ml lukewarm water and wait for it to activate, about 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in the 720ml of water.
  5. Slowly add the flours, then the sugar and knead with the dough hook. As soon as the dough starts to come together, add the salt.
  6. Knead for 5-8 minutes at medium speed until firm, then add the pecans and cranberries and knead them in. The dough will be firm and elastic, but still slightly sticky.
  7. Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
  8. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. The dough should be moist, firm, and noticeably elastic.
  9. Cut the dough in half and shape each half into an oval loaf to fit a loaf pan.
  10. Lightly oil pans and place the loaves in the pans, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise until truly doubled and fully above the tops of the pans, 60 to 75 minutes.
  11. Preheat oven to 205°C.
  12. Slash a pattern in the top of the loaves and bake 40 to 45 minutes, or until the bread's internal temperature reached 93°C.
  13. Bake the last 5 to 10 minutes out of the pans on a baking stone or baking sheet to brown the bottoms and sides.
  14. Let cool completely on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from Sweet and That's It
For US measurements please click here

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Savoring Italy and runs smoothly with the help of Heather of All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, and the rest of our fabulous bakers. This month we are baking New-to-You Flour Breads that are perfect to celebrate the holiday season. For more bread recipes, visit the #TwelveLoaves Pinterest board, or check out last month's inspiring selection of #TwelveLoaves Holiday Breads!

If you'd like to bake along with us this month, share your New-to-You Flour Breads using hashtag #TwelveLoaves!


  1. LOL I am with you on getting my feet wet with new challenges. I'm forcing myself this year though. I think you bread looks just amazing! I love the cranberry pecan combination, and this bread looks so moist! I'd say you would have looked like a pro if you didn't tell me anything else.

  2. You did good Felice! I think that recipe is naturally fairly dense. I'm so looking forward to seeing your bread baking adventures. Even though it takes a lot of time, I find it so relaxing. But then you live in Hawaii, the place where relaxed just washes over you!! Ha ha!

  3. Wow! 4 new flours!?! No wonder you had butterflies! I would for sure be nervous to try all those new flours. I'm so very proud of you! I just love the creativity in this loaf and imagine how amazing it was with Kerrygold butter! Thank you for sharing this gorgeous loaf with us this month!

  4. Wow you embraced this challenge, look at all the flours. I would guess it would be a heavy bread than normal. It does look great and I wish I could have a slice with butter right now for breakfast.


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