Perfect for the holidays, this cranberry and rosemary bread will be a hit with your family and friends! You can make this a day ahead so your oven is free to cook the main meal. If you’re a guest, make it a day ahead and bring it as a side for the host, everyone will thank you for it!
There’s nothing like a fresh loaf of homemade bread. Typically, it feels out of reach to cook up a fresh loaf of bread because bread recipes sometimes feel complicated or require kneading and equipment that isn’t available. I often felt this way until somewhat recently when I started to read articles and watch videos on bread making.
It started simply, I watched a video on making sourdough starter and then another on making bread in a Dutch oven. I baked a loaf and that was enough to pull me in. Fresh bread feels like a special side dish to almost any meal that is served. We’ve used it to make egg sandwiches, as a side for pasta, and grilled cheese sandwiches (recipes coming soon to Hope, Love, and Food). But with Thanksgiving approaching, I wanted something special to serve with dinner—cranberry and rosemary bread.
In my tests, bread flour created a nicer loaf of bread with the additional ingredients, although all-purpose flour worked too and did not affect the taste at all. Honey was used to add some sweetness, and I used fresh rosemary for additional flavor. I considered fresh cranberries but ultimately decided to use dried cranberries instead. For me, this was the way to go because it felt more familiar (think cinnamon raisin bread). I may revisit this recipe at some point and make it with fresh cranberries instead just to see how it compares. Additionally, I used a small amount of salt, and I shortened the baking time to achieve the crust I wanted.
Cranberry and Rosemary Bread
Prep time: 5 hours (Most of this time is waiting for the bread to rise.)
Bake time: 40 minutes
Total time: 5 hours and 50 minutes
Makes 1 loaf
- 6-quart Dutch oven
- Mixing bowls
- Glass measuring cup
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- 1 packet active dry yeast
- 2 cups of lukewarm water
- 4 cups of bread flour* (all-purpose flour can also be used)
- 2 teaspoons of salt
- 3 tablespoons of fresh rosemary (chopped)
- 1 cup of dried cranberries
- 2 tablespoons of honey
*Spoon your flour into the measuring cup and level with a knife.
- Combine the yeast and the water and stir. Let the yeast sit while you combine the flour and salt in a large mixing bowl.
- Create a small well of space in the center of the flour and pour the yeast and water into the bowl. Add the rosemary, honey, and dried cranberries to the bowl. Using a spatula (or your hand) combine the water, yeast, flour, honey, rosemary, and dried cranberries until it starts to form a shaggy-looking dough.
- Once the dough has formed, cover the bowl with a clean towel and leave the dough to rise for 2 hours.
- Uncover the dough and check to see if it has risen and doubled in size. Using your spatula (or your hand) fold the dough, pulling the sides toward the center of the dough, about 8 times as you rotate the bowl. Cover the bowl with the towel and let it rise for another 2 hours.
- Preheat your oven to 450 F and place your Dutch oven inside your oven while it preheats.
- Once the dough has risen, use your spatula (or your hand) to fold the dough again. Grease another bowl and lightly coat it with flour. Transfer the dough to the floured bowl and dust the top of the dough with more flour. Cover for the final rise, about 45 minutes.
- Remove the Dutch oven from your oven and (using your hands or spatula) transfer the dough to the Dutch oven. Recommended: Wear oven mitts to protect yourself from the heat of the Dutch oven. Using a knife, score the top of your dough. I scored an “X.” Place the lid on the Dutch oven and bake for 30 minutes.
- Remove the lid after 30 minutes and bake uncovered for an additional 5-10 minutes. Remove the bread from the oven and transfer it to a cooling rack. Cool for 10 minutes and serve warm.
The cranberry and rosemary bread makes a great side dish, but you could also use it for a grilled cheese or panini sandwich to use up your holiday leftovers, enjoy!
(Recipe inspired by Tasty Homemade Dutch Oven Bread.)