Cranberry Swirl Loaf

Cranberry Swirl LoafIn my home, yeast breads have a special place of honor, especially around the holidays. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that Slavic people made all kinds of fancy sweet breads for most holidays, Easter, Christmas, etc. I really like that yeast breads are practically fuss free, but have an air of elegance and sophistication to them. There is so much less work involved than making a cake, and but these breads look so pretty and festive. I especially like that they aren’t too sweet, but still satisfy the craving for dessert.

Yes, it takes time for the bread to rise, but there’s only a few minutes of actual hands on work involved here.

During one of my trips to Barnes and Noble, I was looking through a stack of magazines, and this beautiful bread immediately caught my attention. I just love tart flavors – lemon, raspberry and cranberry is certainly tart with a capital T. It’s absolutely perfect for this time of year. This entire loaf disappeared within a day; it was that good. 

Ingredients:

Bread Dough:

1/3 cup sugar

1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup milk

1/3 cup butter, cubed

Cranberry Filling:

1 1/4 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/4 cup water

1 Tablespoon butter

1/2 Tablespoon lemon juice

1/2 cup walnuts

Topping:

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 tablespoons sugar

2 tablespoons cold butter, divided

Bread Dough:

In a large bowl of a standing mixer (or you can mix it by hand), combine the sugar,  yeast, salt and flour. IMG_8655 (500x333)Heat up the water, milk and butter to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. IMG_8659 (500x333)Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix on low speed, using a dough hook, until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients.

Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until the dough pulls aways from the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes. IMG_8667 (500x333)Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place to rise until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

IMG_8685 (500x333)

Cranberry Filling:

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add the cranberries, (you can use either fresh or frozen), brown sugar and water. IMG_8664 (500x333)Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes. The berries should “pop”. Add the butter, lemon juice and walnuts, mixing to combine. Set aside while the dough finishes rising.

IMG_8676 (500x333)Grease a 9×5 inch bread pan with butter or oil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Topping:

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping, with one Tablespoon of butter, setting the other Tablespoon of butter aside. Mix with a fork, until you have a crumbly texture. Set aside. IMG_8672 (500x333)

Assembling the Bread:

Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 20×10 inch rectangle. IMG_8705 (500x333)Spread the Cranberry Filling evenly over the surface of the rolled out dough, leaving about a 1 inch border around the edges. IMG_8707 (500x332)Roll up the dough tightly, starting with the long side. IMG_8709 (500x331)Place the rolled up dough into the prepared bread pan, in a zigzag way.

Melt the remaining Tablespoon of butter and brush it over the top of the bread. IMG_8716 (500x333)Sprinkle the topping on top of the bread. IMG_8717 (500x333)Place the bread in a warm place to rise, until it doubles in size, about 40 minutes. IMG_8748 (500x331)Bake in the preheated oven, 40-45 minutes. IMG_8752 (500x333)Take the bread out of the bread pan onto a cooling rack until it cools for at least 15 minutes, preferably for 45 minutes to an hour, but who am I kidding? I can never wait that long!Cranberry Swirl Loaf

Cranberry Swirl Loaf
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Sweets
Serves: 1 loaf of bread
Ingredients
Bread Dough:
  • ⅓ cup sugar
  • 1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup milk
  • ⅓ cup butter, cubed
Cranberry Filling:
  • 1¼ cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
  • ¼ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 Tablespoon butter
  • ½ Tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup walnuts
Topping:
  • 2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons cold butter, divided
Instructions
Bread Dough:
  1. In a large bowl of a standing mixer (or you can mix it by hand), combine the sugar, yeast, salt and flour.
  2. Heat up the water, milk and butter to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix on low speed using a dough hook, until all the dry ingredients are incorporated into the wet ingredients.
  3. Increase the speed to medium-high and mix until the dough pulls aways from the sides of the bowl, about 5 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel and set aside in a warm place to rise until the dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.
Cranberry Filling:
  1. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, add the cranberries, (you can use either fresh or frozen), brown sugar and water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook, covered, for about 15 minutes. The berries should "pop".
  2. Add the butter, lemon juice and walnuts, mixing to combine. Set aside while the dough finishes rising.
  3. Grease a 9x5 inch bread pan with butter or oil. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Topping:
  1. In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the topping, with one Tablespoon of butter, setting the other Tablespoon of butter aside. Mix the ingredients with a fork, until you have a crumbly texture. Set aside.
Assembling the Bread:
  1. Roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a 20x10 inch rectangle.
  2. Spread the Cranberry Filling evenly on the surface of the rolled out dough, leaving about a 1 inch border around the edges.
  3. Roll up the dough tightly, starting with the long side. Place the rolled up dough into the prepared bread pan, in a zigzag way.
  4. Melt the remaining Tablespoon of butter and brush it over the top of the bread. Sprinkle the topping on top of the bread.
  5. Place the bread in a warm place to rise, until it doubles in size, about 40 minutes.
  6. Bake in the preheated oven, 40-45 minutes.
  7. Take the bread out of the bread pan onto a cooling rack until it cools for at least 15 minutes, preferably for 45 minutes to an hour, but who am I kidding? I can never wait that long!

27 Comments

  • Marina Degler

    Wow , it looks butifull ! I just have to try this weekend.
    Just a question……Olga, you from the North:) but do you ever baked pecan pie?

    • Anna@eatwithtaste.com

      I agree with Olga that Pecan Pies are wayyyyy tooo sweet and thus, I recently experimented with pecan pie recipes and finally came out with really delicious, not overly sweet pie. I have it posted on my blog eatwithtaste.com

  • Mariyab

    Yummy! I just bought a bag of cranberries now I know what to do with them:) can I use white sugar instead of brown? I’m just out of it at the moment.

  • Valentin Goncharenko

    This bread is so perfectly delicious! The tartness of the cranberries and the subtle sweetness of the dough go so well together!! Fantastic photos!! Keep the awesome posts going!!

  • Deepti

    Hi Olga! I have been following your recipes for some time now. I love the step by step pictorial representation and have tried quite a few of your recipes. This bread looks yummy though I don’t have fresh or frozen cranberries. Can I substitute with dried cranberries? Keep the posts coming!

    • olgak7

      Hi Deepti! Thanks for visiting and browsing through the recipes.
      You probably can use dry cranberries, but you will need to add more water when you’re cooking them. I don’t think the cranberry filling will be as moist, juicy and tart as when using fresh or frozen cranberries.

  • ksenia

    I made this bread yesterday and it turned out perfect…not too sweet and not too tart! 🙂 The best part of the recipe is your beautiful tutorial…it make the baking process very easy! Thank you for all the hard work!!!

  • Lana

    Hi Olga! I just can’t wait to try it….it looks and sounds like out of this world…..might even make it tonight if i have enough time. Thank you dear for another great post. You are a SUPER star;)

  • Anna

    Hi, I was wondering if I could use active dry yeast instead of the quick rise yeast packages? If so, how many teaspoons would I need?

  • Sandi Solomonson

    Olga, love love this recipe and have made this fabulous bread a couple times, question; can this recipe be doubled to make 2 loaves of cranberry swirl bread goodness. Thank you for your response

  • Shirly

    Hi Olga,

    Your recipe looks amazing! I can’t wait to try it, but I don’t have a thermometer. Would the recipe still work/do you have any suggestions or do I absolutely need one?

    I also don’t have a dough hook. Do you have any suggestions for that as well? Such as reserving some of the flour, using a hand mixer until the dough is sticky, and then kneading it by hand with the remaining flour?

    Thank you!!

    • olgak7

      Hi Shirly,
      Bake the bread according to the time I have indicated, watching to make sure the bread looks golden brown. You can also tap the crust; if it sounds hollow, the bread is done. This may be a bit unhelpful if you’ve never done it before and aren’t sure what it’s supposed to sound like. You can also try inserting a toothpick into the center of the bread and it should come out clean when done; however, sometimes with bread, the crust may be hard enough to “clean” the toothpick as you pull it out of the bread, and it looks clean but the bread isn’t baked through. I would mostly go by the way the bread looks.
      You can definitely finish kneading by hand (or even do all of the kneading by hand.)

      • Shirly

        Thank you for your response! Regarding my lack of a thermometer, I was actually wondering if I can heat up the water, milk, and butter without one, because the recipe says to heat it to 120 deg. If I can, do you have any advice on how it should look or feel when it is warm enough to add into the dry ingredients?

        Thank you!
        Shirly

        • olgak7

          It needs to be the temperature of a warm bath, Shirly. It’s hard to figure out the temperature without the thermometer. It’s important that the liquid ingredients not be too hot, or the yeast will be killed and won’t make the dough rise.

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