Tuesday, October 2, 2012

TWD: Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Loaves

Tuesdays with Dorie baking through Baking with Julia
by Dorie Greenspan
Recipe by Steve Sullivan

This bread has to be good. The contributing baker is Steve Sullivan, founder of Acme Bread.
Acme supplies breads to our local restaurants and grocery stores, and Steve once worked baking bread at Alice Waters' famed Chez Panisse in Berkeley, CA.

I have yet to make it over to Chez Panisse, something I have wanted to do for quite some time. A friend of mine eats there a few times a year and I always question her as to what she had, from appetizer to dessert. Always the menu sounds fabulous! The one thing I look forward to beside the awesome food is that they ask that you refrain from using your cell phone or laptops at the table (a pet peeve of mine) - this request is even printed on the menu! I must get there soon..

Sorry to digress - back to the topic at hand: Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Loaves.

This recipe screams fall - pumpkin, cranberry, yeast breads. I'm so ready for fall foods, but we have been having such nice awesome weather (high 70's to low 80's) that it just has not been cool enough for soups, stews and the like, but bread I can handle.

The recipe is pretty straight forward. Just plan on two days to make this bread. You need to refrigerate the dough overnight between risings, though I read here that "merrybaker" skipped the refrigeration. I'm a novice bread maker so I followed Mr. Sullivan's directions.

The bread is moist and soft the day of baking, and like the whole wheat loaves they start to become dry by the next day. Maybe that is how it is with homemade bread (i.e. no preservatives). Unfortunately the pumpkin flavor is not very pronounced. Toasted with butter, this is reminiscent to the raisin bread I had as a child, with a slight twang from the cranberries.

Once again, as with the whole wheat loaves we made recently, this is just OK. I feel this bread was not worth the time invested; I was also hoping for more of a pumpkin essence. I'll stick with the awesome quick-bread recipe of Pumpkin Bran Bread which has a lot more flavor, a lot less time to make, and stays moist for several days after baking.

Success meter (1-3): 2

Grate your nutmeg into a measuring cup.
I find it easier to get the ground nutmeg 
into the measuring spoon this way.

I had a hard time keeping the cranberries
incorporated in the dough. They kept
wriggling their way out.

After an overnight rest in the refrigerator,
divide your dough and shape into loaves.

The cranberries just want to keep poppin' out!

Originally I was going to use two standard size
loaf pans until I found these burried in the back
of my cupboard. :)

All tucked in and ready to rise.

An hour later - beautiful!

If you're interested in the recipe visit the site of our host:

You may also want to check out the LYL link for my fellow
blogger's trials and triumphs of this recipe.


  1. They turned out tall and gorgeous colored in spite of not having the best flavor. Nice pics!

  2. My expectations for this bread were also different...If the final product reminded you of raisin bread, this is more than great :) The three loaves on the cooling rack is a great picture.

  3. Oooh pumpkin bran bread sounds great!

  4. Sorry this wasn't a hit for you - the pumpkin bran bread sounds tasty.

  5. We agree with you. If we had to do the 2-day version, it might be a little disappointing. Your loaves look beautiful. As it is, we turned ours into a type of quick bread, omitting the yeast and using baking powder instead. We actually loved the outcome, it also allows the pumpkin to shine a little more.

  6. Your photos are beautiful. I think bread made with eggs goes stale quickly or so I've been told. I'm making the last loaf into french toast.

  7. Lovely photos and a yummy bread, but I have to agree with you, probably not worth the 2-day time investment. Thanks for sharing the pumpkin bran bread recipe.

  8. I agree that the time invested in maing these was crazy - the end product tasted OK, but not outstanding.

  9. Very nice! We used to live in the SF bay area and I miss acme breads. We never made it chez Panisse either since we were poor grad students.

  10. Your Pumpkin Loaves look just perfect, they rose so nicely, the color of the pumpkin dough is wonderful with the great specs of fresh cranberries and your photos are just terrific. I could not find fresh cranberries around here but dried were also good but far from bringing such a nice color to the baked loaves.

  11. I too had trouble mixing the cranberries into the dough. Your small loaves look beautiful.

  12. Your loaves are beautiful. I'm sorry that they were just ok for you.

  13. Your loaves are so cute! I will make these again next time I get my hand on some fresh cranberries although I can only imagine how difficult it's going to be to incorporate them into the dough...I had a hard enough time with the raisins/craisins and ended up hand-kneading them in. I'll get lots of squashed berries if I try that method with the fresh cranberries!

  14. I'm just now finishing off my loaf you gave me! I love it... been toasting it and topping with a little honey. yummy!

  15. Yeah, my kids love pumpkin quick breads, but they had no interest in this one! It was pretty though :)

  16. Your mini loaves are totally cute!
    Your cranberry didn't want to be eaten... I can hear them saying: "Let's get out of here"!
    Great pictures!... PS: I love your towel!

  17. I just made the pumpkin bread this weekend as a makeup recipe, and happen to be looking through others. My cranberries also didn't want to stay put. When I make this again, I'll probably leave them out, or put them in when rolling the dough into a loaf.

    Also, get yourself to the Cafe at Chez Panisse. Having been upstairs and down, I prefer the Cafe. It's much easier to get a reservation; they are open for lunch; you'll get to choose what to eat at each course; it's a better value.

    1. Paul, Chez is on my bucket list! I will get there. Thanks for the pointers!


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