Incorporating dried fruit, nuts, or herbs into stored dough: Thanksgiving Cranberry Corn Bread


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Read on for a discussion of how to roll things into stored dough.  It works the same whether you’re rolling in dried fruit, nuts, or even herbs…

Before I launch into our Thanksgiving Cranberry Corn Bread, Zoe and I want to thank everyone who posted their bread stories into our blog this past week.  Hearing other people’s stories about their bread has been the best part of doing this website. Kelly (see the post from 11/11) is the first winner of the signed book.  Kelly does not use her bread machine and loves giving bread away.  Bravo.   Beth, who posted on 11/14, is the 2nd winner– a working mom with an active blog of her own.   We’ll be in touch with both of you.

This week’s bread is a yeasted corn bread adapted for American Thanksgiving but based on the Portuguese Broa style (page 146 of The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day).  It’s basically our regular Master Recipe, but with 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour taken out and replaced with an equal amount of cornmeal.

More in The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and our other books.

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The Thanksgiving recipe’s on page 86, but here’s what you need to do.  Take about 2 pounds of the Broa dough mentioned above and shape it into a ball; then flatten it with your hands and a rolling pin until it’s about 1/2-inch thick.  Sprinkle the dough with 1/3 of a cup of dried cranberries (or 1/2 cup fresh):


Now break out your microzester, and use it to scrape the zest from half an orange…


… now sprinkle that over the cranberries, and then sprinkle a couple of tablespoons of granulated sugar over that…


Now roll it up like a jelly roll… If it sticks to the board as you’re rolling, nudge it off with a dough scraper.


Tuck the ends under to form a ball, flatten it on a work surface, and then, using your hands and a rolling pin, make a disk the right size for a 12-inch cast iron pan.  It should be about an inch or inch and a half thick.   If you don’t have a cast-iron pan, see below.**  This instruction applies to this flattened thanksgiving bread only; you can make loaf breads this way too (freeform or in a pan).

Grease the pan well with butter, lard, bacon grease, or oil (I used olive oil today), and place the dough round in it.


Allow to rest for at least 1 hour and 20 minutes.  You’ll get a more open hole structure if you wait two hours.

Put a broiler tray in the oven to dump water to make steam.  20 minutes before baking time, preheat the oven to 425 degrees F if you keep a baking stone in the oven.  If you don’ t use a stone, a 5-minute pre-heat is adequate (the stone isn’t required since you’ll bake in the cast-iron).

Just before baking, heat the cast-iron pan over medium heat for 1 or 2 minutes to jump-start the baking process and promote caramelization of the bottom crust.  Don’t overdo it–no more than 2 minutes.  It will start to sizzle.

Place the pan on a rack near the center of the oven.  Pour 1 cup of water into the broiler tray and quickly close the oven door.  Depending on the thickness of your loaf and the weight of the pan, baking time will be about 25 minutes.

Carefully turn the hot loaf out of the pan onto a serving plate or cooling rack, or just cut wedges directly out of the pan once it cools.  Be careful with the hot cast-iron pan!

You should get a result just like the cover photo.  Happy Thanksgiving, and thanks again to all of you who participated in the drawing.

And I guess if this is kinda-sorta Thanksgiving, maybe we should let you know about Holiday sales.  Retailers are going to be discounting heavily this season because of the economic slowdown.  So Amazon is having a Home and Garden Markdown… it’s not all Kitchen stuff but there are some interesting things on the list.  Good luck!


** This bread can be done as a simple free-form loaf right on a baking stone, cookie sheet, or silicone mat (about the same baking time, or in a loaf pan (longer baking time needed).  Either way, it’s done at 425 degrees.

Note: is reader supported. When you buy through links on the site, BreadIn5 LLC earns commissions.

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106 thoughts to “Incorporating dried fruit, nuts, or herbs into stored dough: Thanksgiving Cranberry Corn Bread”

  1. Hi Jeff! It turned out a little soggy in the middle, but I toasted the individual slices in a cast iron skillet on the stove and that helped. I’m trying again (I’m going to a party and wanted to take a couple loaves of bread), so I’ll try leaving them in for 45 minutes. I just reread the part in your first book that talks about parbaking, and realized that I can always throw the dough back into the oven if it seems underbaked. I don’t know what made me think that was a faux pas. So, if all else fails, I’ll throw it back in the oven. The good thing about your method is that you don’t have to slice the loaf to know if it’s underbaked. If the crust starts getting soft while cooling, I know I didn’t bake it long enough. It’s good to know, as I don’t have an instant read thermometer. Is that the same as a meat thermometer? I might have one somewhere I never used. Maybe I’ll try finding it now that I have a use for it – I bake a lot more bread than roasts! Thanks again!

  2. Angie: May be similar to a “meat” thermometer, not sure. Could certainly try, but if it’s really old, not sure it’s going to be accurate. Jeff

  3. Thanks, Jeff! It’s brand new and still in the packaging. I had asked my mother-in-law to send me an oven thermometer, and I got this instead! It should come in handier than I thought – but I still need an oven thermometer! 🙂

  4. Hi! I have a quick question about your 100% whole wheat bread recipe. Perhaps you’ve already answered it elsewhere, so sorry if it’s redundant. Do you know if it’s possible to reduce the amount of honey in your 100% Whole Wheat Sandwich Bread from AB5M? How about the oil? I’m just starting Weight Watchers, and am trying to cut back. Thanks!

    BTW, I ordered your Healthy Artisan Bread cookbook on Amazon and a friend is bringing it to us here in Senegal at the end of the month. I also ordered gluten, rye flour, wheat bran, and wheat germ, so hopefully I’ll be able to make a good number of the breads in my new book! 🙂


    1. Angie: You can decrease or eliminate either, but be aware, both are tenderizers and the sugar is a flavor enhancer as well. Plus you’ll have to adjust the water. Probably downward, but not certain. Jeff

  5. This title of this page is a little misleading; I thought it would explain how to incorporate fruit, nuts, or herbs into stored dough, but it’s really just a recipe for the Thanksgiving Cranberry Cornbread.

    Can you provide some general instructions about incorporating these ingredients into the basic types of stored dough? It would be really helpful, as sometimes I don’t want my entire stored batch to have the same add-ins.

    1. Hi Matilde,

      Are you hoping to incorporate the ingredients into the dough when you mix it or after you have the dough made? If you want to use a dough that you already have and add ingredients, then follow the directions that are given for this cornbread. You can distribute them a bit more by kneading the dough with the added ingredients for a minute or two. If you do this, you need to let the dough rise longer because you will have kneaded out the gas bubbles.

      Thanks, Zoë

  6. Hi, Just read you recipe for 5 Minute Artisan Bread from a link on Face Book that The Naturalist posted. When making this bread are there any herbs, whole grains, and/or other combinations that can be added? also at what time should they be added to the mix? during mixing or at time of preparing to bake? I joined your Face Book page, can you possibly make a post there regarding this? Thanks for your time!!!!

    1. Hi Becky,

      You will find our second book, Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day, full of recipes with herb, whole grains and other healthy ingredients.

      Thanks, Zoë

  7. I want to make whole wheat bread with cinnamon, raisins, walnuts. I DON’T want to have to roll out the dough. Can I add these ingredients at the beginning and keep in the ‘fridge that way? Any downside to this? ANd how much to add for half of a recipe?

    1. Hi Carolyn,

      Yes, you can certainly add the fruit to the batch as you’re mixing it. It will last for about 5 days because the sugars in the fruit will ferment the dough more quickly. How much you can add will depend on recipe. If you are making this one, just add the fruit that would be rolled in.

      Thanks, Zoë

  8. Hi there,
    This might not be the right place to post a question – but is there any way to make burger buns from a pre-made boule dough? It seems like i would need to add eggs and sugar but I wasn’t sure if I can add them after they have been in the refridgerator.
    Any tips on making burger buns by using boule dough would be much appreciated. Thank you!!

    1. Hi Janet,

      I prefer the brioche dough for burger buns. It would be easier to start from scratch than try to add eggs and sugar to a dough that is already mixed up.

      Thanks, Zoë

  9. During the holidays I discovered a Chocolate. Cherry yeast bread at a local supermarket. It’s now one of my favorites. Do you have a recipe using your bread method, or is it possible to add canned tart cherries to your chocolate bread recipe? I’d love to be able to make my own bread year round… Thanks!

    1. Hi Ariana,

      You can add 1 cup dried cherries to the dough without having to change the recipe. If you add canned cherries, it will make the dough too wet, so you will have to decrease the water by about 1/4 to 1/2 cup, depending on how juicy the canned cherries are. I would start with a half batch to make sure you like the results.

      Cheers, Zoë

  10. I have two of your books and don’t know if I’m missing the answer in any of them, please direct me to where can I find it in your books if I am. I’m craving a Greek/Mediterranean style olive bread, with olives not just olive oil.

    1. Artisan Bread has one, not Healthy Bread in 5 but you can use the recipe in Artisan to make it from whole grains. It’s near the beginning of chapter 6.

  11. I would like to make a rosemary and cranberry bread so that I can make crackers that mimic the trader joes crackers that I love. Can I use this same technique with the dough of my choice? Should I bake the bread like a baguette and then dry toast them in the oven until crisp? Any ideas would be appreciated! Thanks!

    1. That’s what I’d do. You could let them go a bit stale before you slice and toast, but maybe that’s not essential.

  12. Love your recipes, I would like to add a mix of seeds to the whole grain GF loaf on page 99 in GF Artisan bread in 5 min a day . I like to add them to the dough. Can I still store the dough with seeds for 10 days in fridge? Do I have to add more water? thanks

  13. Hi. I am so new to the bread-world. My first attempt at being a Suzy-homemaker-bread baker 30+ years ago came out like a cinder block. I was using my Grandmother’s bread recipe which involved an entire day to make this bread. We were stationed in Spain at the time and the yeast I bought from the commissary was old. I didn’t know that then and I swore off bread-making forever after that. That is until my daughter-in-law showed me a beautiful artisan loaf she had made from your book. I was hooked; bought the book and have since made several beautiful loaves of bread. I’m so proud of them. 🙂

    Anyway, now I want to add something called Muesli to the bread dough at the initial mixing of the dough but I’m not sure how to do that. Do I need to soak it first? If so, how long? Or can I just add it without the soak? Do I need to add more water? Less flour? I have Bob’s Red Mill Old Country Style Muesli (Hot or Cold Cereal Mix) and I want to add it to the Oat Flour Bread recipe on pg 174 and the Whole Wheat Sandwich Breads on pgs 134 & 137 in the New ABin5.

    Is this even something that can be done? Should I use something else? Thanks so much for your guidance.

    1. Hi Celia,

      Yes, you sure can. We have a recipe for it in our Healthy Bread Book. You can add about 1 cup of the Muesli, replacing about 1/2 cup of flour. You’ll also want to add about 1/4 cup more water to the mix. If you want to use the dough before it is refrigerated, then soak the muesli in the water for about 30 minutes before mixing. If you intend to make the dough and refrigerate it over night, then no need to soak first.

      Thanks, Zoë

  14. I would like to make your bagels with raisins, sundried tomatoes, or other dried fruit and perhaps some cinnamon mixed into the dough. Can I do this? I have the New AB in 5 book. Thank you!

  15. Love the broa bread… Do you think this work well made into rolls instead of flat? Still bake in the the cast iron? In general, can you use this method to incorporate cheese and herbs or some other savory filling? I think that would complement the broa bread too as an alternative.

    1. Hi Cassiana,

      Yes, you can certainly bake these as rolls. The dough doesn’t have a lot of gluten strength, so it will never make a tall loaf, but rolls would be great. You can bake them in the cast iron pan or just on a baking sheet.

      You can use this method to incorporate all kinds of things into the dough. Cheese in the broa really would be great!

      Enjoy, Zoë

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