Thanksgiving Cranberry Corn Bread


It will soon be American Thanksgiving, so I thought I’d re-post our Thanksgiving Cranberry Corn bread.  It’s based on the Portuguese Broa style (page 151 in the book)—it’s the regular Master Recipe, but with 1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour taken out and replaced with an equal amount of cornmeal.

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!  Other Thanksgiving recipes:

Stuffing from homemade bread:

Thanksgiving buns:

Thanksgiving Pumpkin Pie Brioche:

Roasting Your Own Pumpkins:


** 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.

1,099 thoughts to “Thanksgiving Cranberry Corn Bread”

    1. I made this just a few days ago and really enjoyed it. I made it just as suggested with fresh cranberries. It was a little tart for my kids but I enjoyed it. My favorite was to toast the leftover bread in the morning and put butter and cinnamon sugar on it. Nice and crunchy and the cinnamon sugar was a wonderful compliment.

  1. I’ve never used cranberries before in anything. The only way I know about them is as a kid using “the can” at Thanksgiving. This is something I may have to try in the future. Thank you for sharing!

  2. I abosuletly love these books. I would have never attempted bread making before. I’m telling all my friends how easy it is to make wonderful homemade bread with your recipes!!

  3. Why can only US adresses enter the contest? There are people out there, you know, who also bake their own bread and would like to win something. An ebook does not cost that much to send to a winner in let’s Holland.
    I must bake my bread with spelt, so I can’t use vital wheat gluten, I can’t even find it here in Holland. So what should I adapt instead?

    1. Laura: — international shipping is prohibitively expensive for us, so sorry. In this case, King Arthur is going to ship to the winner, and they likewise can’t extend it internationally.

      If you’re using spelt to avoid gluten (it’s lower in gluten than wheat), of course you don’t want to add any gluten in the form of vital wheat gluten– there is no substitute. Best bet for non-gluten enriched spelt bread is to avoid really tall loaves. They make great flatbreads. Which book do you have, I can direct you to recipes in there? Jeff

  4. I love everything I’ve tried from both books.

    But I’m hoping someone has a suggestion for which dough to use to make a softer dinner roll for Thanksgiving. Soft white sandwich bread? Or Buttermilk? or even Challah?

    1. Elizabeth: Assume you’ve been on the thanksgiving links at the bottom of the post, re: dinner rolls? All your suggestions would make a softer roll, also try the brioche, either book. Another option is to brush oil or butter on top of rolls just as they go in the oven.

      Omit the steam from the oven if you’ve been doing that. Jeff

  5. Looking forward to using my cast-iron pan, which I bought planning to use often, but alas, have not (yet!)… This will be a great addition to our Thanksgiving table! Thanks!

  6. We are about to make our first batch of bread – my kids are so excited! Thank you for the recipe and video. Hope to win the package 🙂

  7. I’ve loved everything I have tried in both books. Such a brillant idea- why didn’t anyone think of this before? Thanks for helping the fledgling foodie develop her wings. Happy Thanksgiving!

  8. Thanks Jeff! Yes, I read the discussion of making dinner buns. I’ve made rolls before out of a lot of the doughs. I just wasn’t sure which dough to use for the softer-style dinner rolls. Glad to know that I can still have my pick of the doughs!

    Happy Thanksgiving all!

    Thanks again for bringing homemade bread to my family!

  9. I just discovered your recipes and love making bread now. I can’t wait to get your second book and make more breads especially brioche and fruit breads. Thanks for everything and Happy Thanksgiving!

  10. I’ve been having such fun making your bread. I grind my own wheat and have had success with fresh milled flour bread YOUR way…thanks for inspiring me! My family thanks you too!

  11. I love that you two can talk something like cornbread and make it look like it a heaven on earth dish ! I love your recipes and love making them keep coming out with new recipes I love trying them! Thank You !

  12. What a great offer/contest from King Arthur! I just discovered this website and can’t wait to buy the author’s book and start baking.

  13. Thanks for the corn cranberry bread adaptation. I’ll have to try it this weekend. I really enjoy this website. I don’t know how I missed the red star yeast ad.

  14. It is not because of the gluten that I use spelt, it’s because of the Wheat. And I make your master dough for whole wheat, but with less water otherwise it is to wet. I make good bread with it, but I am allways searching for better and other recipes. I want to learn a lot about bread baking. I like it very much. And i love your recipes and videos on Youtube, it makes everything so visable, thank you.

  15. Thanks so much for revolutionizing my stay at home Mom life! Now all 3 kids and my hubby participate in the bread baking! I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your flour and ingredient recommendations. I have both your books and have found that they not only introduce everything I need, (and then some) but answer questions too!! I have delved into Challah and Semolina breads and LOVE them both! I do have one issue with my challah that I hope you can help me with. The Challah turns out perfectly, (just like what I used to eat at Easter in Switzerland!), except..the bread seperates on the top…the braid does not stay in the braid shape. Did my dough get too dry on top or have I stretched the dough to tight for braiding? Any suggestions or thoughts?
    Thanks again!

    1. Krista: Any chance you have a very cold fridge, or a cool room for the resting period? If so (or maybe in any case), try a longer rest (30% longer) and see if that helps the dough relax. Please let us know if that helps.

      Another option is to use a little less flour when making the “ropes.” That helps them adhere to each other a little better. Jeff

  16. This 5 minute recipe has opened a whole world of baking adventures for me. I also use King Arthur Flour, which is amazing. I would LOVE to have the dough mixer.

  17. I’m making my first batch tonight and can’t wait to try this method. Fresh bread will be the perfect complement to the asparagus potato soup on tomorrow night’s menu.

  18. Ooh, looks amazing, so excited to try these recipes, never thought I could make bread but I’m pumped to expand my domestic repertoire !

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