Thanksgiving Cranberry Corn Bread – (Contest Closed!)


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 82 in the book)—it’s our 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.

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1,099 thoughts on “Thanksgiving Cranberry Corn Bread – (Contest Closed!)

  1. Oh my gosh, it’s lunch time almost and that recipe sounds so yummy. I would also be thrilled to win the prize package, generous folks there at King Arthur! My fingers are crossed. 🙂 Thanks as always for the fantastic recipes.

  2. I have been making Cranberry Orange quick breads for years. I am going to have to make this interesting and just as quick bread. Kind of like a big scone. Please enter me in the contest

  3. I am thankful this Thanksgiving for having discovered Breadinfive. When on your website, I am always struck by your generosity and patience in sharing and teaching your methods. You are special people, Zoe and Jeff!

  4. I wish I had known about ABin5 when it first came out!!! I used to make all the bread for our family many years ago, but with arthritis and other hand issues I haven’t been able to for several years. I tried bread machine bread, but just not the same. I am absolutely thrilled to be able to make homemade bread again and with soooooo many great variations! I can’t say thank you enough! I have recommended this book to several people. Even the sales clerk at the store was interested in it!!!

  5. My oven is dying, and as I shop for a new one I secretly dream of opening it and getting a faceful of wonderful-smelling Bread Steam.

  6. Hi guys, I’m not here for the contest (not a US resident) but for a question. I was wondering if your books will ever be translated and published in other languages? I’m asking cos I bought ABin5 and HBin5 -and I plan on buying the one on flatbreads and pizzas when it’s released- and when my mom wants to bake something, I have to be there with her and translate for her to Italian. Which is not a big deal, but I’m not always at home and it’d be awesome if she could just pick the books and read them for herself. I already scribbled notes all over the books so she can at least prepare some doughs when I’m not around, but yeah, I didn’t get to all the recipes. You see, she used to bake using the traditional method and she was happy with it, but she’s getting older and your recipes are quick and make excellent bread (and I, who’ve always failed at baking traditional bread, never botched a dough with your recipes. OMG! I’m so happy! Thanks!) I really, really hope you’re thinking about this cos I’m sure there are other non-native English speakers who would like to read your books. I, for one, would be very grateful and I’d buy both again so that my mother can own her own copies. Sorry for the OT and I apologize if you’ve talked about this before. I looked, but I may have missed it. Thanks in advance.

  7. Holy Baguette, Batman! A lot of people wanting to win this great K.A. bundle…

    I swear by K.A. flours and wear my souvenir KA ball cap with pride.

    On the KA recipes site they have their adaptation of your basic master recipe [ ], and it’s a 75% hydration level (for ABin5 fans who need more background on this term, see ). You folks have suggested 81% hydration ratio for King Arthur All-Purpose unbleached white flour. I’d welcome any background discussion you can offer towards what we can expect at varying hydration levels. How does it affect rising, crumb, dough longevity in the fridge, etc.? And more specifically, using K.A. A-P flour.

    I’m a scientist by nature and training so I’ve been informally playing with counter-rise times, baking temps, and convection vs non-convection. So far I haven’t reached any combination which I find gives the type of results I’m hoping for — I’ll try to elaborate a bit below, however the most everything that has come out of the oven has been worthy of eating and enjoyable.

    First, do you guys have an opinion as to whether using convection bake mode is preferable to not using it? I’ve wondered whether that detracts from the water-in-the-pan steam effect; specifically, if it dissipates the steam too much or too quickly.

    I’ve been preheating the oven and stone typically at 500 degrees Fahrenheit for at least 40 minutes, then turning the temp down to somewhere between 450 and 475 once the bread goes in. However, I still end up with the center of the loaf slightly gummy after 35 minutes of baking. I’ve also tried when possible a suggestion I think I got off this site, of cracking the door and leaving the loaf inside awhile at the end of the bake time. For what it’s worth, I try to let the bread go on full heat up to the point that the outer crust seems to be reaching a depth of color that borders on “looks like it’ll burn if left a few minutes longer..”. I’ve calibrated the oven and it’s been spot on at various temps with the thermometer I’m using, I add no less than 1 cup of water, but at times 1.5 cups at the start. I never add additional during the baking. On that last point, it’s my reasoning that it would be better to keep things humid in the beginning stage to keep the surface springy and flexible, but then the internal moisture needs more help escaping. (?)

    On the side of fore-baking, I’ve been finding that any more than an hour counter rise (in a circa 64 F degree environment) and the dough spluges out too much. Slashing seems to make it droop even worse (and is more difficult), and I get little oven rise. I presume this is due to the high hydration and perhaps lack of gluten development? (typically I’m baking from a batch of dough that’s had between two and four days time in the fridge.) If I keep the counter rise time below an hour, I can slash easily and get very respectable oven rise. But as is probably to be expected, it’s a more dense crumb. I have not yet attempted a long loaf rise in the fridge which might be the answer to some of my issues, but if I go that route (which isn’t always practical), should the loaf go straight to prepared oven or still sit for 30 minutes or so at room temp?


    1. Hi wkw,

      Thank you for the great questions, you have certainly done your research.

      The type of flours will dictate the hydration level to achieve the right consistency. The higher the protein level in the flour the more hydration is required. The dough needs to be slack enough to form gluten without kneading and yet you still want to have a dough that keeps its shape. The hydration also effects the open crumb and ability to store well for any length of time. KA A-P has a very high protein level and therefore the higher hydration.


      Undone in the center: – Are your loaves more than a pound? If so, they will require more rising time and more baking.

      What dough are you baking? It does sound like your dough may be a little too wet if an hour rise is resulting in a dough that spreads too much at 64F degrees. Have you considered baking the breads by weight?

      If you try the overnight retarded rise, I usually let the dough sit on the counter as the oven is preheating.

      Hope this helps! Zoë

  8. Hey. I just have a quick question about the dough. I left it in the fridge and used some of it…let it sit for few days (not past I forget how long you say it will last….) but anyways…there was quite an accumulation of liquid in the bottom. Is this normal? Do I just mix it in? Or was my lid too tight? I ended up just throwing the dough out since it kind of grossed me out.. Let me know what you think? LOVE the book, the bread, everything. Thanks so much.

    1. Hi Amanda,

      This is normal for a dough that has sat without being used for several days. When you use the dough and sprinkle flour over the top before reaching in for a piece, that sprinkle of flour actually feeds the yeast and prevents this liquid from forming. There is nothing wrong with your dough, but you may need to add a bit of flour and let it rest again to allow the dough to absorb the additional flour.

      Thanks! Zoë

  9. I love making bread now! King Arthur is the best flour,the store closest to me quit selling it. I have some fresh ground corn flour I want to use to make this bread sounds great.

  10. I love making the recipes from both of your books. I was in the library about 3 weeks ago and they had AB in 5 highlighted in the cookbook section. Cool! Happy Thanksgiving to you too! Bonnie

  11. this book was answer to prayers – wanted to get off the j–k bread sold in the grocery stores but was intimidated by making my own. Yummmy and my kids like it.

  12. I was wondering which breads to make for Thanksgiving, think I’ll give this one a try. Thanks and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

  13. This bread looks yummy. I will have to try it sometime but for the holiday I am giving the Panetone a try, it is rising now. Keeping my fingers crossed it comes out. Thanks for all the great recipes!

    Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!

  14. Love the 5-minute a day bread. I have recently gone gluten-free and am THRILLED with the gluten free boule’. Haven’t seen the King Arthur GF flour yet in my local stores. Please enter me in the King Arthur contest. Thanks, Valerie

  15. A Danish Whisk would really help with the mixing! Need to get home so I can mix up another batch so we have fresh bread this week – what a pleasure to both smell and eat bread after a long day.

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