Recipes

Cranberry swirl loaf

Moist and soft sourdough cranberry swirl loaf

The stores are starting to fill with cranberries around Thanksgiving and Christmas. I love fresh picked cranberries. The types of cranberries growing in Slovakia are slightly different, they are smaller and you can find them mainly up in the mountains. But I found that cranberries here are really delicious too. The combination of the sweet and sour is just perfect for any Fall or Winter dessert.

The social media are bursting with cranberry desserts during this time of the year. Cranberry tart? Yes. Cranberry quick bread? Sure. Cranberry swirl loaf? Even better. And what if it’s sourdough cranberry swirl loaf? Perfect.

I used my recipe for sourdough babka. For a Christmassy style I prepared the filling as a cranberry sauce with honey, pumpkin spice and chopped walnuts (but you can use chopped pecans too). All topped with vanilla cream cheese glaze. So you can make a traditional babka loaf, or like me this time, put it in the  bundt cake pan.

Smells like Christmas

Ingredients for the dough (2pcs. 6cup bundt cake):
100g active wheat sourdough starter (100% hydration, bread/strong wheat flour)
220g bread/strong flour
230g all purpose flour
80g sugar
45g egg (1 egg size M)
20g egg yolk (1 egg yolk, size M)
220ml milk
50g butter
8g salt
5ml (1tsp) lemon extract
5ml (1tsp) vanilla extract

Ingredients for the filling:
200g fresh cranberries
100g sugar
100ml water
30g honey
30g butter
10g cornstarch
4g (1tsp) pumpkin spice
5ml (1tsp) lemon extract
5ml (1tsp) vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
60g chopped walnuts

Ingredients for the glaze:
90g cream cheese
30g butter
40g powdered sugar
5ml (1tsp) vanilla extract
40g (5tbsp) milk

Butter for greasing the pans
Fresh cranberries for decoration

Instructions:
Mix the starter, flours, egg, egg yolk, sugar, salt and all the extracts lightly and add melted butter mixed with milk gradually. Knead until the dough is smooth, passes the window test and the dough is soft and elastic. Cover the bowl with cloth or cling wrap. Leave it to rise until doubled at RT or in this phase you can put it in the fridge or a cool place overnight.
Meanwhile you can make the filling: in the pan mix the washed cranberries, water, sugar, honey and cornstarch and put it on medium heat. Mix and cook until the berries are soft and the mixture starts to thicken. Then remove from heat and whisk softened butter and the rest of the ingredients into it. Let it cool completely.

When the dough is doubled, punch it down, divide it into a halves. Roll each piece into a 20x40cm (7,85×15,75in) rectangle. Spread half of the cooled filling onto the rolled dough and sprinkle with a half of the chopped walnuts. Roll the dough to make a log. Start on the longer side, so the log is 40cm (15,75in) long. Grease the bundt cake pans with butter and put the log inside. Repeat with the other half of the dough, filling and the walnuts. Let them rise again and then bake. Bake in a preheated oven at 205°C (400°F) for 10 minutes and then lower the temperature and bake at 180°C (355°F). Bake another 20 minutes until golden and the internal temperature reaches 89°C (192°F). Let them cool.

Prepare the glaze by whisking all the ingredients, it’s good to sift the powdered sugar and all the ingredients should be at room temperature to prevent any lumps. The glaze should be silky smooth, not too thick, but not too runny either. You should be able to spread it easily with a spoon over the cakes and it should stay on top and not soak into the cakes. Decorate with the washed and dried fresh cranberries as the perfect final touch. Enjoy!

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