Elevate your sandwiches with this delicious whole wheat cranberry bread. This bread is chewy, fluffy and airy, packed with dried cranberries and seeds, and has a perfect crunchy crust topped with oats and more seeds. And you just need to spend about 15 minutes of actual work to prep the dough. SO easy.
If you are new here, then you won't know that we bake bread almost every single week. Last week it was easy challah bread, the week before that it was fruit and nut sourdough bread, and the list goes on (browse all our bread recipes). There are a few reasons why we love to make bread like this cranberry whole wheat bread. First, there is just something about the process of making bread that is so therapeutic. Second, you can enjoy a different loaf of bread every time as the options for flavours and textures are endless. And third, don't get me started on the scent of a freshly baked loaf of bread. We all know nothing beats that.
- active dry yeast
- milk + butter
- flour - a 60/40 combination of all purpose white flour and whole wheat flour. You can also use 400 grams of a 60/40 flour blend instead of combining the two types of flour yourself.
- rolled oats
- dried cranberries
- seeds - flaxseeds, white sesame seeds, and poppy seeds.
- egg - for egg wash on top and to help the oats and poppy seeds stick to the crust.
How to Make the Best Whole Wheat Cranberry Bread
Prepare the Dough:
In a small cup, whisk to combine yeast, milk, butter and sugar. Let it sit for 5 minutes to activate the yeast.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk to combine all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, ⅓ cup oats, cranberries, flaxseeds, sesame seeds and salt. Pour in the yeast mixture, and stir with a silicone spatula to combine until it forms a shaggy dough, scraping down the sides of the bowl (there should be no dry flour particles visible).
Transfer the dough onto a clean surface and knead for 5 minutes until it turns into a smooth dough ball. Because of the medium hydration (60% flour to liquid ratio) and high fat content (butter and milk), the dough is much softer and is easy to knead into a smooth ball.
Drizzle and spread a little bit of oil over the dough with your hands to help prevent it from drying out. Cover the bowl with plastic cling wrap and let it sit at room temperature for up to 2 hours or until doubled in size.
Shape the Dough:
Transfer the dough onto a lightly oiled surface. Flatten the dough into 9x5-inch rectangle and roll it into a log. Pinch the edges together to seal.
Then, transfer the rolled dough into a 9x5 loaf pan (or 1.5 lb. loaf pan) and press it down with your palm to spread cover the entire pan. This also helps distribute air bubbles evenly in dough when it rises. Set it aside to rise until the loaf almost rises to the rim of the pan, about 1-1.5 hours.
Add Toppings and Bake:
Gently brush egg wash over the top crust (be gentle with brushing since the loaf is filled with air bubbles). Sprinkle the top with the remaining oats and poppy seeds, and bake in a 400 F preheated oven for 40 minutes until the top crust turns golden brown.
Allow the whole wheat cranberry bread to cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then remove out of the pan and cool completely on a wire cooling rack before slicing, about 1 hour.
How to Store and Freeze Whole Wheat Cranberry Bread
- How to store: This bread will last for up to 2 days at room temperature. Cover it or store in a bread box so that it does not dry out. You can also store in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
- How to freeze: Wrap the bread tightly in plastic cling wrap and place into an airtight container or freezer bag, and store in the freezer for up to 3 months. If freezing, I would recommend slicing the bread first so that it is easy to reheat a slice or two at a time.
- How to reheat: Toast frozen slices in the toaster on the freezer setting, or let the bread thaw to to room temperature first and then reheat in the toaster, oven or air fryer.
More Bread Recipes
- Small Batch No-Knead Bread
- No Knead French Baguettes
- Easy Small Batch Ciabatta Rolls
- Homemade Sunflower Seed Bread
- Easy Homemade Everything Bagels
- Easy Challah Bread
Did you make this recipe? I would greatly appreciate a comment and rating below, letting me know what you thought of the recipe. You can also snap a picture and tag me on Instagram @aheadofthyme or share it on the Pinterest pin so that I can follow along.