Crusty Apple Cranberry Dutch Oven Bread
leave a comment Last update: November 1, 2020 The cooler weather calls for comforting scents and flavors. This crisp apple and cranberry bread made in a Dutch oven is delicious and perfect toasted with a little butter.Since making more bread this year - and not just sourdough - I've tried many recipes to see which […]

The cooler weather calls for comforting scents and flavors. This crisp apple and cranberry bread made in a Dutch oven is delicious and perfect toasted with a little butter.

Loaf of whole wheat bread partially cut into slices on cutting board with reading text "Crispy Dutch Bread with Apple and Cranberries"

Since making more bread this year - and not just sourdough - I've tried many recipes to see which one I like best. For a while, I made almost exclusively whole wheat bread in my bread maker (it's so handy!). But I bought a vintage dutch oven and thought I would try crispy whole wheat!

I fell on More daring pastries Recipe with 5 ingredients, and it's so good! I made a few times, and even experimented with toppings, so Corey could have sandwich bread while I ate a snack bread. LOL. Then I took it in a slightly different direction in terms of procedure and measurements and just had to share this Apple Cranberry version with you!

Flours, apples, pecans, craisins, water and more, in ramekins on a cutting board

Do I need a casserole dish for this?

Ideally, yes. I think you get the best result in the dutch oven because of the way it retains heat. BUT, as Gemma's (BBB) ​​recipe shows, it can certainly be done on a baking sheet. You will just need to adjust the cooking temperature to 400F and pay attention to the cooking time, although it is similar. And it will probably be a loaf lower and wider than if it were baked in the Dutch oven.

Now my dutch oven (well the one I used here) is oval shaped so I shaped my bread a little more oblong. If you have a circular dutch oven, the shape of your end should look more like a ball, but the baking times are about the same. Ultimately, your crust should be nice and brown, and the inside temperature of the bread should be at least 190F.

Image collage of whole wheat bread dough base manufacturing process

Substitutions of ingredients + tips

Note: I haven't tried all of these subs, but these suggestions are based on my experience.

  • Whole wheat flour - I feel like most coarse whole grain flours will work great here, you will just have to be careful with hydration and use less or add more water as needed.
  • Unbleached all-purpose flour - bread flour will also work.
  • Instant yeast - you can also activate the dry yeast, but you must be careful about the amount and the rising times. Epicurious has a full article on how to replace yeast.
  • Agave nectar - maple syrup or cane sugar also work. But certainly don't leave it out, because yeast won't grow the same without it.
  • Apples - I use pink / yellow apples like fuji and gala (my favorites), but you can work with your favorite apple. Slightly firm pears will also work for this!
  • pecan nuts - if you avoid nuts, simply replace them with sunflower or pumpkin seeds. If you don't avoid nuts but don't have pecans, nuts will work too.
  • Dried cranberries - any small dried fruit will also be delicious, but I think dark or golden raisins will work best if you don't have craisins.
  • Cane sugar - as it is used in the filling, you can use coconut, light brown or turbinado sugar if you wish.
Collage of images of folding apples, fruits and nuts into whole wheat paste

Service ideas

Now, I like to make it simple with this one-slice toast and spread some vegan butter on it. Really, so good. But, it's also excellent with almond or peanut butter, a pinch of cinnamon, and thinly sliced ​​apples. This combo makes a well-balanced breakfast toast!

Other slightly original ideas for this bread would be to make French toast, or maybe cubed and broiled to add to a autumn salad, à la panzanella!

Crispy loaf of whole wheat bread partially sliced ​​on a cutting board


  • 2 cups (273 g) whole wheat flour
  • 2 cups (277 g) all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons of sea salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups (355 mL) lukewarm water (less than 105F)
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) agave nectar
  • 1 tablespoon (15 g) cane sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup (118 g) diced pink / yellow apples, like gala or fuji
  • 1/2 cup (60 g) dried cranberries
  • 1/2 cup (55 g) diced pecans


  1. In a large mixing bowl, combine whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt and instant baking powder until well combined. Then whisk the lukewarm water and agave nectar until the agave dissolves, then add it to the flour mixture.
  2. Knead by hand for about 2 minutes, until no more dry pockets are present and the dough pulls the extra clean flour from the sides of the bowl. On the first kneading, the mixture will feel a bit dry, but will become more sticky when you knead. Cover the bowl with a large plate, silicone lid, etc. and store it in a warm place for the first fermentation.
  3. For that, if my cooking is lower than 75F (24C), I turn on the light of my oven and put the bowl in it (the temperature is usually 80F or 27C), to speed up the rise. Once the bread has doubled in size, which will take 6-10 hours depending on the temperature, remove the coating.
  4. Sprinkle flour on your countertop and expel the air from the dough. Fold the dough over itself several times, then roll it out about 10 x 12 inches (25 x 30 cm). Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon on top, then spread the apples, cranberries and pecans over the surface, evenly distributed.
  5. Roll the dough firmly, starting with a 10 inch (25 cm) side, then roll the tube into a spiral, shaping it into a ball or oval shape as shown in the photos. The shape will depend on the shape of your casserole dish. Line a very large bowl or deep baking dish with parchment paper and place the shaped dough in it for the second rising.
  6. Again, store in a warm place with something on top, and let rise until doubled in size again - about 60 to 90 minutes. In the last 20 minutes of the rise, preheat your oven to 425F (218C or gas 7), with the casserole dish inside.
  7. Once risen, mark a line down the middle of the bread to allow for expansion, then gently lift the bread out of the fermentation vessel by the parchment paper and place it in your Dutch oven. Cover with the lid and bake for 25 minutes, then remove the lid and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, or until the mixture is golden brown and has an internal temperature of at least 190F (90C) .
  8. Once the bread is done, remove it from the Dutch oven and place it on a cooling rack. Avoid slicing it until it has reached room temperature (this may take a few hours). Once cooled, store at room temperature, in a bag for up to 4 days, or in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. You can also freeze half of it for later (in an airtight bag) if needed!


  • Unbleached all purpose flour - bread flour will work too.
  • Instant yeast - you can activate dry yeast as well, but you need to be aware of the amount and the rising times.
  • Agave nectar - maple syrup or cane sugar will also work. But certainly don't leave it out, because yeast won't grow the same without it.
  • Apples - I use pink / yellow apples like fuji and gala (my favorites), but you can work with your favorite apple. Slightly firm pears will also work for this!
  • Pecans - if you are avoiding nuts, simply replace them with sunflower or pumpkin seeds.
  • Cane sugar - because it's used in the filling, you can use coconut, light brown, or turbinado sugar if you prefer.

Nutritional information:
Yield: 14 Portion: 1
Amount per serving:Calories: 156Total fat: 0gSaturated fat: 0gTrans fat: 0gUnsaturated fats: 0gCholesterol: 0 mgSodium: 191 mgCarbohydrates: 34 gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 4g

Nutritional information is calculated by a plug-in and is not always accurate. Please calculate yours with the products you use, as it will be different for everyone.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram

Crispy loaf of whole wheat bread partially sliced ​​on a cutting board

Oh, and happy November everyone! <3>

It’s easy to be cynical about the idea of New Year’s resolutions, but there is a lot of undeniable and powerful energy surrounding the idea of change at this time of year. For many of us, that change starts in the kitchen.

Maybe it means resolving to cook at home more often, to keep a well-stocked freezer and pantry, to waste less, or to make slightly more wholesome choices. Maybe, for you, this is the year in which you’d like to give veganism ( or vegetarianism ) a try.

Whether you’re trying to dip your toes slowly into the world of plant-based eating, or you’re ready to make a total shift, it can be helpful to keep a few things in mind.

Some people go vegan overnight, and they never look back. But for many others, a slow transition is more sustainable ( and pleasurable ) than a 180-degree turn. If the idea of going vegan feels daunting, start with a couple of small steps, like a Meatless Monday challenge at home, or switching one of your daily meals to a meatless and dairy-free option. ( You’d be surprised at how easy it is to trade your turkey sandwich for hummus, tempeh bacon, and avocado ).

I’m quick to say that vegan food is just food. While there are a couple of secret weapon ingredients to have on your radar ( nutritional yeast, I’m lookin’ at you ), for the most part a saine appetite for céréales, beans, and produce is all you really need to get started. With that said, any dietary shift can be tricky, and veganism is no exception. So, before you get started, take just a little time to go over the basics of plant-based nutrition. Find a useful, all-in-one resource, like Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina’s Becoming Vegan, or Ginny Messina and Jack Norris’ Vegan For Life. At some point, someone will ask you where you get your protein ( or your iron, or your calcium ), and while you could laugh the question off, it’s a lot more powerful to supply a quick, confident answer.

Going vegan expanded my palate dramatically : I learned about all sorts of global cuisines, warmed up to my spice rack, and tried ingredients I’d never considered before. But my culinary repertoire was pretty meager when I made the switch. If you already have some culinary experience, don’t assume that you’ll need to acquire an entirely new bag of tricks to eat vegan or vegetarian.

In fact, one really useful place to start is by looking at some of your favorite dinner recipes and thinking about how you might adapt them to be meatless and/or dairy-free. It may be as simple as removing some cheese ( or replacing it with cashew cheese ). It may mean trading the central protein for beans, soy foods, or even a hearty vegetable, like mushrooms.

Until I went vegan, I had never tried tempeh, soba noodles, kimchi, kabocha squash, nutritional yeast, millet, mulberries, or buckwheat…and the list goes on. Becoming vegan encouraged me to explore new ingredients, and it also introduced me to more global dishes.

A great many dietary traditions around the world are already plant-based, which means that vegans and vegetarians have many rich, exciting culinary folklores to draw upon. If you’re new to plant-based cooking, explore meatless dishes and recipes from other parts of the world ( Indian, Ethiopian, and Middle Eastern dishes are some of my personal préférés ). Dust off your spice rack and add new flavors to your food. Use your transition to plant-based eating as an excuse to try new grains, legumes, and vegetables.

A lot of folks assume that adapting a recipe to be vegan means replacing the meat or poultry with a faux meat, a block of tofu, or tempeh. That’s cool, but it can also be fun to think creatively and imaginatively about how to capture the essence of a traditional recipe without animal protein. No, lentil Bolognese isn’t really Bolognese, but it does capture the heartiness of the original; cashew banana yogurt is a far cry from dairy, but it does evoke the same, sweet creaminess.

Many people are surprised by how easy it is to go meatless. Cheese, on the other hand, is a different story. I myself used to utter the same words I hear constantly from readers, friends, and nutrition clients : ' I’d love to go vegan, but I can’t give up cheese. '

While I won’t pretend that giving up dairy is easy—it’s not, especially because it’s so ubiquitous in restaurant dishes—I will say that I had a much easier time living without it when I learned to make my own substitutes. Store-bought soy and almond cheeses weren’t cutting it ( especially nine years ago, when the options were limited ), and soy creamers and yogurts left me feeling equally flat. Making my first batch of cashew cheese—which authentically captured the tanginess and matière of goat cheese—was a revelation. Homemade nut milk let me create creamy porridge and muesli far more authentically than did store-bought, non-dairy milk.

Over time, I’ve experimented with tofu paneer, tofu feta, and cashew yogurt, and the list is growing. Homemade dairy substitutes are creative, fun, and cost-effective, and I think they’re a big step up from what you can find in the store.

While I’m the first to point out that vegan proteins extend far beyond soy foods—encompassing tonalités of different céréales, legumes, nuts, and seeds—you really can’t beat tofu and tempeh for ' meaty ' matière and complete protein in meatless dishes. Both ingredients can be either memorable or mundane, depending on how you prepare them. I definitely recommend pressing tofu if you’re not already in the habit; it’ll create a firmer, more toothsome matière that most people prefer.

When preparing tempeh, be sure to use a boldly flavored marinade or sauce to help balance tempeh’s earthy taste, and if you find it bitter, you can steam it before marinating, too.

For the most part, I try to feature whole foods and homemade ingredients in my cooking. But in spite of the fact that I love to create my own dairy substitutes and I’d usually rather eat a scoop of lentils than a block of faux meat, I don’t eschew vegan products, and I think that keeping an open mind about them can really enrich the authenticity of your food.

This is especially important when you’re transitioning and vegan cooking still feels like a brave new world. Nine times out of ten, I’ll opt to use cashew cheese in a recipe rather than Daiya ( a melty, commercial vegan cheese ) ; coconut oil in place of Earth Balance ( vegan butter ) ; or grilled tofu in place of Beyond Chicken ( grilled strips of soy and pea protein that taste shockingly like chicken ).

But when I’m aiming for totally authentic, precise results, vegan substitute products can go a long way, and it’s comforting to know that they’re an option if I feel like taking a shortcut.

Over time, I learned to create vegan food with greater sensitivity to others’ tastes and traditions. I love a lot of really crunchy fare, from the aforementioned raw kale salad to tofu, sprouts, and grain bowls. And I know a lot of other folks who love these dishes, too. But sometimes being an ambassador of vegan food means knowing how to create dishes that feel familiar and appeal to a wide array of more conservative palates, like vegan lasagna, shepherd’s pie, or sloppy Joes.

And, if you’re trying to dispel the idea that all végétaliens eat is salad and prove that vegan food can be filling and hearty, then it’s all the more important to create dishes that evoke a sense of comfort.

Change feels a lot less daunting when you have company. If your family and friends aren’t exploring veganism along with you, then find community in other ways. Explore a vegan meetup or potluck in your community. Become a regular commenter on vegan food blogs. If you do have a friend who’s interested in plant-based cooking, convie him or her over for some recipe testing.

Studies show that failure to stick with a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle is often attributed to feeling ' different ' or isolated. Food is all about community and sharing, so do your best to share this lifestyle with people you care about—even if they’re not making the change along with you.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *