Cranberry Pepita Artisan Bread

Dr. JJ’s Cranberry Pumpkin Seed Artisan Bread

The simplicity of this recipe is in the proportions!  You can use any combination of flours (although I recommend that for a tender, lighter bread, you use at least half all purpose flour), AND you have the option of adding any toasted nuts or  seeds, and any dried fruit (larger fruit will need to be chopped to more bite size pieces).

The proportion of flour:water:starter is 2:1:1

Sea Salt : 2 tsp for every 1000g of bread dough

Seeds or nuts: 1 cup for every 1000g of bread dough

Dried Fruit:  1 cup for every 1000 g of bread dough

If you are using rye flour, add 2 TB molasses to your water/loaf – it gives the bread a deeper color and flavor.

Ingredients: (makes 1000g dough, producing one large artisan loaf)

500g flour (I used 100 g whole wheat, 50g rye and 350g all purpose)

250 g water

250 g starter***(you can use your own sourdough starter, or the one below, which will produce a less sour, but very flavorful bread)

2 tsp (20g) fine sea salt

½ tsp dry active yeast

2 TB molasses

1 cup dried cranberries

1 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (can be purchased or recycled from your Halloween pumpkin)

Large bowl, sprayed with neutral oil (like canola or grapeseed)

Clean large cotton napkin or thin cotton dishtowel

Cast iron pot and lid (or heavy metal casserole and lid)

Food scale

Rice flour


·      Put the flour, water, molasses, yeast and starter in the bowl of a stand mixer and mix on medium low until dough pulls together (about 2-3 minutes).

·      Add salt, and mix on low speed for 15 minutes. 

·      Stop machine and add cranberries and pumpkin seeds, and mix for another 3-5 minutes to incorporate. 

·      Turn dough out onto lightly floured counter.  Pat into a rectangle, and fold sides over into thirds.  Rotate bread 90 degrees, pat and fold into thirds again.

·      Place into oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rest for an hour.

·      Turn rested dough out onto a lightly floured counter, and repeat the patting and folding steps.

·      Then, starting at the edge of the dough, grab the dough, bring into the center, and while rotating the bread, eventually all the edges meet in the middle.

·      Prepare a large bowl by lining with a flour sack towel or large cotton napkin, dredge bottom with rice flour, turn over the shaped loaf so seams are down, and place in the bowl. 

·      Dredge top of loaf with more rice flour and cover and put in a warm place and set a timer for 2 hours.

·      When the timer rings, put on your oven to 475, and heat up either a cast iron pot and lid, or heavy stainless pot and lid for an hour.

·      Prior to baking score the top of the loaf with a razor blade or tip of a sharp knife. 

·      Place the loaf seam sides down into the hot pot, cover and bake in preheated oven for 24 minutes.  Remove the cover and bake for an additional 22-24 minutes, until internal temperature is 210 degrees, or crust is deep mahogany brown, and remove from oven.  Cool the loaf for at least an hour, if you can last that long!

Enjoy! And serve with Roasted Pumpkin Butter

***Home-made Starter

The night before baking your bread put in a large bowl:

3 cups all purpose flour

3 cups warm water

1 tsp active dry yeast

Mix well and cover with saran wrap.  Leave in the warmest place in your kitchen overnight. Make sure the bowl is large enough that if the mixture doubles, you won’t have a mess!

You will have starter left over.  You can freeze what you have, or continue to feed it daily with ½ cup water, ½ cup flour, cover again, and over time bubbles and a sour smell will evolve to make it truly a sourdough starter.  Share the excess with friends.  If you need to put your starter to sleep, put it covered in the refrigerator or freeze it.  To wake it up, set out overnight (pour off any liquid on top) and re-feed, cover, and it should be bubbly and ready by morning.

Dr. JJ’s Roasted Pumpkin Butter – delicious AND nutritious!


2 cups pumpkin meat cubed, peeled, seeds removed (or can substitute butternut squash or other winter squash)

1 tsp pumpkin pie spice

¼ cup maple syrup

¼ tsp (pinch) salt

2-3 TB lemon, pomegranate or orange


·      Lightly oil a sheet pan and place cubed pumpkin on it. 

·      Roast at 350 degrees until fork tender (about 20-30 minutes). Let cool.

·      Place cooled, cooked pumpkin in a food processor, add pumpkin pie spice, maple syrup, a pinch of salt and 1 tablespoon of the juice.  Puree until smooth, and adjust the taste by adding more lemon, pomegranate or orange juice until perfect for you.  Cover and refrigerate until used.

To serve:

·      Spread a generous amount of pumpkin butter onto a slice of Cranberry Pumpkin Seed bread. 

·      If desired, top with a dollop of ricotta or cream cheese, drizzle with maple syrup and top with pomegranate or pumpkin seeds.