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Orange Rye Sourdough w/Cranberries

I am home from my holiday vacation and I am so happy to be able to bake in my own kitchen again! I was craving a dense, moist rye bread with something new to it. So I decided to blenderize a whole orange and add it to the dough. I also added some dried fruit to the dough.I am happy with the outcome… as it certainly produced a moist flavorful rye bread, studded with dried cranberries and raisins. It was just what I was looking for… a great sour rye that was perfect in the morning with my coffee, especially when the thick, moist, chewy slice was slathered with cream cheese.

Orange Rye Sourdough

This will produce 4 lbs 6 oz of dough/1993g at 71% hydration (doesn’t feel like 71% because of the wholegrains)

In the evening add to your blender:

  • 8 oz/226g water
  • One washed whole (skin and all) large orange (mine weighed 13.5 oz/382g) sliced into smaller chunks

Blend on a lower speed for 15 – 20 seconds just until a pulpy mess but with discernible bits of orange still visible.


Place the orange pulp into a large mixing bowl and then add:

  • Rye flour- 10 oz/283g ( I used my own ground rye which would be a dark rye flour)
  • Any Sourdough Starter @ 100% (which was fed that morning) -6 oz/170g
  • Salt – .4 oz/11g

Stir this all together and then cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it set at room temperature overnight.

In the morning, to your preferment add:

  • Water- 5 oz/141g
  • Dark Malt Syrup-1 oz/28g
  • Salt-.4 oz/11g
  • Whole Wheat flour- 10 oz/283g
  • Bread Flour- 16 oz/453g

Knead this dough for about 5 minutes without adding any more flour. It will be sticky, just use your scraper and keep scraping excess dough off the working surface and add it back to your dough.

After kneading, place the dough back into a clean bowl and cover it with plastic wrap. Allow the dough to ferment for four hours in a warm place, folding the dough at least three times during the bulk ferment. I floated the bowl containing the dough in a sink with hot water to keep the dough warm (water was 115- 120F) I added hot water once in a while to keep the water warm. You can also use my microwave or dishwasher method of keeping the dough warm (see my book at:

After four hours, divide the dough into two or three pieces (two pieces for two large loaves, three for three small loaves) and then add about 2 oz/56g of dried fruit ( I added dried cranberries to two loaves and cranberries and raisins to one loaf).

Knead in the dried fruit the best you can and then allow the dough to rest for 15-20 minutes(I covered the dough with a moist cloth). After the rest period, shape one loaf and place in a banneton. Keep dough covered at all times with a moist cloth. After 40 minutes, shape the next loaf and so on with all of the loaves. This staggers the loaves so they are not all ready to bake at the same time.

Allow the loaves to final proof. This took three hours for my loaves. Then bake with a preheated oven and baking stone at 425F, using the roasting pan method of baking (see it here: Do not spray too heavily as the rye is somewhat fragile and will tear more easily if too wet during oven spring. (Yep, I forgot that and my first loaf had a few tears)

Also, use this timing instead: Bake with the lid for 20 minutes then with the lid off for 15 – 20 minute or until you obtain a deep rich color and the loaf sounds hollow when you tap it on the bottom. I allowed the bread to cool for one half hour, then I wrapped each loaf in a tea cloth and put it into a plastic bag. This was to obtain a softer, moist, chewy crust and hold in more moisture.

Orange Rye with cranberries and raisins:

Orange Rye with dried cranberries:

Let the bread set until completely cool to allow it to develop full flavor.  Serve with lots of fresh butter and/or cream cheese.

This will be sent to Susan at Yeastspotting. Susan is always baking up something wonderful, see what she’s baking at: Wild Yeast

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  1. Patty Patty
    January 21, 2011    


  2. January 21, 2011    

    Your bread looks amazing. I am a real fan of any bread made with fruit.

  3. January 22, 2011    

    Delicious! And gorgeous too. I love rye bread, cranberry bread and sourdough bread so all three together? Wow!

  4. bread lover bread lover
    February 4, 2011    

    Nice loaves. I have a question: you listed salt in both – preferment and the final dough. Is it a typo or not?

    • northwestsourdough northwestsourdough
      February 4, 2011    

      Not a typo, the salt helps the preferment not to overferment. It is adjusted in the final recipe so it is just right when your dough is done.

  5. Sam Sam
    March 3, 2011    

    Hi Terese,

    I baked 2 loaves of this Orange Rye with Cranberries. They came out very very good. Thanks.
    Quick question: I am contemplating buying a WonderMill for fresh flours. Do they made really big difference with the end products.

    Sam from Nipomo

  6. northwestsourdough northwestsourdough
    March 4, 2011    

    I like the fresh flour better, although I do age it anyway. You know exactly what is in the flour and exactly how old it is. Hey, are you near Arroyo Grande? I grew up there.

    • Nipomo Sam Nipomo Sam
      March 4, 2011    

      Yes. I have been following your travels and I went to SLO Splash Cafe last week. Their chiabatta salmon sandwich is wonderful. I’ve been to the one in Pismo many times. Great chowder!!!

  7. Molly Molly
    December 4, 2011    

    This looks so amazing and exactly what I am looking for. I have a question, though: If I just want to make one loaf, do you have the measurements for me at all? If not, I can just try to cut everything in 1/3’s. Thank you.

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