Cranberry Oat Sourdough Bread

Hello, friends! Today I’m sharing the recipe for a beautifully soft, and mildly sweet cranberry oat sourdough loaf. I’m sitting here, munching on a slice of it as I write down the recipe and instructions and I’m feeling pretty convinced that 1) I should eat whatever foods that I’m writing about while I write way more often!! And 2) that if you make sourdough – you need to make this recipe! 

I have to admit – I’ve never been a huge fan of cranberry things. I normally skip the cranberry sauce at Thanksgiving, and the only cranberries that you’ll find me eating through the year are those dried craisins, which I love to put in my salads! Otherwise I don’t really care for it. Well, after making this bread you can add “Cranberry Oat Sourdough Bread” to the list of things that I will always love to eat cranberries in! 

So what changed my mind? Well, I think for one it’s the fact that these are fresh cranberries. They’re lightly cooked and sweetened, not OVER-sweetened and neither are they overly cooked! So they still taste fresh, and there is a twinge of tartness in each bite, but sweetness at the same time. 


The other thing I love about this bread is that it’s home-ground, 100% whole wheat but still deliciously soft. If you’ve read any of my other bread recipes, you might know that whole wheat flour absorbs more water than white, all-purpose flour. Can you swap it out and use white, all-purpose flour instead? Absolutely! So if you use this recipe with all-purpose flour, everything should stay the same except that you may need to add a bit more flour when you fold & stretch the dough to make it easier to handle and not too sticky. It will probably be about 1/8th to ¼ cup more flour, but make sure you add it slowly! 


Finally, note that this is sourdough bread! You’ll want to make sure you feed your starter with flour and water the day before, to make sure it is bubbly and active when you incorporate it into your dough. This is a necessary step for all sourdough bread! If you don’t have a starter and want to make your own from scratch you can take a look at my recipe and instructions for how to make your own starter here. 

Another thing you’ll want to know how to do (if you’re new to sourdough) is how to stretch and fold the bread! It’s a very simple technique, and very easy to do! See the video below for how to do this method, or click the link here.


  • Electric mixer with dough hook (not necessary, but makes it easier) 
  • Banneton basket (or a medium sized bowl) 
  • Parchment paper
  • Cooking spray 
  • Scoring razor (highly recommended!) 
  • Dutch oven 
Prep Time 10 Hrs
Cook Time 45 Min
Total Time 10 HRS 45 MIN

**Note: This recipe yields one medium sized loaf of bread. Double or triple the recipe to make 2-3 large loaves!


For the bread: 

  • 1 cup active sourdough starter, 80% hydration 
  • 1 cup warm water **110 degrees F is just about perfect! 
  • 3 cups of whole wheat flour **you can use all-purpose flour in this recipe but may need to add ⅛ to ¼ cup more if it’s too sticky to handle. 
  • 1 Tsp salt 
  • ¼ cup honey 

For the cranberry add-in: 

  • 1/2 cup white sugar 
  • 1 1/2 cups of fresh cranberries, washed
  • 1 Tbsp water  

For the topping: 

  • 1 cup rolled oats 


Mix together your active sourdough starter, warm water, salt and honey. Then slowly mix in the flour using an electric mixer with a dough hook. Mix until the dough just comes together and starts to leave the sides of the bowl, then cover with a wet tea towel and let sit for 30 minutes. The dough will be very sticky. 

Once the 30 minutes is up, knead using a dough hook in the electric mixer on medium speed, for 5-7 minutes. The dough should feel slightly less sticky, and should completely come away from the sides of the bowl as it is being kneaded. 

Remove the dough hook, cover once again with a wet tea towel and let rise in a warm place for 6-8 hours. (Temperature will affect the dough’s ability to rise so if it is cold in your home, I recommend setting the oven to 200 degrees F., letting it run for a 10 minutes or so and then turning it off and placing the covered dough bowl on top of the oven. It will catch some of the warmth as the oven is cooling). 

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan heat the sugar, cranberries and water on medium heat. Cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, stirring frequently for 3-5 minutes. Turn the heat to low and cook for another 3-5 minutes, until the juices start to come out of the cranberries and a bubbly paste begins to form. Don’t cook the cranberries too long because they will start to lose their shape and you will start to make jam – and you don’t want that! You want that gelatinous, sweet juice but you also want the cranberries to mostly maintain their shape. Once done cooking, remove from heat and set aside. 

When the dough has risen for 6-8 hours (it should have doubled in size, or close to it), pour out the dough onto a floured surface. 

Stretch and fold the dough 3 times, then begin incorporating the cranberries and do 3 more stretch and folds so that the cranberries and juice is hidden completely in the dough. See the video above for an example of how to stretch and fold bread, or see the picture below for an example.

Spray a piece of parchment paper with cooking spray, and place it into a banneton basket (or any medium sized bowl will work). Set aside. 

Once complete, pinch the bottom of the dough together and carefully roll the top of the dough onto a plate of oats. Flip the dough over and place into the banneton basket, with the top facing upwards. 

Place a dutch oven in the oven and set the heat to 500 degrees F. Meanwhile, place the dough in the refrigerator uncovered for 1 hr while the oven and pan are heating up. 

Once 1 hr is completed, lift the bread out using the parchment paper, and using a scoring razor, slice straight down the middle, at a slight angle then place the bread into the dutch oven. Place the lid back on and put it into the oven, turning the heat down to 450 degrees. 

Allow the bread to cook for 20 minutes, then remove the lid from the dutch oven and continue to cook for 20-25 more minutes. 

Remove from heat, allow the bread to cool and enjoy warm or toasted with butter! 

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