DRIED CRANBERRY & WALNUT BREAD from Ottolenghi for BBD, with Roasted Bell Pepper Pasta

“Bread is the warmest, kindest of all words. Write it always with a capital letter, like your own name.”
…from a café sign

Yay…finally managed to bake bread. No mean task these days. We live in the so called millennium city, but have suffered unannounced power outages this winter from 4 hours to 6 hours daily, sometimes even more. It’s bad enough for a daily routine, but spells desperate times for the baker in me.
But bread I had to bake for Jamie who is hosting Zorra of Kochtopf’s Bread Baking Day #26. Bake something special for Jamie’s special BBD theme –“Baking Bread for a Birthday Party”! How could I go to her birthday empty handed? So began the search for a suitable bread!

Didn’t have to look far because my current obsession made me reach out for Ottolenghi… a book that is possibly the best & most used one that I own. The fact that Jamie also has the same book, adds to the connect. {Add Hilda & Meeta to this explosive package, & you have the Ottelenghi sistah’s!! YAY}.

My attention was held by the Sour Cherry & Walnut Stick. I just had to make this. The pictures in the book are moreish. Bread that called my name because it looked so artisanal. Fitted in with my ‘Ten in 10′ resolution too… as it had healthy flours in it! Of course we have very limited flour varieities available here, so I substituted a bit here & there. Was thrilled to see buckwheat flour in the ingredients. I had buckwheat!! Yippee…
The Ottolenghi bread is much darker in the picture cause they use country brown flour. I used a combination of all purpose, whole wheat and buckwheat flours. Didn’t have sour cherries so used dried cranberries instead. The bread was wonderful. I made it over a 2 day period. Did the first rise & kept it in the fridge overnight to get a quick start the next morning. Worked fine, though I think warmer weather will give me a lighter, more airier crumb & texture. Can’t wait to try it again!
It tasted like an artisanal bread, full of deep wonderful flavours, the sweetness of the cranberries coming out beautifully with the nutty walnut. Also tasted quite like the artisan bread Jamie & I had with our sweet potato soup at The Natural Kitchen in London. I knew she was going to love this bread…so here it is for her, with flowers!! Happy Birthday twin sistah!

Dried Cranberry & Walnut Stick
adapted from Sour Cherry & Walnut Stick, Ottolenghi – The Cookbook
160ml lukewarm water (not more than 30C; I used a little extra)
2 1/4 tsp tightly packed fresh yeast (or 1 1/2 tsp active dried)
1 tbsp olive oil
40ml orange juice (from about 1 large orange)
200gm plain flour
50gm whole wheat flour
65g buckwheat flour
1 tsp salt
50g dried cranberries (or sour cherries)
50 gms walnuts, roughly broken up into pieces
Oil to oil bowl


Put the yeast into the warm water & stand for 10 minutes, then add the orange juice, olive oil & salt. Stir to mix well.
Mix the flours together in a big bowl, and knead with yeast mixture for 8-10 minutes into a smooth and silky dough, adding a little more water if required. Knead in the cranberries & walnuts. Put into an oiled bowl, cover with cling wrap & leave in a warm place to double.
Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Trying not to beat too much risen air out, pull the edges so that they all met in the centre to form a puffed round cushion shape.Using a long object, divide the dough into 2 equal spheres.Press down a little & fold one half over he other. Crimp the edges with your fingers like you were making Cornish pastry. Now roll this on th floured surface to create a torpedo like baguette shape. Lay it gently on a floured tea towel, cover loosely with cling film, and leave to rise in a warm place for another 45 minutes.
Heat the oven to 220C, place a bowl of hot water on the base. Roll the bread off the tea towl onto the baking sheet gently so as not to lose air. Use a sharp serated knife to give it 3 diagonal slashes, 1cm deep.
Bake for 20-25 minutes, till the bottom sounds hollow when tapped. (I baked for about 30-35 minutes). Leave to cool on a wire rack.
♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥
This bread is off to  Susan @ Wild Yeast for Yeastspotting!

The Ottolenghi cookbook is a celebration of tastes, texture, flavours, complexity, simplicity… so much. The glossy colourful pictures have the food leaping out of the pages, the presentation droolworthy. It is comforting, rustic and tantalizing! A book I have an instant connect with. Just my kind of book. Never have I baked/cooked so much out of a single book! Thank you Hilda.

We just had the bread for lunch…with this flavourful roasted bell pepper sauce pasta from Muneeba’s blog An Edible Symphony. I connect to Muneeba, her taste, her blogging style and her food, like I do to Ottolenghi. I know that whenever I stop by, she’ll tempt me to make something. That was the case with these Apple & Brown Butter Tartlets, and so too with this pasta. She said it was the fastest pasta ever…how true. I made the sauce while the pasta was boiling, and LOVED it. I didn’t have pine nuts, so I used walnuts instead. Worked fine!
Also used some garlic greens which I currently tend to use in all my savoury dishes as I really love the flavour this imparts to food. Lunch came full circle with Ottolenghi’s chargrilled broccoli made for the nth time on Mr PABs request. Never has broccoli been so popular in our home. (I made 3 heads of broccoli, all disappeared… & he’s asked when I’m making it again. YES!!)

The kids loved the pasta to bits, nuts and all. The flavours really come out deep and strong thanks to the roasted bell peppers. The sauce would have been redder, but I had 2 red & 1 yellow bell pepper, which explains the orangish hue! The recipe is adapted from The Pioneer Woman’s recipe here. In Muneeba’s words, ” The Pioneer Woman, Ree, being a cowgirl who is also usually short on time and needs to take a break from her typical man-pleasing food, had the perfect recipe for me. A pasta dish that came together in almost no time flat.”

Pasta With Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
adapted from An Edible Symphony
based on Ree’s original recipe
Serves 2-4
3 roasted bell peppers(charred on the stove, skins removed, then deseeded)
3 tbsp walnuts
2 tbsp olive oil
4-5 garlic greens with stems, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup cream
fresh Parmesan, shaved or grated
fresh parsley OR cilantro OR basil
1/2 lb penne pasta
Salt and pepper to taste

Lightly toast walnuts in a skillet and set aside.
Puree peppers with walnuts with a stick blender and set aside.
Cook pasta according to package instructions.
In a pot over medium heat, drizzle in the olive oil, and saute the garlic and garlic greens till soft. Pour in pepper puree and stir together. Add plenty of salt and pepper – for some reason this sauce needs it.
Pour in cream and stir over low heat to combine. Add the cooked pasta and stir again. Taste for additional seasoning if needed. Place pasta in a comfortingly large bowl and sprinkle your fresh herb of choice over the top, as well as lots of shaved Parmesan.
…Then smile as you dig in to this bright, cheerful and super-quick pasta… in true ‘edible symphony’ style!!

♥ Thank you for stopping by ♥

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  • Su-yin
    7 years ago

    This looks amazing, Deeba. I love rustic breads, and you made it better by adding in the cranberries and walnuts. And I agree that bread always tastes that much better which a bit of wholewheatfour in it, for some strange reason.

    I really should get the Ottolenghi cookbook – I hear the foccacia recipe is to die for as well! Will have to get it after I'm done cooking myself silly from the Bill Granger cookbook I got a few weeks ago (and am in love with), hehe.

  • Jamie
    7 years ago

    Oh Sistah, this fantastic bread is doubly fabulous: Handmade by you, my sistah, for my BBD Birthday Party and flavors that I absolutely love! Add to that Ottolenghi and I'm dancing! Thanks thanks thanks for baking this fantastic bread for me!


  • Divina Pe
    7 years ago

    I love rustic breads. I love the addition of other ingredients and they are really fun to eat. The pasta looks amazing.

  • The Cooking Ninja
    7 years ago

    Love your pics, your bread and your pasta! They look fabulous! Now if only I can take a bite off my screen. 🙁 Do u think they will come up with a virtual bite any time soon?

  • Rosa's Yummy Yums
    7 years ago

    That is a gorgeous bread! Nice combination and lovely shots!



  • Diana H
    7 years ago

    Cranberries and Walnuts – my husband will love this bread. I need to find time for bread making. I love home made bread.

  • noble pig
    7 years ago

    That is a very nice loaf, the power outages not so much! Beautiful work.

  • cookeaze
    7 years ago

    Oh! Your pasta looks delicious and Good tip about getting the right pasta.

  • Lauren
    7 years ago

    Yum! Everything looks so very delicious Deeba!

  • Bellini Valli
    7 years ago

    The bread, the pasta…where do I begin?

  • Sarah, Maison Cupcake
    7 years ago

    Hello Deeba, I would be going crazy with those powercuts so well done getting all this blogging done with all those outages, it must have been very frustrating lately.

    This is beautiful bread, I bet it is lovely with soup. I managed to have a proper look at the Ottolenghi book in Waterstones yesterday and it looks wonderful, I will be ordering it from Amazon very soon I think.

  • Mother Rimmy
    7 years ago

    This would be dangerous for me to make. I would eat the whole loaf by myself. Great pictures. The bread looks delicious!

  • Happy Cook
    7 years ago

    I am always amazed by your clear pictures.
    Bread looks so so yumm. I canimaging making this and serving up when there is a cheese evening, i am sur emy guests will go wow if i make this bread. Delicious.
    6 hours powercut, i can imagine the beker in you going crazy.
    In jully/August when we are in kerala there was always half hr power cut in the evening ( ofcourse during day too they had) and we had always our dinner during the power cut saying it is candle light dinner 🙂

  • MyKitchenInHalfCups
    7 years ago

    Oh Deeba, this Bread makes my heart sing! I too love the buckwheat in this. That broccoli sounds perfectly killer GOOD.

  • Snooky doodle
    7 years ago

    wow you bake bread. Nowadays it s surely not an easy task . Looks perfect 🙂

  • La Table De Nana
    7 years ago

    Oh I was hoping the recipe would be here..I found your post from Foodgawker and it looks beautiful..Thank you!

  • foodie ffanatic
    7 years ago

    As always, Deeba, your stunning photographs look good enough to eat! I have yeast on my grocery list to try my hand at mini-baguettes, but this bread is very tempting!! I haven't made bread in about 30 years. 😀 We would never know that you are dealing with power outages. Your food always looks scrumptious! *hugs* Dani

  • Mimi
    7 years ago

    What beautiful bread. It is so satisfying to make your own bread. Letting it rest overnight in the refrigerator is such a great way to improve the flavor of yeast breads.

  • Julia @Mélanger
    7 years ago

    Everytime I come to your website, I'm reminded I don't bake enough bread. Think I'm going to have to dedicate a month to it soon. This looks so tempting!

  • Johanna GGG
    7 years ago

    yum and yum – that bread looks delicious and the pasta too – love walnuts and will bookmark these recipes to try

  • Curry Leaf
    7 years ago

    Wow Can't get enough of bread.Looks GREAT as ALWAYS.I too Love the red pepper sauce.I can understand the powercuts.Here we are having 4 + hours as well.I should give up baking I feel.Its a truimph if something edible comes out of the oven within the limited time.

  • Trissa
    7 years ago

    I need to get this cookbook – the stuff you've made from it so far all looks delicious. A definite keeper!

  • Jeanne
    7 years ago

    aaah, darling Ottolenghi! My book got packed in June when we moved and has not reappeared since – still in the stack of book boxes in our conservatory 🙁 but we boght shelves and started unpacking books this weekend, so hope is in sight! This bread looks utterly gorgeous!

  • Natashya KitchenPuppies
    7 years ago

    What a wonderful bread! I have added this book to my wishlist, you naughty lady, yet another must-have!
    Great meal, so vibrant and healthy too.

  • Fresh Local and Best
    7 years ago

    The dried cranberry and walnut stick looks incredible! It must be so hearty and delicious with the dried fruit and nuts. It looks lovely!

  • Manggy
    7 years ago

    I love how attached you've become to this book, Deeba. For some strange reason, I haven't seen this book on Philippine or US shores, but I hear it's a good one. As evidenced by your lovely bread 🙂

  • Janice
    7 years ago

    Looks brilliant.

  • Azita
    7 years ago

    I'm so happy to have found your blog too. Great recipes and gorgeous photos! Best Wishes.


  • Barbara Bakes
    7 years ago

    A lovely bread for a lovely lady!

  • Chow and Chatter
    7 years ago

    wow great bread Deeba I just started making my own bread as well!

    love Rebecca

  • Gloria
    7 years ago

    This bread look amazing Deeba, I love the pictures, love your bread always look tasty, xx gloria

  • Jo
    7 years ago

    Deeba, what a great post. I love both recipes but particular the rustic bread which I'm going to bookmark. The pictures as usual are simply, simply gorgeous.

  • Carolyn Jung
    7 years ago

    That bread looks so hearty and inviting. I just want to cut off a thick slice and smear it with some sweet butter. Mmmm!

  • Sari
    7 years ago

    Oh, I love walnuts in bread and adding some cranberries makes it looks divine. Lucky Jamie! 🙂 I have to get this cookbook.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    finally, I could find this post again. You have few [url=http://tipswift.com]useful tips[/url] for my school project. Now, I won't forget to bookmark it. 🙂

  • diva
    7 years ago

    i know sometimes you don't wanna be a Mama but you're crazy good at it. You make all this amazing stuff for lunch? Gotta bow down to you. bread looks fab- i totally love the quote and shall now speak of bread with a capital 'b' – Bread. gorgeous warm Bread. 😉 xxx

  • Rajani@eatwritethink
    7 years ago

    lovely spread! evrything looks great, and i cant say anything thats not already been said! thanks for introducing some new blogs! 🙂

  • Barbara
    7 years ago

    Really love this hearty looking bread, Deeba. The cranberries were a super addition; would much prefer those to cherries. I like buckwheat too; may have mentioned my grandfather used to make some delicious buckwheat pancakes when we visited. He had a yeast starter too.

  • Tracy @ Sugarcrafter
    7 years ago

    Mmm, I love cranberry bread! I definitely want to try the yeasted version and buckwheat is also an excellent addition!

  • Hilda
    7 years ago

    Oh sweetie, I'm so so glad I gave it to you! I had no idea you would love it this much but I thought you might really like it. And this is wonderful, you know how much I suck at baking bread but I do love this kind of bread a LOT. So I might actually try it and hope for the best. xoxo

  • Kitchen Butterfly
    7 years ago

    Looks lovely. Like the idea of nuts in it….

  • Mowie @ Mowielicious
    7 years ago

    Oh Deeba, that pasta looks and sounds divine. And there's nothing quite like home-made walnut bread – yum!

  • Helene
    7 years ago

    What a gorgeous bread. And the pictures are so nice.

  • Arwen from Hoglet K
    7 years ago

    Both of these recipes look gorgeous! I love the way you've worked walnuts into two such different dishes.

  • Dharm
    7 years ago

    WEll done on the bread. It looks fantastic!!

  • Sook
    7 years ago

    The bread looks amazing!

  • Gera @ SweetsFoodsBlog
    7 years ago

    What a fantastic combination of cranberry & walnut in the bread, worth trying with the yummy pasta 🙂

    I've an award waiting for you at my blog!



  • Madam Chow
    7 years ago

    This looks marvelous – and I have to check out that cookbook!

  • Emme
    7 years ago

    When do we use the orange juice? And I am assuming the oil is to oil the bowl?

    Sorry, but I am not quite following the steps – when kneeding the "silk smooth dough", I'm assuming that's after combining water/yeast mixture with the flours? (You don't really say this.)

  • Deeba PAB
    7 years ago

    Sorry I missed the orange juice Emme. Thanks for pointing it out.Updated now!

  • Joanne
    7 years ago

    This bread sounds amazing! I love artisanal breads and also that you used a whole grain in it. Cranberries and walnuts sound perfect for a birthday celebration.

  • La Table De Nana
    7 years ago

    I made it and we are enjoying it~ I did use the bread machine..(Blush) I hope you don't mind..not for the baking…just the kneading and a first rise..

    Thanks again~

  • Shirley @ Kokken69
    7 years ago

    Hello, I came to your blog from Monique's Table La Nana. Thank you for sharing Ottolenghi. I have not baked alot of bread – probably not more than 5 times. Your bread looks really good and as Monique has pointed out, you have a beautiful blog.

  • Marysol
    7 years ago

    Everything about this bread makes me giddy. And I may not have buckwheat flour, but this lovely bread has given me a reason to shop.

  • ap269
    7 years ago

    Stunning pictures!

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