Cranberry Orange Sourdough Bread

A classic loaf with delicious additions, you’ll love this recipe in fall and winter.

finished loaf on wooden board

❤️ Why you’ll love this recipe

  • Feels like the holidays. Sourdough bread is lovely just the way it is, but regular bakers are always looking for a twist. This recipe will be one of your favorites.
  • It’s simple to make. If you know how to make a basic loaf, this is no more trouble.
  • It’s delicious. The fruit flavors are a surprisingly great addition to bread.

This is an overview of the ingredients. You’ll find the full measurements and instructions in the printable recipe at the bottom of the page.

bread flour, sourdough starter, oranges, cranberries

You’ll need the following for this fruity loaf:

  • bread flour
  • lukewarm water
  • sourdough starter (it needs to be active and bubbly)
  • white sugar
  • salt
  • dried cranberries soaked in water and drained
  • orange zest
  • Dutch oven
  • Parchment paper
  • Lame
  • Dutch Oven (not necessary, but makes it easy to make sure your loaf bakes in a moist environment which gives it great oven spring and helps it rise high.)


Step One: make the dough

autolyze stage and sprinkling on fruit

You may be tempted to add the ingredients all at once, but don’t. First, you’ll add the water, starter, flour, and sugar, and then you’ll mix them with your hands or a wooden spoon. This step is called autolyze, and it helps to hydrate the flour.

Next, you’ll add the salt, orange zest, and cranberries, then knead them into the dough.

Step Two: stretch and fold during the rise

process of stretching and folding dough

The dough is going to rise for three to four hours. Once the time has passed, you need to stretch and fold the dough every hour: just pull it up into a ball. This process is easy! All we are doing is grabbing the edge of the dough from one “corner,” folding it into the center, and then doing them at each “corner.” Then put it back in its cozy place and let it continue to rise.

Each time you perform a stretch and fold, you’ll notice the dough becoming stronger and holding its shape just a bit more.

Step three: prep and bake

loaf dusting with rice flour and slashed with lame

After the cool proof period, it’s time to bake. Turn your loaf out onto a piece of parchment and slash!

🥫 Storage instructions

Any leftovers will keep well at room temperature for up to four days in a linen bread bag or bread box.

You can also freeze a whole or partial loaf.

🔍 FAQs

Can I use fresh cranberries?

Yes! They will be tarter and you won’t need to soak them.

What if I don’t have bread flour?

Use all-purpose and reduce the water by 20%. It won’t have the same hearty texture but it will work.

👩🏻‍🍳 Expert tips

  • You’ll need to cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a damp towel to keep excess moisture from evaporating, and it’s required to keep the dough from drying out.
  • Rice flour is truly the best for dusting your banneton so the dough doesn’t stick overnight. I know it’s annoying to buy one more thing, but a little bag of it will last you a long time and it makes a huge difference!
  • Soak the dried cranberries in warm water before you begin. Otherwise, they will pull moisture from the dough and leave dry spots. Make sure you drain them before you add them, but there’s no need to pat them dry.

📘 Related Recipes

🍽 Serving ideas

  • Even though this might seem like a sweet/ breakfast bread, it’s great with turkey sandwiches.
  • Try making French toast with the leftovers
  • Check out my list of ways to use leftover bread for more ideas.

📖 Here’s the recipe

round loaf of sourdough with orange and cranberry

Cranberry Orange Sourdough Bread

You'll love the sweetness of dried cranberries and orange zest combined with a classic sourdough loaf that's perfect toasted on a chilly morning.
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
rising time 20 hours
Total Time 22 hours
Serving Size 12 slices


  • 3 cups bread flour 450 grams/ 15.85 ounces
  • 1 ⅓ cups lukewarm water 300 grams/ 10.6 ounces
  • ¾ cup sourdough starter active and bubbly
  • ¼ cup white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ cup dried cranberries soaked in water and drained
  • ¾ tablespoon orange zest


  • Autolyse. Combine the flour, water, sugar, and starter in a large bowl and stir.  Use your hands to incorporate any dry bits.  Cover with a clean, damp tea towel and allow to rest at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  • Stretch and fold during warm rise. After the rest period, add the salt, dried cranberries, and orange zest, and knead for a minute or two until everything is thoroughly mixed in.  Cover with damp towel and allow to rise in a warm place for three hours, reshaping the dough into a ball once per hour.
  • Second proof in the fridge. Heavily dust a banneton with rice flour.  When it is time to shape the dough the third time, place the loaf into the banneton and cover with plastic wrap.  Allow to proof overnight in the fridge.
  • Prepare for baking. In the morning, preheat oven to 450 with rack in the center with the Dutch Oven inside. Remove dough from fridge and turn it out onto a sheet or parchment paper, trying to have it land in the center.  Slash the top with a lame or very sharp knife.  Carefully remove the hot Dutch Oven and place the parchment and bread inside. Place the lid back on.
  • Bake. Bake for a total of 55 minutes: 25 minutes covered, 25 minutes uncovered, and then remove from the Dutch Oven and bake directly on the rack for 5 minutes to brown the crust.  Bread should be 200-210 internally when it is done.
  • Cool. Remove from Dutch Oven and remove parchment paper.  Allow to cool on a wire rack 3 to 4 hours before slicing.  Will keep at room temperature, tightly wrapped, for a few days.  


The shelf life of this bread is shortened due to the moisture in the fruit. To avoid any risk of molding, store at room temperate for one day and freeze after that.  Try slicing the whole loaf so you can toast individual pieces from the freezer.
To freeze, allow to cool completely, wrap well, and freeze up to 1 month.
Calories: 148kcal | Carbohydrates: 31g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 195mg | Potassium: 44mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 9IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 6mg | Iron: 1mg

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Recipe Rating


  1. How many grams is 3/4 cup sourdough starter? I’ definitely going to try this, but would rather use the scale than a measuring cup. Thanks!

  2. This looks like what I’ve been searching for. But I do have a question, with just the orange zest, it seems like there wouldn’t be much orange flavor. Do you ever substitute orange juice for a portion of the water? If so, how much orange juice would you use.

    Thanks for posting this, I’m excited to make it!

  3. Would this work w fresh cranberries? I made your lemon blueberry sourdough and it has become my most favorite ever. I plan on trying this next, but I only have fresh cranberries.

      1. Thank you! I plan making this bread this weekend. Your blueberry lemon sourdough was beautiful as well as delicious. Thank you for such wonderful recipes.

  4. 5 stars
    I made this bread a couple of weeks ago and liked it so much I started another batch this morning. It is a delicious bread with great flavor and texture and just a little sweetness. While there is some wait time because of the overnight rise, there is not much hands-on prep time. And the overnight rise means it is ready to bake first thing in the morning, just in time for breakfast. It is just as good the following morning sliced and toasted, especially on a fall or winter morning.