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This sweet bread gets its soft texture from butter and maple syrup added to the dough. To make a vegan variation, substitute 1/2 cup vegetable oil for the butter. Try it with other types of dried fruit as well.
1. Combine 2 Tbs. maple syrup and yeast with 2 cups warm (90°F) water in large bowl. Let stand 10 minutes, or until yeast foams on surface. Add remaining 1 cup maple syrup, melted butter, and salt.
2. Stir in white bread flour 1 cup at a time until dough forms ball. Turn out dough onto floured work surface, sprinkle with bread flour, and knead 15 minutes, or until dough no longer sticks to hands. (Add more flour as needed to keep dough from sticking.) Alternately, knead bread in food processor with dough blade 3 to 5 minutes, or in stand-up mixer with dough hook 7 to 10 minutes. Knead in cranberries by hand until well-distributed.
3. Transfer dough to lightly oiled bowl. Cover with damp towel, and let rise 1 hour in warm place, or until dough doubles in size. Punch down dough, and let rise 1 hour more, or refrigerate overnight, if desired. (The second rising time makes for a less dense bread.)
4. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper, or spray with cooking spray. Turn out dough onto floured work surface, and shape into 2 round loaves, stretching surface until smooth, then pulling excess dough together at bottom. Pinch seam at bottom of dough. Place on prepared baking sheets, and cover with damp towel. Let rise 30 minutes, or until doubled in size.
5. Preheat oven to 400°F. Bake loaves 45 to 50 minutes, or until well-browned on outside. Cool at least 20 minutes on wire rack before slicing.
- Serving Size Makes 2 Loaves
- Calories 168
- Carbohydrate Content 33 g
- Cholesterol Content 8 mg
- Fat Content 3 g
- Fiber Content 1 g
- Protein Content 4 g
- Saturated Fat Content 2 g
- Sodium Content 438 mg
- Sugar Content 9 g
- Trans Fat Content 0 g
- Unsaturated Fat Content 0 g