Cranberry Orange Braided Bread

This cranberry-orange bread is a sweet holiday treat that's great for gifting, or for sharing at a festive breakfast or brunch. Its subtle orange flavor; soft, tender crumb, and surprise sweet fruit and nut filling are sure to please gift recipients and guests alike.

20 mins
30 to 35 mins
2 hrs 50 mins
one 12" to 14" loaf
Cranberry Orange Braided Bread


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  1. To make the starter: Weigh your flour; or measure it by gently spooning it into a cup, then sweeping off any excess. Combine the starter ingredients, cover, and leave at room temperature overnight.

  2. To make the dough: Mix the starter with the dough ingredients, kneading until elastic and satiny. Let the dough rise in a greased, covered bowl for 1 to 2 hours, until puffy.

  3. Divide the dough into three pieces. Flatten each piece into a 6" x 12" rectangle.

  4. Mix the reserved egg white with 1 tablespoon water. Brush it onto each portion of dough and reserve the excess.

  5. In a small bowl, mix the filling ingredients together. Sprinkle the filling evenly over each of the brushed rectangles of dough, leaving a 1/2" border bare along one of the long edges on each rectangle.

  6. Starting the filling-covered long edge, roll each rectangle into a log. Pinch the seam shut to seal the filling inside. Braid the logs together.

  7. Cover the braid, and allow it to rise for 1 to 2 hours, until puffy.

  8. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

  9. Brush the reserved egg white mixture on top of the braid. Sprinkle with pearl or sparkling sugar. 

  10. Bake the cranberry-orange braid for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown; a digital thermometer inserted into the center should register 190°F.

  11. Remove the bread from the oven, and transfer it to a rack to cool.

Tips from our Bakers

  • If you don't have Fiori di Sicilia, replace it with 2 teaspoons vanilla extract + 1/4 teaspoon orange oil (or 1 tablespoon grated orange rind).
  • SAF Gold instant yeast is specially formulated for sweet dough; but use SAF Red if that's what you have, understanding that your dough will take longer to rise, both the first and second times.