Semolina Cranberries and Fennel Seed Bread

My take on converting this very tasty bread based on Susan’s Wild Yeast recipe. I went for 47% preferment in the final dough because it is so cold in my kitchen at present and I was not sure how well the starter would do. 

I also chose to use a mix of Pepitas, Pine Nuts and Sunflower kernels for my seed mix, mainly because that is what I had in the cupboard.

I mixed up this dough in the morning with the cranberries, fennel and mixed seeds and covered the bowl with a plastic bag and threw it in the fridge till I got home from work that night.  

I pulled the dough out to warm up. I folded it every hour for 4 hours and let it rest on the kitchen bench covered with a plastic bag in-between folds. The loaf was then shaped and let rest in a cane banneton for another hour before being popped back in the fridge overnight, ready for baking in the morning.

Here is the formula I used:

1st Preferment Build                
Starter               13g  50.00%
Flour                 26g  100.00%
Water                14g  55.00%
Total 1st build   54g
2nd Preferment Build    
Starter 1st build    54g  65.06%
Flour                    83g 100.00%
Water                   83g 100.00%
Total 2nd Build   220g
Dough Formula      
Semolina Flour             230g              
White unbleached PF    233g
              Total Flour    463g 100.00%
Water                          245g    53.00%
Salt                               11g     2.30%
Preferment 2nd Build   218g    47.00%
Olive Oil                        22g     4.60%
Cranberrys                  110g    23.75%
Seed Mix                       70g   14.70% 
(Pine Nuts, Pepitas and Sunflower) 
Fennel Seeds                   7g      1.50%
Diastatic Malt 10              7g      1.50%
(This is Malt blended with Bread Flour at 1g Malt to 10g flour.)
The result:
This bread had that fantastic fennel smell as it was cooking. I love fennel but I was really surprised at how well the sweet cranberries went with the fennel and nice crunch from the pine nuts and other seeds. I sprinkled the top with a little polenta before baking and found it gave the crust an extra little crunch that added even more to this bread. 
I am so glad I have tried converting recipes, it has taken my bread to a whole new level of taste and textures. So I certainly would recommend making this one as another great bread to add to the repertoire! 
cheers, johnny




I used the same formula but used some wonderful sweet seedless dried grapes and a higher hydration (72%) and left out the fennel seeds.

1st Preferment Build
Starter   13g 50.00%
Flour   26g 100.00%
Water   18g 70.00%
Total 1st build   58g
2nd Preferment Build    
Starter 1st build   58g 60.98%
Flour   95g 100.00%
Water   66g 70.00%
Total 2nd Build   219g
DAY 2 EVENING -Mix dough
Dough Formula      
Flour   548g 100.00%
Water   395g 72.00%
Salt   11g 2.00%
Preferment 2nd Build   219g 40.00%
Diastatic Malt 10   5g 1.00%
Sultanas   121g 22.00%
Mixed seeds & Grains   101g 18.50%
Total   1400g

For the flour I used a mix of 148g Whole Meal, 100g 00 Soft Flour, 300g Bakers Flour
For sultanas I used dried seedless thompson grapes.
For mixed seeds I had 55g mix of pine nuts, pepitas and sunflower seeds
For mixed grains I had 46g of Farmers Mix grains
I mixed up the starter and water then added in everything else and mixed a while longer to develop the gluten. The dough was then covered in a plastic bag, sealed and put in the fridge overnight. 

The next morning I pulled it out and folded once and returned to the fridge during the day.

When I got home from work I pulled the dough out and gently stretched and folded it once. I let it rest and fold once every hour for 4-5 hours, before shaping. I made 2 small loaves which I put back in the fridge for baking in the morning.
Just before putting them into the oven I topped with chia seed gel just because I like them :)

This produced some very handsome bread that is also very tasty. I might keep this as my favourite fruit loaf.

Terrific looking bread, Johnny! Especially love the look of the crumb in the bottom pic.

Do you use a particular type of starter when you do the first and second build, or will any active starter be OK? (I currently have two 100% hydration liquid starters, one a rye/white flour mix, the other whole grain spelt/white flour).


I normally just use any active starter that has been fed on the same or similar flour to those used in the final dough. I actually keep 2 starters very similar to yours. One fed on white/wholemeal and one fed on rye/white. 
I have not baked with spelt flour so I'm not sure if it has radical different properties to normal BF but for this formula I would probably opt to use the spelt/white mix starter if it is nice and active. Unless of course you want to add some rye into the flour mix of your dough.
OK, ta for the clarification.