Cranberry and walnut challah bread

2 hours


Cranberry filling

  • 150g of cranberries
  • 40g of granulated sugar
  • 125ml of water


  • 7g of fast-action dried yeast
  • 60g of granulated sugar
  • 250ml of water, warm
  • 625g of plain flour, or bread flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 250ml of milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 60ml of vegetable oil, or 50g melted butter, plus a bit extra for greasing
  • 60g of walnut halves, chopped

To finish

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 handful of nib sugar, or crushed sugar cubes (optional)


To make the cranberry filling, place the ingredients into a small pot and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring often, until it is very thick. Spread the mixture out onto a lightly oiled plate and place in the fridge to cool and set
To make the dough, dissolve the yeast in the water with 1 tbsp of the sugar. Set aside. In a large bowl combine the remaining sugar, flour and salt
Make a well in the centre of these dry ingredients and pour in the yeast mixture, milk, oil and crack in the eggs. Stir together until a few floury patches remain
Tip the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and slightly sticky
Pour a little bit of oil into the bowl you were using before and use your hands to coat the inside of the bowl with it. Place the dough into the oiled bowl, cover loosely with cling film and leave in a warm place for an hour to rise
Once the dough is doubled in volume, tip it out onto a lightly floured work surface
Divide into three equal pieces. Roll one piece of dough out into a 30cm long oblong
Scatter 1/3 of the cranberry filling and the walnuts evenly over the surface of the dough then roll it up (like a Swiss roll) into a 30 cm long snake. Repeat with the other two pieces of dough
Plait the three snakes of dough together into a loaf and place onto a baking tray lined with baking paper (you'll probably have to lay it down diagonally across the tray to fit). Leave in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes whilst you preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4
Brush the risen dough with the beaten egg to glaze it and scatter on the pearl sugar. Bake for 30-40 minutes until well risen and deep golden. Leave to cool completely before slicing