All Recipes/ Low FODMAP/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Cranberry Blueberry Sourdough Bread with Black Sesame Crust

July 11, 2022 (Last Updated: July 22, 2023)
Blueberry sourdough bread

Home baker’s, we present our cranberry blueberry sourdough bread with a nutty black sesame crust. This cranberry blueberry sourdough bread recipe is based on our go to basic sourdough bread. In this post, we’ll focus on how to make additions to your sourdough loaf and avoid sourdough disasters.

Besides learning how to make our black sesame crusted cranberry blueberry sourdough bread we’ll focus on:

Ready to make some cranberry blueberry sourdough bread? Not so fast! Let’s start out with how sourdough bread is made. 

How Is Sourdough Bread Made?

blueberry sourdough bread

If you Google, “bread recipe sourdough”, lot’s of results come out but what makes sourdough bread so special and popular?

Believe it or not, sourdough bread has been around for thousands of years. The beauty and simplicity of sourdough is that you only need 3 ingredients to make it and you don’t need to be a professional baker either. All you need is water, flour, sourdough starter and some patience. 

There are two kinds of breads that can be found: unleavened and leavened. Unleavened breads like tortillas, roti, or flatbreads, do not rise and remain flat. Leavened bread means that the dough rises due to the gasses that’s released as the bread ferments. A long time ago, this was done with starters.

A starter is a mixture of flour and water that’s left to ferment and cultivate bacteria and wild yeast. Until a few hundred years ago when we created commercial yeast. Sourdough bread is the oldest form of leavened bread and requires a starter to produce a light airy bread with a crunchy crisp crust.

A basic sourdough loaf undergoes a fermentation process that can take 12-24 hours. The sourdough starter feeds on the sugars in the dough and helps the bread rise. This fermentation process and natural yeast is said to give sourdough bread numerous benefits. 

Bread and benefits? Count us in. We know you’re itchy to start baking with sourdough but we have to talk about dried berries vs fresh berries before we get into making our black sesame crusted cranberry and blueberry sourdough bread.

Fresh Berries VS Dried Berries

blueberry sourdough bread

You don’t really need a recipe to make a flavored sourdough bread. Once you’ve mastered (or gotten comfortable with) a basic sourdough recipe, you can basically make any flavored sourdough.

Our beginner sourdough bread recipe has worked well for us and it was our first attempt at making sourdough too! There are very few rules to follow if you want to make this cranberry blueberry sourdough bread or any other flavor combinations. But you’ll want to be careful about what kind of ingredients you add because it may affect your sourdough.

Dried additions like berries or nuts are always a safer bet because if you’re swapping out the dried berries for fresh ones, the level of hydration in your loaf will be affected. Which will in turn affect the final product.

Baking is about precision. The amount of wet and dry ingredients is calculated and measured to the letter. In the baking world, this measurement is called a baker’s percentage. Bakers divide each ingredient to the weight of the flour.

When you use fresh berries or fruits, these additions will add more moisture to your dough. You will need to reduce your hydration by 2-5% if you want to use fresh ingredients that are wet.

Let’s say you’re making a raisin and apple sourdough loaf with fresh apples. If your recipe used 750g of water to 1000g of flour, that means that you’re using a 75% hydration recipe. Let’s say this recipe calls for 200g of chopped apples. You should reduce the hydration from 75% to 70 or 73%, which would mean about 700g or 730g of water. 

More about inclusions and adding flavors to your sourdough in this Italian basil sourdough bread recipe. Onto the main event: how to make cranberry blueberry sourdough bread with black sesame crust.

How To Make Dried Cranberry Blueberry Sourdough Bread

blueberry sourdough bread

We’ve made it here folks. It’s time to make this black sesame crusted cranberry blueberry sourdough bread. We brought this bread to a brunch and served it with roquefort blue cheese and it was a heavenly hit. 

 Using our beginner sourdough recipe, you can decide if you want to make a 12 hour sourdough or a 24 hour sourdough by choosing your rising method. Start by measuring out your flour, water, and sourdough starter in a bowl. Mix everything for the bread with sourdough starter together until a dough forms.

The next step is optional, but you can let your dough rest for 30 minutes and make 4 turns every half an hour for 2 hours. This just means you’re stretching the dough and folding it into itself to form a loosely oval shaped dough and create some strong gluten bonds. Or you can leave your dough to proof for 12 hours at room temperature. 

Without stretching:

With stretching:

At the end of the day, after the 12 hour rise, it ends up looking like this:

Here’s an example of our schedule:

We fed our starter at 2pm in the afternoon. At about 8.30pm in the evening, we started our dough and made turns every 30 minutes (depending on if we’re in the mood or not). Either way the dough sits outside at room temperature for 12 hours. 

How To Add The Flavors

The next morning or 12 hours later, your dough is ready to be shaped and it’s time to weave through our additions. This recipe calls for 2 additions: dried berries, we used blue and cranberry, and black sesame seeds. The black sesame seeds are optional but recommended if you want a nutty savory note without the large bites of nuts.  

Note: You can fold half of the sesame seeds into the dough like we did or leave them for the crust.

Flatten your dough and sprinkle over your dried berries. Fold your dough into itself to create an oval shape while distributing the additions evenly. We repeat this flattening and folding step about two times. Shape your cranberry blueberry sourdough bread into a loaf. Roll this dough over a plate of black sesame seeds. 

Heavily dust your bread basket, banneton, or a bowl lined with tea towel and transfer your dough to your chosen vessel. Let the dough proof for anywhere between 1-3 hours. Preheat your oven to 220c or 428f. Make sure your dutch oven or bread pan is also preheated. 

Move your cran and blueberry sourdough bread to a sheet of baking paper and place that into your dutch oven or bread pan. Bake the sesame crusted cranberry blueberry sourdough bread covered for 25 minutes. Remove the lid and continue baking sourdough for an additional 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Let the bread cool before slicing and enjoy! Now that you know how to make this black sesame crusted cranberry blueberry sourdough bread, let’s have a look at why sourdough is beneficial.

Sourdough Bread Benefits

blueberry sourdough bread

It’s a sad and painful day when you learn that bread is bad. How can it be so bad when it tastes so good? While regular bread may be “bad” for you, there are a ton of benefits of sourdough bread.

If you needed another reason to make this black sesame crusted cranberry and blueberry sourdough bread, we’ve got 3 for you:

  1. Has more nutrients than regular bread
  2. Easier to digest
  3. Good for your gut

Has More Nutrients Than Regular Bread

So regular bread is bad because it has a lot of preservatives. There’s also commercial baker’s yeast which can cause risk of yeast infection, and so on. But even though sourdough is made from the same flour as most store bought bread, it’s actually healthier for you because of the fermentation process.

Sourdough bread is more nutritious because it typically uses whole grains which have more minerals, nutrients, and vitamins. These grains have plenty of nutrients to offer but our bodies can’t fully absorb them because of something called phytic acid or phytate.

The lactic acid bacteria that is present in sourdough because of the starter, lowers the bread’s pH level and acts as a mechanism that deactivates the phytate. Making it possible for your body to get the most nutrients from the grains. This fermentation process also plays an important role in the next benefit.

It’s Easier To Digest

Thanks to the fermentation process that sourdough undergoes, sourdough bread is easier for your body to digest compared to regular bread. As mentioned in the first point, the fermentation process breaks down specific proteins making the bread more nutritious and easy to digest. 

But it also breaks down gluten proteins in the flour, making sourdough bread contain less gluten than commercial bread. Note: Sourdough bread is not gluten free unless specified. It has less gluten.

Sourdough bread also creates prebiotics thanks to the fermentation process. Prebiotics are great for your gut and make digesting food a lot easier. It’s also good for your gut.

Good For Your Gut

Good gut bacteria is important and sourdough can help with that! Commercial yeast may not be good for your gut but the probiotics that are a result of the fermentation actually benefit your gut. 

Fermented foods like sauerkraut, yogurt, and sourdough bread have been known to boost your immune system and overall intestinal health.

And there you have it folks. Not only is this cranberry blueberry sourdough bread with black sesame seed delicious, it’s also nutritious and good for your gut. Let us know in the comments below what you think of this sesame crusted cranberry and blueberry sourdough bread. If you’re looking for more sourdough recipes, check out our other recipes:

Italian Basil Sourdough Bread

Black Sesame Sourdough

Foolproof Basic Sourdough Bread

Wanna make sourdough bread but don’t have a dutch oven? Try using one of the 9 ways to make sourdough without dutch oven guide!

Cranberry Blueberry Sourdough Bread With Black Sesame Crust

sourdough bread
By Yummyble Serves: 8
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 15 hours

You'll impress everyone with simple yet perfect cranberry blueberry sourdough bread. The black sesame seed crust gives the savory loaf a hint of nuttiness and dried berries brings some sweetness with just a smidge of tartness.


  • 407 grams flour of choice (we used T65 french flour)
  • 225 grams cold water
  • 8 grams salt
  • 50 grams sourdough starter
  • 40 grams dried cranberries
  • 40 grams dried blueberries
  • 4 tablespoons black sesame seeds



Add the flour, water, and sourdough starter into a bowl and mix everything together until it forms a dough.


Leave this dough to rest for at least 12 hours at room temperature.


After 12 hours, you can shape the dough into a loaf. Ideally, you want to fold the dough into itself to create a round shape.


Heavily dust your proofing basket or a bowl lined with cloth. This will prevent the dough from sticking to the proofing basket or cloth. Don't worry about using too much flour, it can always be brushed off later.


Flatten the dough and fold through the dried cranberries and blueberries.


Shape the dough into a round ball and roll it in the black sesame seeds.


Transfer the sourdough loaf into a proofing basket and let the dough rest for 2-3 hours and cover with a damp cloth.


Preheat your oven to 220c or 428f with your dutch oven or bread pan inside for 30-40 minutes.


Transfer your sourdough loaf onto a piece of baking paper.


Before placing the sourdough loaf into the pan, score the surface with a sharp blade.


When the bread pan is hot enough, lift the baking paper and place the sourdough in the dutch oven or bread pan and bake with the lid on for 25 minutes.


Remove the lid and continue baking for an additional 20 minutes or until a deep shade of brown.


Allow to cool on a rack for 10-15 minutes and enjoy!


You can use all purpose flour in place of bread flour BUT remember that substituting all purpose flour for bread flour means that you need to reduce the amount of water. This is because all purpose flour absorbs less water compared to bread flour. This can result in a gooey and sticky dough. Add the water a little at a time and stop when the mixture forms a dough.

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