Slicing into the loaf, I knew something was Not Quite Right. The knife seemed to catch as I drew it back. I’d felt that before, slicing into some early efforts at Jim Lahey’s no-knead bread. It was the feel of gumminess. Sure enough, the bread had that ineffable gummy quality that I generally have managed to avoid. Could have been that the dough was just too wet, and so didn’t bake for long enough. It had cooled properly, so it wasn’t that. Strangely, though, it tasted really rather good. A bit sweet, and the cranberries are a nice tough. I had no problem finishing the loaf off over the subsequent week, and it kept very well indeed.

Would I make it again? Probably not, because I have a really great sultana durum loaf that I make fairly often, and cranberries are not that easy to find in Rome. But I might be tempted to try again taking more trouble to get a hydration around the 65% mark.

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