Bright red is the color of the season and no wonder cranberries are in my mind again . These tart bright red berries are a treat for the eyes. Believe it or not they pack more antioxidants than blueberries. My kids are find it easy to pop a few in the mouth at a time. Personally I am not a big fan of raw cranberries but when paired with the right ingredients they are indeed a treat for the taste buds.
This is a quick bread finds its way to my kitchen a few times every fall. The hardest part in my mind is chopping the cranberries . The first time I made it , I followed the recipe from the back of the packaging :-). It was a good recipe to start with, but I am glad to have tinkered with it. Over the years it evolved into a healthier and more flavorful version.
The first part is getting the prep work done … Preheat the oven , butter the pan , chop the nuts and cranberries , zest the orange and beat the egg well .
Measure the dry ingredients – the flours , baking powder , salt and sugar – into a medium mixing bowl . Mix thoroughly .Make a well in the center . Pour in the Egg , oil and Orange juice and zest mix . Use a spoon / spatula to mix the dry ingredients to the wet .Once the mix becomes uniformly wet add the cranberries and chopped nuts The addition of fresh berries and walnuts makes it a dense bread . We are not expecting a very airy spongy crumb . Once the nuts and berries are mixed in , transfer to the pan and bake in the 350 degree oven .
Everything came together in a snap . Simple as can be … Here I have used a piece of parchment longer than required. This makes removing the removing the cake from the pan easy .
Look how pretty it is ..
If you are an early riser , it is very easy to assemble and bake in the morning . On the other hand if you have a busy morning bake it the night before , cool it on the pan for 10 to 15 minutes , transfer to a wire rack and tent with a foil leaving few air vents , and leave it alone to finish cooling. By the next morning the flavors in the bread would have developed even further .
I normally serve these as it is , but a quick and easy way to dress it up is an orange glaze. Mix up a couple of tablespoons of orange juice with 1 c confectioner’s sugar until lump free . and drizzle over the bread .
- If you would like a more cake like crumb use full 2 C of all purpose flour .
- Since I make this for breakfast this recipe is yields a mildly sweet and tart loaf . . Increase the sugar to 1 cup or 1 1/4 cup for a sweeter loaf .
For the loaf
Whole Wheat flour – 1 C
Unbleached All Purpose Flour – 1C
Sugar – 3/4 C
Baking Powder – 2 Tsp
Salt – 1 Tsp
Fresh Squeezed orange juice – 3/4 C
Orange – 1
Melted Butter /oil – 2 Tbsp
Egg, – 1 Large
Cranberries – 2 Cups Fresh or Frozen , coarsely chopped
Walnuts / Pecan – 1/2 Cup chopped
For Glaze (optional)
Confectioner’s sugar – 1 C
Orange Juice – 2 tbsp
Orange zest – 1 tsp
Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.
Break the egg into a small bowl and beat well .
Zest the orange and squeeze to extract the juice, add this to the orange juice to measure 3/4C. Mix the zest with he juice.
Take the dry ingredients – flours , sugar, baking powder, salt – in a medium mixing bowl. Mix well and make a well in the middle. Pour in orange juice, oil/butter and the beaten egg into it. Mix until well blended. Stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread evenly in loaf pan.
Bake for 40 minutes . Reduce the temperature to 325ºF and bake for another 10 to 15 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. Remove from pan; cool completely. Wrap and store overnight.
Mix the ingredients for the glaze together until smooth . If the glaze feels too thick add a few more drops of orange juice to thin it . Drizzle over the loaf .
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