Monday, December 03, 2007

Cranberry Orange Bread

Behold, my lopsided cranberry orange bread, another winning recipe from Beth Hensperger, this time from her classic tome,The Bread Bible: 300 Favorite Recipes. I confused the cooling instructions with another one for a different bread, which said to cool the bread on its side. This resulted in my tasty but deformed loaf.

This is a wonderful little bread that takes advantage of the cranberries, oranges, and walnuts that are filling our markets this time of year. It is not too sweet, and the flavor of the cranberries really comes through, despite the presence of the zest of two whole oranges in the batter. The bread freezes very well, if you wrap it carefully. I wrapped it in plastic wrap, then foil, and then put the whole packet in a freezer-safe plastic storage bag.

I was out of ground ginger, so I substituted very finely minced crystallized ginger, which dissolved in the batter. This bread is definitely on my repeat list. And take a look at the batter - isn't that a beautiful pink color?

Cranberry Orange Bread
Adapted from The Bread Bible: 300 Favorite Recipes by Beth Hensperger
Makes one 8 1/2 inch-by-4 1/2 inch loaf
1 1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen (if frozen, do not thaw)
1 cup sugar
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 T baking powder
1/4 t salt
1/2 t freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 t finely minced crystallized ginger
grated zest of 2 oranges
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup fresh orange juice
2 large eggs
1 t pure vanilla extract
4 T unsalted butter, melted
Position rack in the center of the oven, and preheat oven to 350 F. Grease and flour a 8 1/2 inch-by-4 1/2 inch loaf pan.
In a food processor, coarsely chop the cranberries and set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, salt, nutmeg, and ginger, and mix well. Add the orange zest and walnuts, and toss to mix well.
In another bowl, combine the orange juice and eggs, and mix until frothy. Add the vanilla and cranberries. Pour over the dry ingredients, and then drizzle with the butter. Stir until just moistened (do NOT over mix) and the cranberries are evenly distributed.
Pour batter into the loaf pan. Place pan on a rack in the center of the oven. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The top should be crusty and golden, and a skewer inserted into the center of the loaf should come out clean.
Transfer to rack to cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and let bread sit overnight before serving. Believe it or not, I actually was able to do this last step!

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

How beautiful! And tasty too, cranberries and vanilla are such a great combination.

BB
buttabuns.wordpress.com

December 04, 2007 8:47 AM  
Blogger Madam Chow said...

They sure are! Not to mention the orange and walnuts. Thank you for visiting my blog!

December 04, 2007 12:23 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

What a gorgeous bread!! I have been married for just over 2 years, and I just found out that my husband does not like cranberries. I don't know how I missed that one! So maybe I will make this so that I can eat it all myself!!

December 05, 2007 12:09 PM  
Blogger Lydia Hamre said...

Oh my! This looks amazing. The picture makes me want to rip my hand through the web and grab your delightful piece of pretty bread. This is a recipe I'm definitely trying this holiday!

December 05, 2007 5:54 PM  
Blogger Madam Chow said...

Thanks, all! My husband is pretty easy to please, but there are a few things he doesn't like, such as celery, coconut, and cranberries. He like this bread a lot, and asked me to put it on the repeat list. I was really pleased with it.

December 06, 2007 6:29 PM  

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