Cranberry Orange Bread
Last Friday was cool and rainy and I was in the mood to bake some bread to have with my afternoon tea. I called John at work and asked him if he had any ideas. He told me he would love anything but pumpkin bread as he had OD’d on all my pumpkin bread baking. So I took a look in fridge for some inspiration and noticed I had 2 bags of fresh cranberries. Cranberry bread then came to my mind but I wanted to pair it with something sweet and citrusy to complement the tartness of the cranberries. I went on-line and found this recipe for cranberry orange bread from the Joy of Baking, perfect! I had everything on hand but an orange, so I looked in my fruit bowl and noticed I had a tangerine and decided I would use that.
I loved this recipe because it’s lower in fat than most, as it uses only 4 tablespoons of butter and replaces the more commonly used milk with orange juice.
This bread turned out amazing and John and I literally had it for dessert that night.
Cranberry Orange Bread:
- 1 cup cranberries, coarsely chopped
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon orange zest (outer skin of orange) – I used a tangerine here
- 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1 large egg, well beaten
- 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice – I did not use fresh squeezed orange juice here.
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Optional – 1/2 cup pecans or walnuts – I did not use nuts as my kids are not big fans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9 x 5 x 3inch loaf pan.
I did not have fresh squeezed orange juice so I used this one and it was perfect.
Rinse and then coarsely chop up your cranberries and set aside.
In a small bowl, combine the beaten egg with the orange juice and vanilla extract.
In a large bowl, whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. Cut the butter into small pieces and blend it into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.
Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Fold in the chopped cranberries (and nuts if your using them).
Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then remove the bread from the pan and let cool completely before slicing. I was surprised at how easily my bread came out of the pan.
Slice it up and slather on some butter or just enjoy it plain. It’s the perfect compliment to a cup of joe or tea. The tartness of the cranberries combined with the sweetness of the citrus is amazing and it just melts in your mouth.