Wednesday, August 8, 2012

At Home: Cranberry Nut Bread

One of my favorite snacks is dried cranberries.  These tart cousins to the common raisin are a staple in my cupboard.  They are great to add to cereal or oatmeal in the morning, sprinkle on salads, mix with nuts as a snack to keep at my desk, or to add into classic holiday dishes like stuffing.  I wanted to use them in a Cranberry Nut Bread recipe that I found and feature here on What Micky Eats...At Home.

Cranberry Nut Bread
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teasp salt
  • 1 teasp baking powder
  • ¼ teasp baking soda
  • ½ cup coarsely chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts work well)
  • 1½ cups dried cranberries
  • 1 egg
  • 2/3 cup milk
  • 6 Tbsp butter, melted
  • 1 orange, juiced and zested

- Preheat oven to 375.
- Start with your dry ingredients, whisking together in a large mixing bowl flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and baking soda.
- To this add nuts and cranberries.
- Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, beat egg, orange juice, orange zest, milk, butter.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix well with a rubber spatula, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl.
- When all of the ingredients are incorporated, scrape the batter into a 9-inch by 5-inch loaf pan greased and dusted with flour.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake an additional 30-40 minutes, or until the top of the loaf is mahogany brown and a tooth pick inserted into the middle comes out clean.
- Allow the bread to cool in the pan 10 minutes, then invert onto a wire rack.
- Slice and serve warm with cream cheese as a morning snack or crumble over ice cream for a late night treat.

This bread was incredibly easy and the orange is so fragrant while baking, that your house will smell like a dream!  I pulled the finished loaf out of the oven just before Keith got home from work and he was pleasantly surprised, stating "Ooooh! Whatcha making?"  This made me so happy.  I quickly sliced the bread (I recommend you allow it to cool a bit before slicing, otherwise it gets a little crumbly as shown in my pictures above due to the steam) and we tasted some.  The orange flavor really came through and there was a perfect balance of cranberries and nuts.  The bottom of the bread was slightly crunchy and I like it that way.  Next time, I might try to make these as muffins for easier snacking.  In the end, I was pleased with my recent baking rendition and look forward to eating this cranberry nut bread during the week.

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