Monday, February 3, 2014

Cranberry-nut bread


We had cranberries in the freezer, left over from Christmas, and Thanksgiving before that. This is what happens when you buy a three-pound bag of fresh cranberries at Costco. You either use them all at once, or you use them over time, keeping them in the freezer to preserve them. Last week, I needed to make room in the freezer. The final third of the bag of cranberries had to go. It was time; after two months in the freezer, they weren't getting better. They were perfect for baking, though. I put them to good use in a big loaf of cranberry-nut bread.

This recipe is based on the zucchini bread recipe in my Betty Crocker cookbook. This is my everyday, multipurpose, good-solid-American-food cookbook. I've had it since I was 24, a new bride and a terrible cook. The Bear gave it to me for Christmas that year. He may have been trying to send a message, in his lovely, gentle way. The recipes aren't very adventurous, but every one of them works. It's one of the most effective collections of recipes I've ever seen. The zucchini bread recipe is excellent and makes a delicious loaf. I decided to try using the same basic recipe to make cranberry-nut bread, with substitutions. Cranberry and orange go together beautifully, and I've seen bread recipes which use orange juice or orange peel, but not always both. I love oranges, so I chose to use both. This isn't exactly decadent but it's really good. And I'm glad to share my ideas, if not my tart and tasty tea loaf.

Cranberry-Nut Bread

1 2/3 cups sugar
2/3 cup vegetable oil
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup orange juice*
2 teaspoons grated orange peel
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
2 cups thawed, rinsed cranberries

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray or grease bottom of 9-inch loaf baking pan (or two smaller loaf pans).

Mix sugar, oil, eggs, vanilla, juice and peel in a large bowl (I use my standing mixer with paddle attachment). Gradually add remaining ingredients and mix until well-blended. Spoon batter into prepared pan.

Bake for 70 to 80 minutes. Loaf should be medium-brown on top, and a knife stuck in the center comes out clean. Remove from oven. Cool in pan on a wire rack for one hour, then remove loaf to cool on the rack for an additional hour.

Makes 24 slices.

* I juiced one very large navel orange, extracting just under 1/2 cup juice. I added water to equal 1/2 cup (a tablespoon or two of water). I also used this orange for my grated peel. Bottled orange juice would work fine too.


The cranberries will bake whole, and retain their basic shape in the loaf, but will be soft and a little juicy, easy to slice through. They remain quite tart but the orange flavor balances that nicely. The bread is moist on the inside and crusty on the outside. It's delicious with a cup of tea in the afternoon. You could slather it with butter or cream cheese. Or honey...or butter and honey! Yum. I hope you enjoy this bread as much as we did.

37 comments:

  1. Ooh that looks really yummy :)
    Clare x

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  2. It looks delicious. Bright and colourful too with those cranberries.

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  3. Ooo looks yummy! What a great way to use the cranberries x

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  4. Cranberries and orange are a classic combination, so I can imagine that this tasted really good. If you have any more leftover cranberries, I can recommend adding them to braised red cabbage, they add some lovely tartness and sweetness at the same time. Hope that you enjoyed eating your cake, the cranberries make it look very pretty! xx

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  5. The colors are gorgeous! Thank you so much for sharing, yummy! You always have the best recipes!

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  6. Yum! That looks delicious! I made a similar bread around Thanksgiving, but I will have to give your recipe a try!

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  7. This looks so good Jennifer. I tend not to buy fresh cranberries because I am never sure what to do with them.

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  8. I shall have to give this a try it looks delicious. I made a fat free tea loaf at the weekend. X

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  9. That looks lovely - I might give it a try :)

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  10. Hey Jennifer,

    I shall definitely be making this. I have some cranberries in my baking cupboard that need to be used. I am trying to diet (again) but this would be perfect for a weekend treat. Lovely.

    Leanne xx

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  11. This sounds delicious and is now pinned to try when I'm not restricting gluten. I have the Betty Crocker cookbook, too, but an older version. It was a wedding present, too, back in 1969!

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  12. This sounds like a great recipe. I've got some tayberries in the freezer that would probably be lovely in it too. I love things with orange in them, so I know I'd like this. Thanks for sharing the recipe Jennifer.

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  13. This looks and sounds great, but i have never seen fresh cranberries in Australia. maybe i will adept your recipe.

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  14. Looks delicious! -Lately I've been baking, it's definitely that kind of weather.

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  15. Yum Jennifer, looks excellent ☺

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  16. It looks amazing, really yummy. I like it when a "bread" actually turns out to be more like a cake, especially when you can cover it in butter and honey... You should add this to your thanksgiving/holiday baking repertoire, it would be perfect! x

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  17. This looks real yummy, thanks for the recipe x

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  18. I love cranberry bread. I have a great recipe, too - somewhere, lol. I probably pinned it or maybe I have it bookmarked. My aunt taught me a secret for extra yummy cranberry bread: soak the cranberries ahead of time in orange-flavored liqueur. Yum!

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    1. That sounds awesome! I will keep it in mind. Thanks, Melanie!

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  19. Oh yum.. that look delish, thanks for sharing the recipe! I wish you could join Gracie, Taci and I for lunch tomorrow! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  20. Oh, how delicious this looks, as well as very attractive to look at, Jennifer. I have never had cranberry bread; we never see fresh cranberries here. I wonder if it would work with other frozen red berries?

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  21. Very yummy looking and perfect with a pot of Earl Grey in the afternoon. We don't often seen fresh cranberries here either - I'll definitely be on the lookout though. Looking forward to making this Jennifer :) x

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  22. Oh wow!! that bread looks yummy!!
    Thanks for sharing Jennifer :)

    Have a lovely week!

    Lluisa x

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  23. That looks yummy Jennifer, thanks for the recipe. :)

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  24. That looks delicious! I think I'm going to buy cranberries for my next cake... Hugs ;)

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  25. Stop......you're making me hungry! Very yummy :) x

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  26. Wonderful look and taste! Oh, Jennifer you have so much energy to treat your family and us!

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  27. The bread looks yummy, Jennifer! I love cranberries in porridge, bread, cookies, crisps - you name it! Have you ever mixed them with apples when you make an apple crisp? Another thing you can do with them if you have a dehydrator is dry them. I buy the big Costco bags and dry what we don't eat. I just quickly cut each one in half (it doesn't take as long as you would think), pop them on the drying trays, and about 12 hours later I have a winter's supply of dried cranberries, minus the sugar and oil that are on the ones you buy at the store.

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  28. Yum this cake looks delicious. Sarah x

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  29. This looks so yummy Jennifer - you are such a busy girl and always such wonderful results whatever you are producing! Hugs, Joy x

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  30. Jennifer,

    Your cranberry nut bread, crunchy on the outside and perfectly moist inside, colourful and pretty, is, I'm sure the perfect accompaniment for afternoon tea, as you say. Thanks for sharing!

    Poppy

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  31. I still have cranberries in my freezer too :) Your bread looks delicious and I love the photos!

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  32. Yum this looks seriously delicious!! Xoxo

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  33. Or, cranberry marmalade...two one pound bags of cranberries, 1 jar of orange marmalade, one cup of sugar and heat gently on stove until berries begin to pop and well mixed. Let cool, store in glass jars and serve with everything from toast, biscuits, poultry, beef...my girlfriend eats it out of the jar. She's baaaad!

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  34. Mmm, I love tea-breads and this one sounds amazing. Now to translate those cup measurements to weights. :-)

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