Monday, January 17, 2011

Cranberry nut bread

Oh friends. I have been slacking on posting. There are many reasons for that lately, but the biggest two are my new schedule and the fact that we joined a gym! Though these are both very exciting things, but they left me exhausted last week. This week, however, promises to be easier as I ease into my new schedule.
Anyway! That is not the point. The point is, last night I decided to bake. Do you ever feel like you just want to bake something? Usually, for me, this comes with a really cold house, because I want to heat the house without turning the heat up! Last night I was just bored, however.
We had a huge bag of Craisins in the house so I decided to try cranberry nut bread! Like my friend banana bread, cranberry nut bread is a quick bread, which means it doesn't have to rise. Although, since it has to cook for over an hour, I think maybe quick bread is not the right term for this type of bread. Maybe it should be called faster than yeast bread that still takes a long time to bake? I guess that's too long, so we will stick with quick bread.
The recipe for this bread isn't that difficult or unusual, in fact if you search fro cranberry nut bread you will probably find the same or similar recipe that I used. However, I'm a big fan of using the cookbooks I have, so I used a new cookbook I hadn't tried out yet.

The recipe was quick and easy, and even though it calls for fresh cranberries and recommends fresh squeezed orange juice, I used Craisins and Tropicana orange juice and it came out pretty good, if I do say so myself! Here is the recipe, in case you get bored one night too.

2 cups flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick butter
1 egg
3/4 cup orange juice (I ended up using 1 cup because my batter was really dry)
1 tablespoon grated orange peel (about 1 orange)
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cranberries (I used Craisins!)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (I used pecans!)

Mix the dry ingredients, including the cranberries and nuts.
In a separate bowl, mix the wet ingredients.
Combine the wet and dry ingredients and combine, just until moistened. It's important not to over-mix the batter or else your bread will be dry and tough.
Pour the batter into a greased 9x5 inch pan and bake in a 350 degree oven for 75 minutes.
Cool on a rack for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Let the loaf cool completely, wrap it in foil and let it sit overnight before slicing.


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