Monday, December 20, 2010

Cranberry Bread

Well hello! 
Are you still there? I am here! Really I am. 
I think of blogging often...but the 'real' world seems to have taken the front seat for awhile...
Things have been a little crazy...a little bit of this:
A little bit of that...
 A little tiny bit of this...
And a lot of yearning to get back to blogging!

Now that we are finally at least a little settled...decorated Christmas tree included...I can finally share some of the baking I've done while in the midst of packing, moving, de-wallpapering, unpacking, painting and actually working at my day job.

I found a GREAT cranberry bread recipe years ago...guess where I found it? The Fannie Farmer Cookbook Copyright 1990. My Grandmother gave me this cookbook in 1999 when I moved into my first apartment. I can't tell you how many great recipes this oldie but goodie cookbook has. 
I've made this cranberry bread for years, it works great in mini-form as gifts for friends, teachers, colleagues, and of course as full size loaves for yourself :) So I have found my go-to zucchini bread recipe , this is my cranberry bread up, banana bread! Open to your suggestions!

My in-laws were visiting in October and we were able to show them the beauty of Cape Cod, and most importantly, buy some fresh cranberries!
THREE pounds of fresh cranberries!
So, besides cranberry bread, I made a lot of acorn squash this fall.
Do you know how to tell when a cranberry is fresh? They bounce! Really, try it for yourself. 

So let's get to it!

You can add nuts to this bread, I just like a pure cranberry bread without nuts. So modify it to suit your taste. I've substituted orange juice for the orange with boiling water, and increased the amount of cranberries to really pump up the color and cranberry flavor.

Cranberry Bread : Fannie Farmer 1990

1 Orange
Boiling Water
2 Tbsp Butter
1 egg
1 c sugar
1 cup chopped cranberries
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
2 cups white flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

I have a mini-food processor...and I mean MINI. I have chopped these by hand...yes really...many times, but if you have one of these mini food processors they work perfectly for this amount of cranberries.

Zest the entire orange, squeeze all of its juice into a liquid measuring cup, including the zest. Add enough boiling water to make a little over 3/4 cup total liquid. ( 3/4 cup of orange juice will also work, but I find the zest really adds an extra layer of flavor and freshness)
Add the butter and stir to melt. (If you go the orange juice method, melt the 2 Tbsp butter and then add it to the juice)

In another bowl, beat the egg, and slowly add the sugar, making sure it is all well incorporated.
Add all remaining ingredients. Also add the orange mixture.
Mix well
Mmm...see all the bits of zest goodness?! yum.
Pour into an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inch loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

I love to make a decoration with halved cranberries on the top of the loaf before baking. Plus if you get a bite of a piece of the loaf with a big piece on top, it's an added flavor burst.
Enjoy the ridiculously good smells that will come from your oven.

As per usual, the bread will be done when a toothpick or cake tester comes out clean from the center of the loaf.
(Hmmm...pretty decoration didn't quite make it this time...but still tasted great!)

I've found that it is best to cool this bread in the pan for about 5 minutes, then remove from pan and let it finish cooling on a wire rack.