I have started a love affair with cranberries this year. Oh, I have always loved them but this season I am rediscovering the pleasures of adding their tartness to an array of dishes and baked goods.
Orange, whether zest or fresh squeezed juice, brings out their loveliness even more. Too often, they are limited to make a shy gooey appearance out of a can at Thanksgiving. No offense to the canned-cranberry-sauce lovers out there, but this does no justice to this beautiful fruit. I am partial to scones, muffins and bread bursting with citrus and chunks of these bright red berries. And, when it comes to my Thanksgiving table, I follow in my sister's footsteps and make a delicious homemade cranberry-blueberry sauce which she introduced me to many years ago. My kids eat it by the bucket-full so I always double the batch.
This year, I have discovered a new recipe for Cranberry-Orange Bread. The aroma that fills my house as I type this post is simply indescribable. You'll have to bake a loaf to find out for yourself. Be warned: it must be left alone to cool for an hour before being sliced--not an easy thing to comply with when the sweet enticing smell teases you mercilessly.
So what is so different about this bread that warrants such passion on my part? The batter for one is sweet with orange pulp and a pillowy texture. The cranberries are crushed while still frozen, thereby providing the perfect cranberry flavor to bite ratio. The pulpy juice of fresh oranges makes such a delightful difference in the intensity of flavor and texture.
This recipe was based originally on an America's Test Kitchen recipe.
Cranberry Orange Bread (makes 1 loaf)
If you are not concerned about the gluten you can make this recipe using 2 cups all-purpose flour (just omit the xantham gum) instead of the first 5 ingredients. If you are gluten free but would rather use a baking mix feel free to do so but don't forget to add the xantham as indicated in the recipe. I like the addition of almond meal but I have made this loaf entirely with Bob's Red Mill GF mix before with excellent results.
1/2 cup brown rice flour
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup almond meal
1/2 cup millet flour
1 teaspoon xantham gum
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons unsweetened applesauce
2/3 cups fruit flavored kefir yogurt, or other liquid yogurt (buttermilk is a good substitute)
1/3 cup freshly squeezed orange juice with pulp
1 tablespoon of orange zest
1 large egg, beaten
1/4 cup agave nectar, or honey
1/2 cup of crushed frozen cranberries
1/2 cup walnut pieces
Preheat oven 375F
Oil a loaf pan
Mix all the first 9 ingredients together in a bowl.
In another bowl: mix the oil, applesauce, kefir, juice, zest, egg and agave nectar until well combined.
Incorporate the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl. Add the cranberries and nuts and mix thoroughly. Transfer batter to prepared loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Check for doneness after an hour by inserting a knife in the center. Blade should come out clean. Let cool for an hour before slicing.
Artsy-Foodie's Tip: Make this recipe into muffins for a nice individual treat. Reduce the baking time to 30 minutes instead.
Stop by for a visit later on this week for a wonderful apple-cranberry salad dressing recipe...