When I was a little girl, I thought bags of cranberries looked like pretty pretty red beads. I wanted to string them and wear them. A few years ago I found a wagon load of red wooden cranberry garlands on deep sale after Christmas and I bought an embarrassing amount of them. I've thought about wearing those, too, when they come down from the attic to see me every winter.
Cranberries make me happy, see. Pair them with oranges in recipes, and I'm borderline giddy. This Cranberry Bread is like a happy happy treat with pretty pretty red beads in it. Practically glamorous with a nice pot of something like English Breakfast or Earl Grey.
Great Scot is very fond of this stuff, in fact he's been known to say it's his favorite. But I suspect he's never thought of it as glamorous.
If you double this recipe, like I do, you can use up one 12 ounce bag of fresh cranberries. There won't be any left over to play dress-up with, but you'll feel all thrifty using the whole bag like that.
Cranberry Bread Brody
from Jane Brody's Good Food Book
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 to 2/3 cup sugar, to taste
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt, if desired
1-2 small oranges, used thus:
4 tsp grated orange peel (doubled = 2 T + 2 tsp)
3/4 cup orange juice
3 T vegetable oil
1 1/3 cups fresh cranberries, sliced in half or coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped nuts (walnuts or pecans)
1. In a large bowl, stir together the flours, the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the oil, orange peel, orange juice, and egg. Add this mixture to the flour mixture, stirring the two mixtures just enough to moisten the dry ingredients. Fold in the cranberries and nuts, and pour the batter into a greased 9 X 5 X 3 inch loaf pan.
3. Bake the bread in a preheated 350 degree oven for 1 hour (about 50 minutes if you're using mini loaf pans). Set the pan on a rack for about 10 minutes before turning out the loaf to cool completely. Wrap the bread well, and let it stand overnight before slicing it.
Note: Jane Brody says this bread freezes well, but in my experience it doesn't keep well in the freezer longer than a month -- the texture suffers a little. You can, however, buy fresh cranberries in season during the holidays and freeze them in their original bags for year-round use.