Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

From the archives ~ A Christmas tradition Chez Porter.  Now updated with weights and non-crappy (well, less crappy) photos! Merry, merry!

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When I was a kid, my Mom always made cranberry nut bread around the holidays.  Now, I’m 99% certain that this was from a mix; my Mom was (and is) a horrible cook.  But I loved this bread, and to this day, cranberry nut bread reminds me of Christmas. 

Mom is coming up from Asheville, NC tomorrow; she’s stopping off for the day on the way to visit my brother up in Salem, MA.  When thinking about what I should make, to have on hand for us to nibble while she’s here, I was reminded of my childhood favorite, cranberry nut bread.  Of course, I found a great recipe on Simply Recipes.  The bread came out moist and delicious, orangey, and packed full of nuts and cranberries that burst with flavor in your mouth.  I only hope Mom likes it as much as the mix.

Adapted (barely) from Cranberry Nut Bread by Elise at Simply Recipes

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Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 cups (10 oz) whole white wheat flour (Wild Hive “all purpose“)
  • 3/4 cup (6 oz) turbinado sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 3/4 – 1 cup ( 3 – 4 oz) walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup (4 oz) organic cranberries, rinsed, sliced in half (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz) butter, melted
  • 3/4 cup + 2 tbsp (7 oz) freshly squeezed orange juice (from 3 small Valenica oranges)
  • 1 tbsp orange zest, tightly packed
  • 1 large egg (2 oz)

METHODS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease an 8″ x 4″ loaf pan (or 3 mini-loaf pans).
  2. Combine flours, sugar, baking powder and soda and salt in a large mixing bowl. Add walnuts and cranberries and toss to mix.
  3. Beat together egg, melted butter, orange juice and zest in  small bowl.  Add to flour mixture and fold into batter just until mixed (if batter seems too dry, add more OJ, 1 tbsp at a time, and mix minimally.  Batter should be thick, but just on the edge of pourable).
  4. Scrape into prepared loaf pan(s) and bake in the center of the oven for 50 – 60 minutes (30 – 35 minutes for mini pans), or until a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
  5. Cool in the pan for 10 – 15 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool completely, on a wire rack, prior to slicing (for the neatest slices).

Yields one 8″ x 4″ loaf or three mini-loaves.

OPTIONS

  1. Elise’s original recipe called for 2 cups of all-purpose flour and only 3/4 cup of orange juice; the added liquid was necessary due to the substitution of whole grain flour.  This batter is not as loose as some typical quick bread batters (and it does not rise as much), but it should not look as dense as cookie dough; adjust the liquid accordingly to suit your flour source.
  2. Pecans, almonds or hazelnuts would be a nice substitution for the walnuts. Black walnuts grow wild, locally, if you can find them; if you can, the flavor is much stronger than the English walnut, so start with 1/2 a cup.

STORE

At room temperature, wrapped in a kitchen towel, for 2 days.  Refrigerated, wrapped in plastic wrap or foil, for 5 days.  Frozen, double-wrapped, for up to 3 months.

SEASON

Fresh cranberries are available October – January in the Northeast.  With frozen cranberries, you can make this bread year-round.

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