Quick! Run out and buy some extra cranberries while they are still fresh in the store!
Stash an extra bag in the freezer so you can make things like this delicious bread later in the year.
Don’t delay. I’d hate for you to have to wait a whole year to try this recipe.
Quick Breads are, well, quick and easy to make because they don’t use yeast. Like my favorites and old stand-bys Banana Bread and Pumpkin Bread, this Cranberry Orange Bread can be whipped up in minutes in a bowl with no mixer or special equipment required.
Here’s what you need:
Flour, Sugar, Baking Powder, Baking Soda, Orange Juice, Buttermilk, Orange Zest, Egg, Cranberries, Vanilla, Butter, Salt, and Pecans.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Melt 6 Tablespoons (3/4 of a stick) of butter in the microwave and let it cool while you prepare the other ingredients.
Grab a large bowl for the dry ingredients and mix 2 cups of flour, 1 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda.
Give it a good whisk to lighten the flour and combine all of the dry ingredients.
Grab a separate bowl for the wet ingredients and mix 2/3 cup buttermilk with 1/3 cup orange juice.
Add 1 egg and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
Using a microplane or other grater with small holes, grate the zest of one orange into the bowl.
Remember to only grate the very outside orange layer as the white layer underneath is very bitter.
Whisk the wet ingredients together…
then add the cooled, melted butter. We add the butter last so that if it is still a little warm, it doesn’t scramble the egg.
Chop up 1½ cups of fresh cranberries. A rough chop will do the trick – no need to be perfect especially since the cranberries are a pain and will roll all over the board.
You could also use frozen cranberries that have been thawed and chopped. I haven’t tried it, but my guess is that dried cranberries would be good too – especially if you plumped them up in the orange juice first.
While you’re chopping, finely chop 1/2 cup of pecans if nuts are your thing.
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir only until about halfway combined. Then add the cranberries and pecans and stir to incorporate all of the ingredients.
One trick to good, light bread (and most other baked goodies) is to not over-stir. Just get things combined with a few strokes being sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Grease or butter a loaf pan – mine is about 8×5 measuring the bottom of the pan
and spoon in the batter using the spatula to smooth out the top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out mostly clean with only a few crumbs attached.
Allow the bread to cool in the pan for 10 minutes to hold its shape, then cool completely on a wire rack.
One of the best things about this bread is that because of the cranberries and orange zest, it is not too sweet.
This is a new favorite in our house. Good thing I’ve been hoarding cranberries.
Here’s the recipe: Adapted from The America’s Test Kitchen Family Baking Book