Easy Cranberry Bread
December 23, 2010
How is it that cranberries have become the icon of the holidays? Is it their crimson color or their relative scarcity throughout the rest of the year? Whatever it is, they play a special role during this season. For some reason, I have been craving cranberry bread. When I set out to find a recipe, I was surprised that there are very few out there. The recipe that follows is generously adapted from one posted on Everyday Food (that received mediocre reviews).
I was craving a bread that would celebrate cranberries rich color and tart flavor without distractions from nuts, citrus, etc. To boost the flavor, I swapped out the whole milk for buttermilk. The cranberries are chopped and sprinkled with sugar before folding them into the dough. This sweetens the berries and prevents an overwhelmingly sour pop of cranberry when you bite into a piece. The result is a quick bread that is perfect for breakfast or brunch during the holidays or any time of year. (Now is the best time to buy cranberries. They freeze well!)
The bread was a hit. Both kids were drooling over it before I even sliced it up. After my son finished his fourth slice, I practically had to restrain him from eating more. (How does a 40 pound person eat that much?!) I hope you enjoy.
Easy Cranberry Bread
adapted from Everyday Food
makes 1 loaf
2 cups cranberries, chopped
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon lemon or orange zest (optional)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter and flour a 4 x 8 inch bread pan.
Chop the cranberries and sprinkle with white sugar. Set aside.
Whisk the flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the buttermilk, egg, and butter.
Mix the milk mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. It will be thick. Fold in the cranberries and zest if you are using it.
Press bread dough into the prepared pan. Smooth out the top with a spatula. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until a toothpick poked in the center comes out clean.
Cool on a rack 10 minutes, slice and serve.
Here is a printer-friendly version: Easy Cranberry Bread
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