Orange Cranberry Bread
This is a quick bread made with cornmeal, adapted from a Williams-Sonoma holiday cookbook. They suggested serving it as a bread with your holiday meal, but we've always liked it for breakfast during the holiday season. Eat plain, or toast individual slices in your toaster oven (it's too crumbly for a regular toaster) and top with butter and orange marmalade. Yum! Because of the cornmeal, the bread has a bit of a crunch to it when toasted.
- Ready In:
- 1hr 30mins
- 1 1⁄2 cups fresh cranberries or 1 1/2 cups frozen cranberries
- 1 orange, zest of, grated
- 1 cup sugar, divided
- 1 1⁄2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1⁄2 cup yellow cornmeal
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1⁄2 cup fresh orange juice
- 1⁄2 cup water
- Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat oven to 325.
- Grease an 8x5 or 9x5 loaf pan. Cut a piece of wax paper or parchment paper to line the bottom of the pan, then grease the bottom again. (otherwise your lovely loaf might stick to the pan!).
- Sort the cranberries and discard any soft ones. Coarsely chop the cranberries (I pulse a couple of times with my food processor) and place in a small saucepan over low heat. Add the orange zest & 1/2 cup of the sugar and heat slowly just to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool.
- In a bowl stir together the flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder & baking soda.
- In a separate bowl combine the butter and remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Beat until light & fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the egg.
- Stir in half the flour mixture, and then the orange juice & water. Stir in the remaining flour mixture and then the cooled cranberry mixture. Don't overmix.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan. Place in the oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, 55-60 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes. Turn out onto a wire rack, peel the wax paper from the bottom of the loaf, and cool completely. Slice & serve.
- Note: This recipe doesn't double well. The batter is light & airy, and too voluminous even for my Kitchenaid stand mixer. If I want to make 2 loaves, I mix them up separately. But I put each loaf in the oven as soon as it is mixed up because the baking powder is already activated. Then I know if, for example, 10 minutes have passed before the 2nd loaf goes in, I will pull the 1st loaf out when the timer goes off, then set the timer again for another 10 minutes for the 2nd loaf.
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I am fascinated with the idea of using cornmeal in recipes outside of cornbread, so when I saw the ingredient list I was immediately sold. Decided to prepare this for tomorrow's staff meeting and needed to make two small changes to adapt this for a vegan coworker; first replacing the butter with margarine and replacing the egg with peach baby food. Made as presented here and noticed the batter was a little bit thinner than usual for quick breads. Baked in a 9 by 5 in loaf pan and while the outside of the bread climbed and browned beautifully the center was not rising as it should. Hmmmm. Eventually, the ceter began to sag. Let it bake an additional 9 minutes over the stated time to omake sure the center was cooked. When I tipped it out, it was clear we had a problem. as the bottom of the pan in the center was rich with cranberries that sank and much of the batter stuck to the pan. My guess is my pan was too wide and did not offer enough structure for the bread to rise against. Despite the unattractive appearance, I tried a piece and the flavor and texture we just fantastic. While I won't serve this, you can be sure I will be enjoying what I can at home. So tomorrow when I stop at the bakery, I'll know that what I buy may look better, but in no manner will it taste better than what I planned. Made for the Went to the Market Game.
Update: This froze excellently! Thaws FAST! I could not wait and started eating it frozen- it was still YUM! 10-11-2008 Nice quick bread. The cornmeal here is a definite new one on me! Lots of crunch! Very nice against the sweet tart cranberry. This made a dense but moist bread that was fast and easy to put together. Would be very nice for holiday tables and gift giving! *Made for Bevy Tag*