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Cranberry Orange Bread Recipe & Video

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Here is a delicious Cranberry Bread for you to try. It pairs the tartness of fresh cranberries with the sweet citrus flavor of orange juice and orange zest. Besides its wonderful flavor, this Cranberry Orange Bread is lower in fat than most, as it uses only 4 tablespoons (55 grams) of butter and replaces the more commonly used milk with orange juice. I adapted this recipe from Jean Anderson's 'The American Century Cookbook' where she tells us that this recipe was developed by Ocean Spray around the middle of the 20th century.

This Cranberry Orange Bread is easy to make. It is simply a matter of mixing all the ingredients together. A few notes on ingredients. For the nuts, you can use pecans, walnuts, almonds, or even hazelnuts. I do like to toast the nuts first as this brings out their flavor. For the orange juice you can use freshly squeezed or you can buy a commercial freshly squeezed orange juice. Just make sure there is no sugar listed in the ingredients. If you do use store bought orange juice you can replace the orange zest in the recipe with 1/4 cup (45 grams) of candied orange peel.

Cranberries are a small, hard, smooth-skinned, round to oval-shaped, bright red berry that is native to North America. It is also known by the names craneberry, bounceberry, bearberry, cowberry, or lingonberry. The American Indians used the cranberry as both a food and a medicine. Sailors as well as settlers traveling westward were known to have used cranberries as a way to ward off scurvy. Today we know that cranberries are high in Vitamin C and are also used as an antioxidant.

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Cranberry Orange Bread: Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F (180 degrees C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, a 9 x 5 x 3 inch (23 x 13 x 8 cm) loaf pan. Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper.

Place the nuts on a baking sheet and toast for about 6 to 8 minutes or until lightly brown and fragrant. Let cool and then chop coarsely.

In a large bowl, whisk the flour with the sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and orange zest. Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry blender or two knives. (The mixture should look like coarse crumbs.) Fold in the chopped nuts and cranberries.

In a bowl, whisk the egg until frothy. Whisk in the orange juice and vanilla extract. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with the back of a spoon or offset spatula. Bake for about 55 - 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the bread comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about 10 minutes. Then remove the bread from the pan and let cool completely. This bread is best if stored overnight before serving. It can also be frozen.

Makes one loaf.

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Cranberry Orange Bread:

1/2 cup (50 grams) pecans, walnuts, or almonds

1 cup (120 grams) fresh or frozen cranberries, coarsely chopped

2 cups (260 grams) all-purpose flour

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

1 1/2 teaspoons (6 grams) baking powder

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) baking soda

1/2 teaspoon (2 grams) salt

1 tablespoon (5 grams) finely grated orange zest (outer orange skin)

4 tablespoons (55 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1 large egg (50 grams), at room temperature

3/4 cup (180 ml/grams) freshly squeezed orange juice

1 teaspoon (4 grams) pure vanilla extract

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