This easy cranberry bread is lovely and light, and its tartness is balanced by the orange zest. It’s simple and easy, and can be altered to include whole wheat flour, more nuts, and orange juice.
By Katherine Ingui
It was 8am, I was alone in my parents’ kitchen a few days before Thanksgiving break, and I was reading my November 2011 Real Simple magazine while sipping coffee and relaxing. It was my first break in a while from graduate school, and I was finally reading something for pleasure. I love school-I love reading and writing and talking to others about their ideas for their research, but it’s exhausting. I look for outlets-whether dinner parties, visits to home, date nights, or lazy movie days where I simply done my pajamas for 24 hours. It’s a healthy balance, right? I’m trying.
So while reading Real Simple and drooling over Thanksgiving articles, recipes, and decorating tips, I found a wonderful, easy recipe that caught my eye. I mean the photographs alone catch my fancy, you know? It’s not that difficult for food photography to have my undivided attention. Just ask my friends. I love it.
Well, let’s just say that it was something like a wave, this need to make and create and taste this cranberry-hazelnut bread. I was, however, lacking hazelnuts, but I had a couple bags of pecans from North Georgia that I could use. So I improvised, and it was a success to say the least.
This bread is perfect with coffee, it’s easy and fast to make, and the cranberries are tart and wonderful for this incoming winter weather that we’re experiencing in Athens, Georgia. Make it, freeze it, and have it whenever you’re in the mood for a little break from your usual day to day life. It may be a good idea to bake a loaf or two and take it to Christmas parties or holiday events- whatever it takes to make life a little bit more enjoyable and less stressful.
- 1 cup hazelnuts (I used pecans)
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
- 1½ cups all-purpose flour
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup light brown sugar
- 1 Tbsp baking powder
- ½ tsp kosher salt
- ½ cup whole milk (I used skim)
- 2 large eggs
- 1 Tbsp grated orange zest
- ½ tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1½ cups cranberries, fresh or frozen
- Heat oven to 350 degrees F and butter an 8½-by-4½ in. loaf pan.
- In a bowl, combine the flour, sugars, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate bowl, combine butter, milk, eggs, orange zest, and vanilla.
- Add the wet mix to the flour mix until just combined (do not overwork).
- Fold in nuts and cranberries.
- Transfer batter to baking pan and bake for 55-65 minutes.
- Let bread cool in pan for 30 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack.