Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cranberry Nut Bread

I've been wanting to make my Mom's cranberry nut bread for awhile now and I finally decided to make it tonight! I'm so excited about sharing this recipe that I am actually writing and posting about it on the SAME DAY that I made it!! I know, its insane.  

I've been off the grid for a long time, I'm sorry!  Life gets really crazy this time of year for us because of the holidays and because our anniversary is the week before Christmas.  Plus, I'm still trying to figure out how to get everything done that I want to do (DIY projects, blogging, starting my own business, etc.), while working full time, being a wife, maintaining our house, cooking dinners, keeping in touch with my friends, helping with Mr. Modern's photography business, AND not going completely mental at the same time... seesh!  it stresses me out just writing that!!  I definitely don't have it all figured out, but I'm working on it!  More thoughts on that another day though!

Ok, let's talk Cranberries! They remind me not only of Thanksgiving, but also stringing them as garland for decorating at Christmas time... so making cranberry bread is perfect for this month!  For as long as I can remember, my Mom has made this bread and I always loved it.  In fact, the recipe I have is dated "1994" :)

So, from my family's kitchen to yours, here is our recipe for... 

Cranberry Nut Bread

2 cups of flour
1 cup of sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup butter at room temperature
1 tsp. grated orange peel
3/4 cup orange juice (fresh if you can)
1 well beaten egg
2 cups fresh cranberries
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I usually use walnuts)


Put all of the dry ingredients into a bowl... 

 ...and mix them with a whisk or a fork. 

Cut the butter into the dry mixture.  

In case you have no idea what I'm talking about, all this means is that you use two butter knives in a criss cross cutting motion to mix the butter into the flour.  You will not get the same consistency if you melt the butter.  I'm sure that you could try using a stand mixer with a whisk attachment if you wanted to instead.  You'll know that its mixed enough when you can't see any big chunks of butter... (I forgot to take a picture of it after it was mixed, sorry!)


Next you want to prep the wet ingredients (orange juice/zest and egg). First, zest your oranges until you have 1 tsp of zest.  Its hard to pack it in there to get an exact measurement so if its overflowing a little it's fine.

Next, cut the oranges in half and juice them (2-3 should be enough, but I wanted to have some extra juice for later so I cut up more).  I happened to have a few different kinds of oranges so that's why they all look different (and no, the red ones are not grapefruit, they are ruby navel oranges)! 

I have the citrus juicer attachment for my Kitchen Aid so I used that for juicing the oranges... much easier than doing it by hand, I highly recommend it!

 It literally leaves nothing left worth using, its amazing!

After you have 3/4 cup of juice, beat your egg really well and add the orange juice and zest.

Pour it into the dry ingredients... 

...and mix until it is just combined.  Don't worry if there is a little flour left on the bottom, that will get mixed in when the cranberries are added.

 Make sure that you rinse the cranberries and pull out any stems or bad cranberries.

Measure out 2 cups of whole cranberries, put into a blender, and pulse until they are chopped (no more than 10 seconds).  If you don't have a blender, you can try using a knife, but I haven't tried that so no guarantees that it will work the same!
***Note: I FORGOT to measure the cranberries and ended up using the whole bag!! haha I think I ended up with a total of 3 cups... oops!

Fold in the cranberries and chopped nuts.

Add the combined mixture into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour.

Because I accidentally added extra cranberries and only baked it for 1 hour, I ended up under-cooking mine a little bit.  It's still really good but the middle pieces are definitely not done.  Here is my advise for making sure it is cooked all the way: usually when you bake breads, the top of it will crack down the middle, insert the toothpick into that crack.  If it comes out clean from the crack, then it's done.  If you find that the edges are getting too dark, cover just the edges in tinfoil.

Here is the finished Cranberry Nut Bread!!


If you get a chance to try this recipe, please let me know what you think!

Happy Baking!
Mrs. Modern