Friends, don’t try this one at home. Try the bread recipe, but when you put it in the oven don’t allow the evil temptress Productivity to tell you that while it is baking for 45 minutes you should try to squeeze in a 4-mile run because you haven’t jogged since before Christmas, chunky buns. Gosh the inner voice is a snake, but even so I listened to her and soon after found myself wheezing, out of shape, numb from the ankles down (because it’s a sunny 19 degrees here this afternoon), watching my phone clock with a sense of doom like McGruber, sprinting down icy 4th Ave, an all out effort to get home before the bread burned the house down. When I pushed through the door, my oven timer had 9 seconds left! I peed my pants a little, kicked off my shoes, threw a steaming fleece headband against the wall, and delivered my first born Cranberry Nut Bread, just in time.
Cranberry Nut Bread
adapted from Baking Illustrated
featured on Sourdough Surprises
⅓ cup orange juice (pulp free, my choice)
1 T. grated orange zest form 1 large orange
⅔ cup buttermilk
6 T. unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pans
1 large egg, beaten lightly
2 cups wheat flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sourdough starter
1½ cups cranberries, chopped coarse
½ cup toasted pecans (best from Mr. Billy’s tree in Green County, North Carolina)
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.
Stir the orange juice, orange zest, buttermilk, melted butter, sourdough starter and egg in a small bowl.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir the orange liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Stir in the cranberries and nuts.
Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350ºF and bake for another 35-45 minutes.
Mr. Billy, Tom, Holly, and Jude—this one’s for you. The pecans you gave us for Christmas toasted nicely into the loaf and eating it reminds Karl-Peter and I of the handful of Easters we’ve had cranberries and pecans on lamb with y’all. We love you! And Tom, we’ll see you through the television today with Seahawks versus Redskins, yes?
The bread: 5 stars! It only makes one loaf, which is disappointing. I really wish it made twelve. I couldn’t resist including a picture of Izzy giving the fresh loaf the look of love. One and a half cups of cranberries makes it REALLY cranberry-y, so if you like dense fruit, stick with the recipe. I think I would have been happy with a ½ a cup of cranberries/loaf. Also, I used wheat flour, and it didn’t weigh down the bread terribly, which is good! Wish we could be in North Carolina enjoying it with the providers of our pecans–Happy Sunday.