Update- 8:54am, March 21.
Location: Esther’s cube.
Esther just demolished nearly 2/3 of the loaf in… 10 minutes.
It’s that time of year again- oranges. Massive and massive amounts of orange. There were some 60 oranges sitting in my garage at one point. We’ve manage to dwindle that number down to 40. Still, that’s a formidable number. I’m not sure how many more oranges I can physically eat.
So I was thinking. Orange chicken? Orange sorbet? Orange marmalade? Orange…?
Then I came across a recipe for orange cranberry bread. It used real oranges and real cranberries. I didn’t have cranberries, but I had… craisins!
In the interest of cutting down sugar, I completely modified this bread. I halved the amount of butter and replaced margarine with canola oil. The result is a dense and somewhat dry bread. However, it makes for some good dunking. Think of it as a cross between a biscotti and bread.
You can taste a trace of the sugar, but the craisins provide a full burst of sweetness. I kept the walnuts whole because I like the way they take up huge chunks within the loaf. Really, this is one of those recipes where you can toss just about any extra dried fruit or nut that you have in your pantry.
The batter came out lumpy and dense. It wasn’t what I was used to at all with bread. Typically, the breads that I make are more runny, almost like muffin batter. Those batters make for an airier and lighter bread. I wasn’t sure how the loaf would come out. It was so difficult to smooth it out. At the end, I had to settle with massive chunks of craisins on the bottom of the loaf as I was too impatient to figure out a way to get them more evenly spread out.
Awhile back, I invested in one of those $5 mini loaf pans. As someone who doesn’t like firing up an inefficient gas oven, I like baking in my toaster oven. Now, it’s not the best apparatus for baking, but for things that need time to bake, it provides for a good alternative. So I watched the loaf rise immediately within the first five minutes, forming uneven lumps and peaks. And the smell. It just smelled great.
After about 20 minutes it was done. For a regular sized loaf, this will take much longer- up to nearly an hour. But it’s totally worth it. I didn’t eat much of it until this morning, when I dunked it into coffee. If I had some strawberry preserves, I would have totally spread some. I could also imagine it tasting good with nutella. Maybe ketchup? (Okay, I’m kidding. Even I think that’s disgusting)
This bread isn’t at all hard to make. It takes literally 10 minutes and you can do it completely by hand. If you’re looking for a moist, light bread, this is most definitely NOT the recipe you’re looking for. The texture reminds me a bit like soda bread. Sometimes, you just have a craving for breads like this. However, I think that replacing the canola oil with something like margarine may improve the moistness, which was what the original recipe had called for.
Orange Cranberry Walnut Bread
Inspired by Allrecipes
Yields one 9 x 5 loaf
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1 1/2 cups craisins
- 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 cup white sugar
- 1 egg
- 3/4 cup orange juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan. This is a bread that takes a bit to bake so technically, you could put it into two loaf pans, although it clearly won’t rise as much. However, they’d bake quicker!
Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir in orange zest, craisins, and walnuts . Set aside. In a large bowl, mix together the canola oil, sugar, and egg until smooth. Stir in orange juice. Beat in flour mixture until just moistened. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake for 1 hour in the preheated oven, or until the bread springs back when lightly touched. Let stand 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool.