This is the perfect bread for gift giving, nibbling while drinking tea or to have with your morning coffee. It is so delicious bursting with fresh cranberries and with a mild orange flavor. I especially love it since it is not too sweet but just right. This recipe is great because it makes two loaves...you can enjoy one and give the other as a gift.
Ingredients for Holiday Cranberry Bread:
*makes 2 loaves
4 cups flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/4 teaspoons table salt
2 tablespoons baking powder
1 cup buttermilk
1 stick of butter, melted and cooled
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
2 3/4 cups fresh cranberries
orange zest from 3 oranges
1 3/4 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup applesauce
1 cup sliced almonds
Confectioners sugar for garnish
You will need parchment paper and two Pyrex loaf pans.
Time-saving Tips: The bread freezes well so it can be made in advance. I like to completely cool the bread and wrap it well with plastic wrap. I then place it in a resealable baggie, too.
Let's see what we need.
Now it's time to bake.
Preheat the oven to 350 - degrees. Next prepare the baking dishes so they are ready when you are. I like to cut a piece of parchment paper to fit in the bottom of the dish. I then use Baking Spray and coat the dish. I also coat the parchment paper once it's added to the already coated dishes. Of course you can use butter and flour but I find this a bit easier. Set aside.
Combine the buttermilk, eggs, cooled melted butter, and extracts. Once combined add the orange zest. Set aside.
In another bowl combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and nutmeg. Once combined fold in the cranberries.
Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and fold together until just combined.
Pour the batter into the prepared baking dishes. Evenly divide the almonds on each loaf. Gently press down on the almonds so they stick to the bread when baking.
Bake for about 50 minutes or until done. At 40 minutes pierce the middle of each bread with a toothpick to see if they are ready. If the toothpick comes out wet they need to bake longer. Try not to overbake or else they will be dry. Remove from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes. Remove the bread from the baking dishes and transfer to a rack to cool. Once cool sprinkle with some powdered sugar.
It's ready! It so delicious. This is delicious served warm with some orange or honey butter. Its also perfect on it's own.