Saturday, July 21, 2012

Old-Fashioned Cranberry Orange Nut Bread

I recently realized that some of my favorite recipes aren't on here. Since I make them so often, I guess I never think to take pictures and put up the recipe; doing so is one of my new goals for this blog! This bread is one of my family's favorites. It is a hearty, moist loaf of sweet bread that is perfect for snacking on throughout the day. The flavors of orange and cranberry are delicious with the crunchy nuts, and the loaf will keep well for days.

I call it "Old-Fashioned" because it comes from a colonial cookbook. In elementary school, we had a "colonial day" at school where everybody had to bring in a recipe, and this was one that my teacher gave me. My mom and I, having baked very little from scratch, were cautious, but once we tasted it, very proud. I remember coming into school and telling everybody in my class how excited I was that this "bread" was actually like a cake - a pleasant surprise for a fourth grader! Once my aunt tasted this bread, it became her favorite recipe that I make. This week she wasn't feeling well, so we decided to send her a care package. I knew this had to be in there.
Despite how challenged we were by making this six years ago, yesterday I realized that this is a very simple recipe. Dry ingredients are stirred together, shortening is cut in, and wet ingredients and add-ins are combined. Quick to put together and ideal for a rainy afternoon. Trust me, the smell of this bread baking in the oven will make you want to bake it every day. Enjoy! <3
Old-Fashioned Cranberry Orange Nut Bread
(slightly adapted from Smithsonian Folklife Cookbook)

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup shortening
zest of one orange
3/4 cup orange juice
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped nuts

Preheat oven to 350 F.
Stir together dry ingredients. Cut in shortening.
Combine orange zest, juice, and egg. Add dry ingredients to egg mixture, stirring just enough to moisten. Fold in cranberries and nuts.
Pour batter into a greased 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in center comes out clean. Cool, then wrap and store overnight before serving.

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