Over the last year or so, I’ve developed a real fondness for baking. It’s almost a love/hate relationship, actually. Some recipes can be a little—or a lot—intimidating, but (usually), if you follow the directions carefully, the result is (usually) quite impressive for the amount of effort put forth. On the other hand, some recipes are so simple in their ingredients and preparation, the finished product is even more impressive because of its modest beginnings. This recipe has a little of both of these characteristics. The batter isn’t complicated, but it has several ingredients. Those ingredients, however, are commonly found and come together easily to make a delicious, beautiful loaf of not-too-sweet, not-too-tart cranberry orange bread.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 4 c. flour
- 2 t. baking soda
- 1 1/2 t. salt
- 2 c. sugar
- 3 c. dried cranberries
- 3 T. orange zest (about 2 oranges)
- 2 eggs
- 2 t. vanilla
- 1 1/2 c. orange juice
- 1/2 c. water
- 2/3 c. vegetable oil
- 2 c. chopped walnuts
First, soak the cranberries in the orange juice in a small container or Ziploc bag and let sit while you work on the batter.
Then, heat the oven to 350 and grease your loaf pans (I love Baker’s Joy spray). I used six small 3″W x 5 1/2″L x 2″D pans, but you can use whatever you have on hand, just divide the batter evenly between the pans until they are 2/3 full.
In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda, and salt. In a second bowl, mix together the sugar, oil, orange zest, eggs, and vanilla. Drain the orange juice from the cranberries and add enough water to make 2 cups. Slowly add the juice to the sugar mixture until well blended.
Combine the dry ingredients into the wet, a little at a time, until you have a smooth batter. Lastly, add the cranberries and walnuts and stir until they’re evenly incorporated.
Divide the batter evenly between your loaf pans until 2/3 full and bake for 30-40 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool on a wire rack a little while before cutting.