Posted by: Maggie
Back in December, my Aunt Sharon sent me a message on Facebook recommending a cookbook called "A Passion for Baking," by Marcy Goldman. Aunt Sharon happens to be an excellent baker and cook, and I knew she wouldn't steer me wrong, so within minutes of reading her message, I clicked over to Amazon and snagged myself a gently used copy.
I strongly suggest that you all follow suit and go get a copy too, because this cookbook is awesome. It is full of just the kind of baked goods I like to make - delicious, simple, and non-pretentious. I decided to tackle the cranberry bread recipe first, partially because it was one of the recipes Aunt Sharon recommended, and partially because my friend/college roommate/former DC roommate, Rachel, recently asked if I had a good cranberry bread recipe. I didn't when she asked, but I totally do now!
Don't skip making the glaze for this bread - it really imparts a lot of moisture and flavor, and makes the bread extra delicious!
Here's what you'll need:
For the bread:
1/3 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1 small orange, zested
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure orange extract
1/2 cup orange juice (I used bottled, I didn't bother juicing the orange that I zested)
1/2 cup buttermilk
2 cups all-purpose flour + 1 teaspoon, divided
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup cranberries, half of them coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
For the glaze:
1/3 cup orange juice
1 teaspoon lemon juice
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees, and generously spray a 9x5 inch loaf pan with cooking spray. When I say generously, I mean generously. My bread was a bitch to get out of the pan even though I thought I sprayed enough. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, and place the loaf pan on it. Set aside.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in orange zest, egg, and extracts. Beat in orange juice and buttermilk. In a medium bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Switch mixer speed to low, and beat in dry ingredients until just combined.
Gently toss cranberries with the remaining 1 teaspoon of flour (this prevents them from sinking to the bottom of the loaf) and fold them, and the walnuts into the batter.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and bake for 55-60 minutes, or until bread is lightly browned, and springs back when gently pressed. Cool for at least an hour on a wire rack before removing from the pan.
To make the glaze, combine the orange juice, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan, and simmer for 5 minutes. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.
Using a skewer, poke small holes in the bread surface. Drizzle glaze over cooled bread, and let stand for 20 minutes before cutting.
Source: Adapted from "A Passion for Baking" by Marcy Goldman