I might not care very much about pumpkin—but cranberries are a different story. I love cranberries and will find as many ways as possible to eat them in the coming months. I will also fill my freezer with them before they go out of season so that I can be eating them throughout the winter and spring. This simple quick bread seemed like a good use of my first bag of fresh cranberries. It is easy to put together and is really delicious. Unlike some breads, this one is light and fresh tasting and subtly sweet. The addition of orange juice and orange zest really adds to the freshness of this. We have been eating it for breakfast and it it great lightly toasted in the toaster oven. This is the first of what will likely be many cranberry recipes that I’ll post here in the coming months.
Cranberry Pecan Bread (adapted from Cooks Illustrated)
- 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
- 1/2 cup pecans, toasted and chopped coarse
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1/3 cup fresh orange juice
- 2/3 cup buttermilk
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- 1 large egg, beaten lightly
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 1/2 cups cranberries, coarse chopped
Preheat oven to 375° F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 by 5-inch loaf pan; dust with flour, tapping out extra.
Stir together the orange zest, orange juice, buttermilk, butter, and egg in a small bowl. [At this point I freaked out because the buttermilk looked like it curdled a little with the addition of orange juice. This didn’t seem to matter because the bread came out perfectly—so don’t freak out.] Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients with a spatula until just moistened. Gently stir in the cranberries and pecans. Do not overmix. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Bake 20 minutes, then reduce heat to 350° F; continue to bake until the loaf is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, about 45 minutes longer. Cool in the pan 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and cool at least 1 hour before serving. The bread can then be wrapped in plastic and stored at room temperature for several days.
***The recipe makes one loaf but I would guess that you could double this if you wanted to. It would be nice to have one to give as a gift or bring to work.
October 20th, 2008 at 11:29 am
I gasped at reading the very name of this delicious bread. Your love of cranberries is obvious as they are delightfully spattered throughout the loaf. Thank you for this perfectly autumnal dish!
October 20th, 2008 at 2:34 pm
I love the addition of pecans! And I especially like the perspective on that last picture. Do you have any other cranberry plans? I’ve got a cranberry upside-down cake recipe I’ve been meaning to try out.
October 20th, 2008 at 4:43 pm
I have lots of cranberry plans! I too have a cranberry upside down cake I want to try (I wonder if it is the same one..?.). Also, I have plans for a tart and a sorbet. Soon!
October 20th, 2008 at 5:36 pm
um…now i know what to do with my bag of cranberries. beautiful pics btw.
October 22nd, 2008 at 9:32 pm
CRANBERRY PECAN BREAD!! That’s like heaven on earth!!! There’s not much I won’t do for the sweet and tangy taste of cranberry mixed with cakey goodness and the nuttiness of pecans or almonds. Why cranberry almond crunch is the cereal I start my morning with most every morning. No longer will I have to trek all the way to Chicago to visit Treasure Island for their perfect cranberry muffins :)
November 29th, 2009 at 3:04 pm
Wow, beautiful and I love that you can use fresh chopped cranberries…they don’t have to be cooked first! Hope to try it out soon.
December 14th, 2009 at 3:31 pm
This is SO delicious!!! Thank you for the recipe! I made it and brought it to work this morning and everyone died over it…fresh tasting and not too sweet, just like you described. Really lovely combination of flavors, too.
December 20th, 2009 at 6:58 pm
I have been making a version of this for years. I love the addition of buttermilk! I, too, have them in my freezer year-round. Can’t get enough!
BTW, I have a suggestion for controlling those wonderful but onery little berries: Place a silicon cutting mat inside a large sheet pan with rims. Then just dump the berries on (in) it and chop away. It makes it easier to keep them contained. I do not find a food processor to be a good substitute; it gets them too fine.
Also, I found this recipe will make six large muffins. Thank you!