Introduction

Cranberry Orange Bread is a delightful and aromatic treat that perfectly captures the flavors of the holiday season. Bursting with the zesty goodness of oranges and the tartness of cranberries, this bread is a crowd-pleaser for all occasions. Whether you’re hosting a festive gathering, looking for a homemade gift idea, or simply craving a warm slice of goodness, this easy step-by-step guide will help you create a delicious Cranberry Orange Bread that is guaranteed to impress. Let’s dive in!

Ingredients

To make the Cranberry Orange Bread, you will need the following ingredients:

– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 cup granulated sugar
– 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1 cup fresh cranberries
– Zest of 1 orange
– 3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
– 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
– 1 large egg
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Choosing the Best Cranberries

When selecting cranberries for your bread, opt for fresh cranberries that are firm and vibrant in color. Avoid cranberries that appear soft, discolored, or shriveled, as they may be past their prime. Additionally, larger cranberries tend to be juicier and more flavor-packed. If fresh cranberries are unavailable, you can use frozen cranberries, but be sure to thaw and drain them before adding them to the batter.

The Perfect Orange Zest

Zesting an orange is a simple way to extract its flavorful and aromatic oils. To zest an orange, gently rub the orange against a fine grater or a specialized zester. Be cautious not to include the white pith, as it can add bitterness to the zest. The zest will infuse your bread with a burst of bright and citrusy flavor, complementing the tartness of the cranberries.

Instructions

Now that you have gathered all the necessary ingredients, let’s proceed with the step-by-step instructions for making Cranberry Orange Bread.

Step 1: Preheat and Prepare

Begin by preheating your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan with butter or cooking spray, ensuring all surfaces are evenly coated. Set the pan aside.

Step 2: Combine Dry Ingredients

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the all-purpose flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Whisking these dry ingredients together ensures they are evenly distributed throughout the bread, leading to a uniform texture and taste.

Step 3: Add Cranberries and Orange Zest

Carefully fold the fresh cranberries into the dry mixture until they are evenly coated. Next, add the orange zest and gently combine it with the flour mixture. The cranberries and orange zest will impart a burst of flavor and add visual appeal to your bread.

Step 4: Mix Wet Ingredients

In a separate bowl, combine the freshly squeezed orange juice, melted butter, egg, and vanilla extract. Whisk the wet ingredients together until they are well-blended.

Step 5: Combine Wet and Dry Mixtures

Create a well in the center of the dry ingredients and gradually pour the wet mixture into it. Using a spatula or wooden spoon, gently fold the dry and wet mixtures together until just combined. Be careful not to overmix, as this can result in a dense and tough bread.

Step 6: Bake and Cool

Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan, spreading it evenly. Place the pan in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. The exact baking time may vary, so keep an eye on the bread starting from the 45-minute mark.

Once baked, remove the Cranberry Orange Bread from the oven and let it cool in the pan for about 10 minutes. Then, transfer the bread to a wire rack to cool completely. This step is crucial, as it allows the bread to firm up and makes it easier to slice without crumbling.

Serving and Storing Suggestions

Cranberry Orange Bread can be enjoyed in various ways. Served warm or at room temperature, plain or with a pat of butter, it truly is a versatile treat. For an extra touch of indulgence, you can also drizzle a simple orange glaze made from confectioners’ sugar and orange juice over the cooled bread.

Storage Tips

If you plan to consume the bread within a couple of days, you can store it in an airtight container at room temperature. However, for longer storage, wrap the bread tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store it in the refrigerator for up to a week. You can also freeze the bread for up to three months. Ensure it is well-wrapped to avoid freezer burn.

Now that you have the complete recipe, gather your ingredients, and embark on a baking adventure to create a delectable Cranberry Orange Bread. Whether it’s for a special occasion or a cozy morning treat, this bread is guaranteed to bring joy and delight to all who taste it. Happy baking!

Sources:
– Choosing the Best Cranberries: [www.oceanspray.com/pt/Our-Story/Our-Farming-Heritage/Cranberry-Health-Benefits/How-to-Buy-Cranberries](www.oceanspray.com/pt/Our-Story/Our-Farming-Heritage/Cranberry-Health-Benefits/How-to-Buy-Cranberries)
– The Perfect Orange Zest: [www.bakingkneads.com/how-to-zest-an-orange/](www.bakingkneads.com/how-to-zest-an-orange/)