I’ve mentioned in the past that I don’t care for baking. I really don’t even like to eat baked goods, actually, but I make exceptions for cranberries. Come Thanksgiving I head to Costco and buy enormous bags of cranberries and freeze them for year-round treats, but my favorite is the quick and uncomplicated cranberry-orange bread.
One of the reasons I dislike baking is because every time I attempt it the entire scene looks like Jim Carey has been doing an hour of standup slapstick comedy in my kitchen. For example, while making the bread for this blog post I managed to zest the tip of my finger off into the orange peel (miraculously, I actually found my zested skin and removed it before adding the orange to the batter). I burned my hand while melting the butter (we don’t have a microwave) and forgot to sift the dry ingredients ahead of time. Søren smashed his hand while I was whisking, causing me to drop a butter and egg covered whisk onto my kitchen floor and now there is a slippery, buttery sheen on the floor in front of the oven.
Matrons, I sometimes I suffer for you. I hope that you have better luck putting the ingredients together than I. The final product tasted lovely, despite my attempts to sabotage myself, so this recipe is idiot-proof. I know, because I tested it.
2 cups regular flour or white whole wheat flour*
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
t teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons cinnamon
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1/4 cup freshly grated orange zest
1/3 cup orange juice
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup plain whole milk yogurt
2 cups frozen or fresh whole cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees f. Combine the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk to sift together. In a separate bowl add the melted butter, yogurt, zest, and orange juice. If your butter is too hot it will cook the egg so test and make sure it is cool before adding the egg. Whisk until smooth. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir gently until just combined. Add the cranberries and mix. Pour into a greased loaf pan and bake for 1 hour or until a toothpick slides in and out without batter stuck to it. Cool on a wire rack. I like to wrap this loaf lightly in a piece of cotton muslin to keep it from drying out (plastic wrap holds in too much moisture and causes it to get soggy). This loaf is lovely as a breakfast bite and also tastes good with a floral, fruity flavored tea.
*I have been baking with white whole wheat flour from King Arthur and I am never going back. It’s expensive, but I rarely bake so it lasts.