Saturday, November 28, 2015

Cranberry Walnut Bread

I hope you had a fabulous Thanksgiving.  I ate falafel and banana pudding for Thanksgiving.  I saw the Macy's Day Parade, so I had a festive Thanksgiving regardless of what I ate.

Cranberries are a low shrub or vine.  They have thin, wiry branches and evergreen leaves.  The fruit is initially white, but it turns red when it ripens.  In the United States and Canada, cranberry sauce is eaten as an accompaniment to turkey at Thanksgiving, but in the United Kingdom, turkey and cranberry sauce is traditionally eaten at Christmas.

Europeans gave cranberries the name we use today because they thought the cranberry flowers looked like cranes.  Cranberries are from the Americas.  Native Americans used cranberries as food, medicine, and dye.

Cranberry beds are not flooded all the time.  When the berries are growing, the soil is just moist.  The beds are only flooded in the autumn for the harvest and in the winter to protect the bushes from low temperatures.

For the harvest, the beds are flooded until the water is six to eight inches above the vines.  Ninety-five percent of cranberries  are used to make juice.  The juice is sweetened or combined with other fruit because it is so tart and bitter.

I found this recipe on the back of a bag of fresh cranberries.  The ingredients are 2 cups flour, 1 cup sugar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 3/4 cup orange juice, 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, 1 tablespoon orange zest, 1 egg, 1 1/2 cups fresh cranberries, and 1/2 cup walnuts.

To make the bread, I added the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda into a bowl.

I stirred the dry ingredients and then added the orange zest, orange juice, oil, and egg.

I added the coarsely chopped cranberries and walnuts.  

I stirred the batter together thoroughly.  

I poured the batter into a nine by five inch loaf pan that I also greased.  I baked the bread for 55 minutes at 350.  I should have baked it for another five minutes because the center was too soft and mushy.

The flavor was tasty.  It was citrusy and tart.

The center pieces were under baked.  I liked under baked cookies and brownies, but under baked bread is off putting.

The cranberries were tangy and chewy.  The nuts were crunchy.  The flavor of the bread was bright.

This was a festive and scrumptious bread.  It would be perfect for a holiday brunch.

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