Ingrients & Directions


2 C Flour, all-purpose 1 T Orange peel, grated
1 C Sugar, granulated -(one large orange)
1 1/2 t Baking powder 1 Egg, beaten
1/2 t Baking soda 1 C Cranberries, halved
1 t Salt -or chopped
3/4 C Orange juice (juice 1 C Walnuts or pecans,
-of one large orange) -chopped
2 T Shortening

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom, but not the sides, of
two small loaf pans.

In a large bowl, sift together all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar,
baking powder, baking soda and salt). Blend very well.

Mix together the orange juice, orange peel, melted shortening and beaten
egg. Mix only enough to blend uniformly. Mix in the cranberries and the
nuts; stir gently. Pour the mixture into the loaf pans. Push it to the
corners, leaving the center slightly hollow.

Bake about an hour at 350 degrees F. The loaves are done when a toothpick
inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool completely before cutting. Do
not try to serve warm.

NOTES:

* A festive cranberry-orange nut-bread — My grandmother MacKay clipped
this recipe from the 1951 edition of the Pillsbury Bake-Off competition
recipes, and we’ve made it a family tradition ever since. From time to time
my mother and I have both tried to improve on the recipe, but it appears
that the recipe is already perfect; every variation we have ever tried has
been disappointing by comparison.

When I was a boy, before the invention of the food processor, making this
bread required cutting the cranberries in half by hand, with a knife, and
the person who brought 4 loaves of cranberry bread to the family
Thanksgiving meal was more welcome than the person who brought the turkey.
Now, between Baker’s Secret loaf pans and Cuisinart slicer blades, you can
knock out 8 perfect loaves of the stuff while watching one episode of
Sesame Street. My grandmother still cuts each cranberry in half with a
paring knife, and hers still tastes better than mine. Yield: 2 small
loaves.

* It takes practice to know when to stop mixing the dough. If you mix too
much, the bread gets a chewy texture to it, whereas it should have a very
crumbly consistency, like a muffin or cornbread.

* It really makes a difference in the texture of this bread to use a
shortening that is solid at room temperature, like Crisco. It really makes
a difference in the flavor to use fresh orange-peel and not powdered. I
prefer walnuts to pecans.

* It might seem sensible to try to use the same orange for the peel and
the juice, but it is really more trouble than it is worth to try to peel a
juiced orange or juice a peeled orange. I usually use two oranges and eat
the one that I took the peel from.

* This bread keeps well in the freezer. Specifically, it keeps from
Thanksgiving to Christmas. It also survives quite well being mailed by
parcel post from Indiana to Maryland.

: Difficulty: moderate.
: Time: 10 minutes preparation if you have a food processor, 2 hours
baking and cooling.
: Precision: Measure carefully.

: Brian Reid
: DEC Western Research Laboratory, Palo Alto, California, USA
: [email protected] -or- {ihnp4,ucbvax,decvax,sun,pyramid}!decwrl!reid

:
Yields
2 loaves