I don’t know what it is lately. Maybe the weather turning a little colder. The rain maybe? Not sure exactly, but I’ve been day dreaming a lot about bread for some reason. Can’t get it out of my mind. The best thing to do when you are having bread baking dreams is to just make quick bread. It’s fast, easy and before you know it, your house smells amazing. Oscar gets excited whenever I turn on the stove. Really excited. He snuggles right up in front of the stove. Like NEXT to the stove. Like a little too scary close next to the stove. It doesn’t matter to him that I have to give him a polite nudge every now and then to check my bread; he is right back in his preferred spot as soon as the door closes. He just knows something good is emerging from that hot box soon. There is no food that dog will not beg for. Baking bread is good therapy when your mind is a little clogged and you are feeling a bit weary. I swear bread is like aromatherapy. The anticipation of hot bread lifts everyone’s spirit. Even the dog.
Cranberry Orange Bread
2 Cups all-purpose flour
1 Cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (preferably Saigon)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 Cup orange juice
zest of one orange
1 tsp. vanilla
1 large egg
2 Tbsp. melted butter
1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. hot water
1 1/2 Cups fresh cranberries, divided
2 Tbsp. diced candied orange peel (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 350° degrees. Prepare a loaf pan (9x5x3) or 2 mini loaf pans by spraying with non stick baking spray. [Alternatively the recipe will yield 2 mini loaves of bread also].
2. In a large mixing bowl combine all the dry ingredients; whisk to combine.
3. In a measuring cup combine the orange juice, zest, vanilla, egg, melted butter, oil and water. Whisk gently with a fork to combine. Add to the dry ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon.
4. Divide the amount of cranberries in half and 1/2 of the portion cut in half; leaving the other portion of cranberries whole. Stir in all the cranberries and candied orange peel.
5. Pour the batter in the pan and sprinkle the top generously with granulated sugar.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes, then decrease the heat to 325° and continue baking until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. For mini loaves ~ 50 minutes. For one large loaf ~ 60 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.