Fresh cranberry bread

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        Yes, I am still here. Lots of activity, visiting friends, and miles of Intracoastal Waterway without internet got in the way of posting for the past week. Oh, and I dropped my camera in the water, so that kind of put a damper on blogging. I’ve been itching to bake and dying to catch up on everyone’s Thanksgiving weekend posts. Really though, I can’t complain. Lee and I spent a couple of days playing in North Carolina with some friends who live here. We ate delicious, local food in Carrboro and saw the inland sights before heading south on the ICW again.
        It has been a damp couple of days and, as of Monday, we are unable to charge the boat’s batteries due to another engine problem. That means absolute minimal power usage – no lights last night, no heater, and no computers. However, the propane switch that allows me to use the stove and oven is worth the power. Yesterday I succumbed to my hankering for festive baking. It’s officially time for winter/Christmas foods!

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This is what North Carolina looks like from a boat.

        Hours of brainstorming as we motored down the canal led to a fuzzy idea for bread using the raw cranberries I bought last week. When I searched my cookbooks for a quick bread recipe to start with I was amazed to find almost the exact bread I wanted to make. The Horn of The Moon Cookbook recipe for Cranberry Bread pairs raw berries with orange juice for a sweet-tart loaf. The recipe sounded fabulous but I wanted something a little different.
        A little less honey, different flours, orange zest, and applesauce instead of orange juice produced a cranberry bread different from anything I’ve had before. It is very dense but not in a bad way. The loaf is still moist and it’s chewy in a way that reminds me of mochi cakes. I’m guessing the spelt flour is the main culprit for my bread’s unusual texture. As far as taste, look no farther for a harmony of sweet honey and tart cranberries. I wasn’t sure what to expect from the fresh berries but they delivered such a perfect punch that I will add more next time I make this. There will surely be a next time!
        As far as the drowned camera goes, I am now in the market for a DSLR. Our replacement camera is a waterproof camcorder, which isn’t so great for close-up food shots. At least there will be videos in my future! For now, I literally ended up with one slightly less blurry picture out of many, many blurry ones.

Fresh Cranberry Bread
Adapted from Horn of the Moon Cookbook by Ginny Callan

1 1/2 cups white whole wheat flour (or all purpose. This is what I had)
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup honey
3/4 cup applesauce
1/2 cup milk
zest from one medium-sized orange
1 1/4 cup chopped raw cranberries
optional: 3/4 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Mix the flours, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.
In a separate bowl, beat the eggs, then stir in the rest of the wet ingredients (honey through orange zest).
Add wet ingredients to flour mixture, stirring until just combined.
Fold in cranberries and nuts (if using).
Pour batter into lightly oiled 9X5 inch loaf pan or several smaller loaf pans (I used two mini-loaf pans, two mini-bundt pans, and a muffin cup for the extra batter).
Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes.
Cool for 10 minutes in pans, then remove to cool on a wire rack.

9 Comments

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9 Responses to Fresh cranberry bread

  1. mmmmmmm these look delicious!!! I love how they are naturally sweetened! No mailing address hmmm…. can you do a care of to the person you are staying with? If not you’ll just have to join next year! 🙂

    • Rachel

      Yep, naturally sweet and good!
      We aren’t actually staying with anyone. We just pull into marinas from time to time. I guess I’ll have to hold off till next year. Hopefully then I’ll have an address in the Caribbean.

  2. Aw, sorry to hear about your camera – or should I say: yay! you’re getting a new camera! My camera just became super-glitchy recently so I’m using our little underwater point and shoot for now. Maybe our food pics would turn out better underwater? 😉

    You cranberry bread sounds delish. Stay warm amiga. 🙂

    • Rachel

      Underwater food pics! Brilliant! I’ll dangle some bread off the boat on a hook and catch whatever comes after it on film.

  3. How exciting to absolutely have to buy a new dslr! Cranberry bread sounds delicious, I’d never have thought of putting fresh ones in. What a tasty breakfast dish!

  4. I’m glad to hear you’ve been having fun but SO SORRY about your camera. Man that stinks.

    At least you’ve got this awesome cranberry bread to distract you!

  5. I’ve come SO close to dropping my camera in just about everything. It’s going to go one of these days. Still – it will be fun for you to embark on a shopping search for a new camera. YAY for shopping.

    I love that bread. It’s such fun to experiment with different flours. The honey instead of a crystal sugar may also have contributed to a chewier nature in the bread but added moisture. It looks great to me, just the way you made it.

  6. It’s so fun to hear about your adventure, but I’m so sorry you dropped your camera! That’s a great shot of N Carolina. And, your cranberry bread looks delicious!

  7. I love using fresh cranberries in breads or muffins, I haven’t done it in so long.

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