I enjoyed making this bread and it’s really yummy. I use to make this recipe every Christmas for many years before I decided to switch to eating low glycemic sugars, so I have yet to tweak this recipe to fit that kind of sugar (when I do I will be sure to make a note of it). When I made it for myself, I used gluten free flour in this recipe and it tastes just as good as the original recipe with Orange Blossom honey drizzled on top. I would always make several recipes of this. & typically made a couple of normal size loaves and a dozen mini loaves and gave them as Christmas gifts. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.
From Betty Crocker
2 cups all-purpose flour*
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp salt
½ tsp baking soda
½ cup unsalted butter, softened (at room temperature)
1 tbsp grated orange peel
¾ cup orange juice
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, chopped
½ cup chopped nuts, Walnuts are best (can leave out nuts if you don’t like them)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom only of loaf pan, either dimensions of 8 ½ X 4 ½ X 2 ½ or 9 X 5 X 3 inches. Mix flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda; stir in butter until mixture is crumbly. Stir in orange peel, orange juice, and egg just until moistened; stir in cranberries and nuts. Spread in pan. Bake until wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. 8 inch loaf bakes for 1 ¼ hours. 9 inch loaf bakes 55 to 65 minutes; cool 5 minutes. Loosen completely the sides of loaf from pan and remove from pan. Cool completely before slicing or bread will fall part. 1 loaf (24 slices): 105 calories per slice.
*If using self-rising flour, omit baking powder and salt, and decrease baking soda to ¼ teaspoon (tsp).
Lara’s notes: 1 recipe makes 4 mini loaves. When I make orange juice, I juice 3-4 oranges and if that’s not enough, I add store bought orange juice or orange juice concentrate and water to taste to make flavor the way it needs to be. To make it healthier, one can use spelt flour in place of the all purpose flour or you can use a gluten free flour mix. Also may drizzle Orange Blossom Honey half way through the baking process to your liking; it’s important to use this particular kind of honey because of the taste of it as it really does enhance the flavor of the bread.
To chop cranberries and nuts, it’s best to use a small food processor if you have one; otherwise, use a bigger food processor or chop up by hand. To zest an orange, it’s best to use a zester; one can use a grater if don’t have a zester. In order to zest properly, one only wants the rind not the white pitch of the rind. The white part will make it have a bitter taste. Out of the nuts I have used, most people tend to like Walnuts best in this recipe.
When cranberries get in season, I buy a couple of bag of fresh cranberries every time I go to the store and put them in the freezer. They freeze well and thaw out well too. I have a deep freeze, so I normally have many bags on hand throughout the year for other recipes.
In order to eat it, try lightly toasting a slice of it and use either butter or cream cheese on top.