Tuesday, November 23, 2010

scenes and a recipe

These are just a few scenes from what I've been doing the past few days. I'm having a bit of trouble adjusting to these November days, so I've been drinking large amounts of tea and trying to get some things finished for the holiday tables at work. I've also put up a garland in the shop. I made several and they are so festive and pretty that I think I'll have to make one for myself!

As you can see from the above pictures, I've been doing a bit of baking. I was struck with an urge to bake cranberry bread over the weekend, so I started searching for the perfect recipe. I wanted something not overly sweet and moist without being spongy. I was also hoping for a recipe that incorporated whole wheat flour to add a bit of density and a more complex flavor. Unfortunately I couldn't find a recipe that had all these things, so I did a bit of experimenting and came up with my own. I'm quite happy with how it came out.

Cranberry Bread (adapted from this recipe)

4 TBS melted butter
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 large egg
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup orange juice
12 oz. cranberries
1 TBS turbinado sugar (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees; grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan (8-cup capacity), and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine butter, egg, milk, and OJ. Add wet mixture to dry mixture, and whisk to combine; fold in cranberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan; sprinkle top with turbinado sugar, if desired. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let bread cool 30 minutes. Invert onto rack, then immediately turn right side up to cool completely.

Notes: The original recipe said to butter and flour the loaf pan, but I decided to use spray oil instead and it worked perfectly. I also didn't have the right sized pan, so I used an 8-by-4 inch pan instead. Because of this the cooking time was a bit longer, but it came out alright in the end. I would like to make this again and add some chopped walnuts or pecans to the top.

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