Friday, January 17, 2014

Cooking With Food Storage: Cranberry Bread

I am a serious cranberry lover. Unfortunately, this is one crop that I cannot grow myself here in the south. My husband always buys me at least 10 bags of cranberries in November so I have enough to make it through the holiday season. Berries not eaten by January get dehydrated so I can eat them at my leisure for the rest of the winter. 

One of my favorite recipes for cranberries is cranberry bread. I make this bread all winter long! It is delicious with dried cranberries as well as fresh. The other day I found a bag of cranberries in the back of the freezer that I overlooked when drying all the rest. I knew exactly what I was going to do with it!

Unless you have an orange tree, (they do grow well in pots in a south facing window) you will need some fresh ingredients for this bread. While all the instructions listed are for one loaf, I doubled all the ingredients and made two loaves. 

Cranberry Bread
2 cups flour (I grind my own flour. I used 1 cup hard white wheat, 1/2 cup soft white wheat, and 1/2 cup spelt.)
1 cup sugar (One cup sugar really isn't necessary, I used 1/2 cup.)
3/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup cranberries (As I mentioned above, dried cranberries work very well in this recipe.)
1/2 cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts.)
1TBS orange zest (I didn't have any orange zest, I used lemon.)
1 egg (I used 2 TBS powdered eggs, reconstituted with 3 TBS water.)
2 TBS vegetable oil (I used olive oil.)
3/4 cup orange juice (I never purchase fresh orange juice. I used a can of frozen concentrate leftover from Christmas - it was for a holiday punch that I didn't make. 1 TBS of concentrate in 3/4 cup water works well.)

Start by combining all the dry ingredients and mix well. Add the cranberries and nuts.

You want the flour mixture to coat all the pieces so mix them in well. In a separate bowl, combine the egg powder, vegetable oil, orange concentrate, and water. I added the water all at once. First, I measured the 3/4 cup needed for the orange juice liquid. To that I added 3 TBS more for the egg liquid. Mix well. Add the liquids to the dry ingredients and mix just until combined. 

Try not to overmix this. It will make the bread dry and crumbly. Mix until everything is moist and then stop. Pour into a greased pan. I used PAM olive oil spray. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes.

My goal was to bake one in the kitchen oven and bake one in the Sun Oven then take a picture of them side by side. While it was very cold outside, it was also very sunny. When I was setting up the Sun Oven, I put the first loaf in the kitchen oven and forgot to take a picture!

It took a long time for the Sun Oven to get hot. I made this bread fairly early in the morning and the outside temperature was 39 degrees. The Sun Oven only got to 300 degrees. Not what I wanted but doable. I knew it would probably need to bake about 1 hour and 45 minutes before I even tested to see if it was done. The loaf was in the Sun Oven for about 25 minutes when my husband suggested we take Molly for a long walk. I said yes! So, I took the loaf out of the Sun Oven and put it in the kitchen oven to finish baking while I got ready. 

That is when I remembered to take a picture! So, here is my loaf pan out of the Sun Oven, ready to go into the kitchen oven to finish baking. 

I baked it 38 minutes in the kitchen oven. This is what it looked liked when it came out.

Let it cool for at least 10 minutes before you try to take it out of the pan. I let mine completely cool in the pan because as soon as it came out of the oven, we left for our walk. It came out perfect! As soon as we got back home, we each had a slice.

I always double this recipe and make two at a time. The extra loaf freezes very well! That way, you can have one on hand to bring to work or take to a party whenever you need it! YUM!

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