cranberry bread

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Quick Cranberry Bread

From the book Beard on Bread by
Yield 1 large loaf

Culinate editor’s notes: I am especially fond of this bread made with orange (see Notes), and I don’t omit the rosewater, which adds a lovely smell and mysterious flavor. I like to double the recipe, divide the batter between small loaf pans (which require less baking time), and then give the loaves as gifts.


This is an unusually good version of an old American favorite, with a couple of unorthodox variations. The cranberries give the loaf good touches of color and a pleasant tartness.


3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. double-acting baking powder
1 tsp. salt
2 eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
¼ cup melted butter
cups milk mixed with
1 tsp. rosewater
cups raw cranberries, cut in half or roughly chopped
¾ cup chopped walnuts or pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a loaf tin about 10 inches long and 4 to 5 inches wide.
  2. Sift the flour with the baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
  3. In a mixing bowl, by hand or with a beater, beat the eggs and sugar until well blended. Stir in the melted butter and the milk mixed with rosewater. Stir in the flour just until moistened, and then fold in the cranberries and nuts. (Do not overwork or beat the dough.) Spread the dough in the prepared tin.
  4. Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes, or until the center of the bread springs back when touched lightly or a cake tester comes out clean when inserted. (The top will often crack, which is typical of baking-soda and baking-powder breads.)
  5. Let stand in the tin for a few minutes before turning out on a rack to cool. When thoroughly cooled, wrap in plastic or foil and let sit overnight or at least a day before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.


Cranberry Orange Bread: Use 1/2 cup of orange juice and 3/4 cup milk as liquid in the bread. Add, with the cranberries, 3 tablespoons grated orange rind.

Cranberry Sauce Bread: Instead of raw cranberries and sugar, use 1 1/2 cups cranberry jelly or, preferably, canned whole or unstrained cranberry sauce. Beat the sauce into the eggs as you would beat in the sugar. Use only 3/4 cup milk or orange juice in this recipe. Add 3 tablespoons orange rind, if you like.

This content is from the book Beard on Bread by James Beard.

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