Cranberry Orange Quick Bread

This just might be the easiest bread you’ll ever make; the melted butter makes it quick and tender. The recipe doubles very easily so make extra for gifts. Kids can help measure and stir. A version of this recipe first appeared in Christmas Cooking for Dummies, but I have now added dried cranberries, too. With the orange juice and zest and both fresh and dried cranberries, the bread could be called Double Orange Double Cranberry Bread. It is fabulously moist and lasts for days (yeah, as if!) In addition to being moist and flavorful, it is also very, very pretty and has an incredible aroma as well. This is always a hit.

Makes 1 loaf (9 x 5-inch)

3/4 cup buttermilk

1/4 cup orange juice

Grated zest of one orange

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1 large egg

2 cups all-purpose flour

1 cup sugar

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 cups cranberries, fresh or frozen, roughly chopped

1/2 cup chopped toasted walnuts

1/3 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Spray a 9×5-inch loaf pan with pan coating and lightly coat with flour.

Whisk together the buttermilk, orange juice, zest and melted butter. Whisk in egg.

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt,  and baking soda in a large bowl. Add wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Gently stir in cranberries and nuts.

Scrape batter into loaf pan and bake for about 55 minutes. A toothpick will just come out clean when inserted in center of bread, the top will be golden and risen and the edges will just be pulling away from the sides of the pan.

Cool pan on rack for 10 minutes, then turn bread out and cool completely on rack. Wrap in plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature at least overnight before slicing. Bread will keep for about 4 days (but you can never keep it around that long).

TIP: Do not try to slice into a quick bread right away. It needs to rest in order for the texture to come together. I let it sit at room temperature overnight, wrapped in plastic wrap.