Monday, March 30, 2015

Orange-glazed Cranberry Orange Bread

A Cooks of Cake and Kindness Culinary Experience Part III: To round out our 3-course dinner of Portabella mushroom caps and Spaghetti and No-Meat Balls, we finished off with a deliciously tangy citrus dessert - certainly a departure from our typical chocolate-based choices! Not only did we have our hungry dinner party to feed (who, by this time, had a high expectation for dessert!), but we also promised one of our coworkers some baked goods, so we ended up making 1.5x the original recipe, resulting in some of the odd ingredient quantities seen below.

2¼ cups all-purpose flour (we would typically do a partial substitution with whole wheat flour, but this was our first time making this bread so we didn't want to try anything too radical)
¾ tsp salt (more like just a pinch)
1.5 tsp baking powder
1.5 cups brown sugar
zest of 1-2 large oranges (we had clementines on hand, so we used the zest from 5 of them)
1⅛ cup buttermilk (if you don't have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own: 1 cup buttermilk = 1 cup milk + ~1 TBSP vinegar. Let it sit for a few minutes until the milk curdles)
¾ cup canola oil
3 large eggs, slightly beaten (we used egg-beaters)
1.5 TSBP orange juice
¾ tsp vanilla extract
1 cup fresh cranberries (we used dried cranberries, soaked in warm water for about 30 minutes)
4 mini-loaf pans or 2 4x8 loaf pans (we made one larger and 2 mini loaves)

For orange glaze: ½-1 cup powdered sugar + 1-2 TBSP buttermilk + 1 tsp orange zest (or more if you want more orange flavor)
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease loaf pans and set them aside.

In a large bowl, mix together flour, salt, and baking powder. In a separate small bowl, combine sugar and orange zest (rub them together with your fingers to better infuse the orange flavor), then add to the flour mixture.

In another bowl, mix buttermilk, oil, eggs, orange juice, and vanilla. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Drain the cranberries, then mix them into the batter. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pans, filling each pan until they are about ⅘ full.

Bake 30-40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. The larger loaves will take about 5-10 minutes longer than the small loaves. Once the bread is done baking, remove from the oven and let cool for 15 minutes.

While the bread is cooling, mix together the glaze. In a small bowl, start with 1 TBSP buttermilk and ½ cup powdered sugar and about 1 tsp orange zest. Whisk together until the glaze is smooth. Adjust the quantity of sugar and buttermilk as needed.

Drizzle the glaze over the bread. We did this in 2 steps: for the first, we drizzled enough to cover the top of the loaf, then waited about 10 minutes for this first layer of glaze to set. For the next application, we drizzled the glaze in a zig-zag or scribble pattern and let it set.

When you're ready for a sweet but tangy citrus dessert, slice and serve!


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