Everyone has a favorite old recipe or two they haven’t made in years. It’s always fun when something causes you to pull them out again. Today my incentive was provided by Louise of Months of Edible Celebrations who decided to throw a cookbook party! Since October is National Cranberry Month, that would be my starting point.
This time I went back to an old favorite cookbook, Beard on Bread, by James Beard. When I first started baking in the 80s, this was one of my bread bibles. I make it almost exactly like he did with a couple changes that I note below.
Quick Cranberry Nut Bread
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup sugar
• ¼ cup melted butter
• 1¼ cups whole milk mixed with 1 teaspoon rosewater (I omit rosewater)
• 3 cups all-purpose flour (I used 2 c all purpose and 1 c whole wheat)
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1¼ cups cranberries, coarsely chopped
• ¾ cup chopped walnuts or pecans
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a loaf tin about 10 inches long and 4 to 5 inches wide.
- In a mixing bowl, by hand or in an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar until well blended. Stir in the melted butter and the milk.
- Combine the flour with the soda, baking powder, and salt.
- Mix the dry and liquid ingredients until just moistened, and then fold in the cranberries and nuts. Do not overwork the dough.
- Spread the dough in an oiled loaf pan and bake for 55 to 60 minutes, or until the center of the bread springs back when touched lightly or a cake tester comes out clean. (The top will often crack, which is typical of soda and baking powder breads.)
- Cool on a wire rack for a few minutes before removing from the pan. When thoroughly cooled, wrap in plastic or foil and let sit overnight or at least a day before cutting. Store in the refrigerator.
* I recommend chopping the cranberries, given the tartness of even a half berry!
* Check carefully for doneness since this is a large loaf. Or consider splitting into two small loaves.
This bread is especially nice toasted. The pecans take on a nice roasted flavor—warm and perfect for fall!