December 21, 2005


Cranberry-Pecan Quick Bread (The Splendid Table)

From The New England Table by Lora Brody. © 2005 by Lora Brody. Used with permission of Chronicle Books LLC, San Francisco, CA.

Makes 1 loaf

* 2 cups (10 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
* 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
* 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick; 3 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
* 2/3 cup (6 ounces) buttermilk (see note)
* Finely grated zest and juice of 1 large navel orange
* 1 extra-large egg
* 2/3 cup (5.34 ounces) granulated sugar
* 1 cup (4 ounces) fresh or frozen whole cranberries, coarsely chopped
* 3/4 cup (3 ounces) pecans, toasted (see note) and coarsely chopped

Preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the center position. Butter an 8 1/2-by-4-by-2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Dust with flour and shake the pan to coat the inside. Knock out the excess. Set aside.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cloves, and cardamom into a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. Combine the melted butter, buttermilk, and orange zest and juice in a small bowl. Set aside.

Use a whisk or a handheld or stand mixer on high speed to beat together the egg and sugar in a large mixing bowl until they are thick and light yellow in color. Whisk in or beat in on low speed the melted butter mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula several times during the mixing. Stir or mix in the flour mixture and finally the cranberries and nuts just to combine. Pour and scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top with the rubber spatula.

Bake until a cake tester inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the bread cool in the pan for 15 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto the rack. Set it right side up to cool completely before slicing.

The baked and cooled loaf can be stored at room temperature, wrapped in plastic wrap, for up to 2 days, or refrigerated for up to 1 week. It may also be frozen for up to 3 months.

Note: Powdered buttermilk, found in the baking section of most supermarkets, eliminates the need to keep fresh buttermilk in the refrigerator. Simply add to your recipe with the dry ingredients the amount of powder specified on the package, then substitute water for the buttermilk called for in the recipe. Store the powdered buttermilk in the refrigerator for up to 1 year.

Note: To toast pecans, preheat the oven to 350°F with the rack in the center position. Place the nuts on a heavy-duty, rimmed baking sheet in a single layer and bake, stirring occasionally, until they are golden brown and fragrant, 10 to 12 minutes.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 21, 2005 12:00 AM

More recipes! Why are you tantalizing us like this?

Posted by: erp at December 21, 2005 8:49 AM

A new quick bread recipe, how'd you know what I wanted for Christmas?

Posted by: Mike Daley at December 21, 2005 8:52 PM