When I was a kid, I remember how I only liked bread if it was white, and, of course, that meant the squishy, air-filled, breads you find in the supermarket aisle. Thank goodness my palate has since changed and I've grown to love breads of all kinds and flavors and textures. Yup, those supermarket breads no longer have a presence in my home.
Now only fresh, homemade bread appears on my table and it's anything but plain white. I specifically search for recipes that are full of something special that will wow the tastebuds, and boy do I ever have a lot of recipes all queued up just waiting to be made.
This time, since dried cranberries were super cheap, I decided to make this Cranberry Bread found on The Avid Baker. It's got that delicious combo of cranberries and orange, but this time in a yeast bread instead of a quick bread. Naturally, I couldn't resist dressing it up just a little with some candied ginger. I just knew it would pair well with the flavors.
I just loved how this bread was studded with fruit in every bite and the orange was not at all overpowering. That's just how I like it and the ginger also added a yummy touch. Not to mention that the egg glaze turns the crust into something truly superb (I could nibble on that alone and be happy). The bread is a little denser than others which probably means that it would make one fantastic french toast too. With breads like this, who needs storebought? I definitely can't wait to bake bread again.
Cranberry Orange Ginger Bread (adapted from The Avid Baker)
1 1/2 c. bread flour
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 1/4 tsp. yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 c. milk, warmed to 110F (I used skim milk)
1 large egg
1 Tbsp. butter, melted
1-2 Tbsp. orange juice
2 tsp. orange zest
1/2 c. dried cranberries
1/4 c. chopped crystallized ginger
1 egg yolk mixed w/ a little water (for glazing)
Combine the milk and the yeast with a pinch of sugar and let sit till foamy, about 5 min. Add the melted butter, egg, orange juice, and orange zest and stir until well blended.
Add the flour a half cup at a time until the dough no longer sticks to the side of the bowl (you may need to add a little more - the dough will still be tacky though). Transfer to a floured work surface and knead the dough until smooth and slightly tacky, but not sticky, adding more flour if necessary, about 7 min. Knead in the dried cranberries a little at a time. You can also knead in the ginger now or see below for what I did. Form the dough into a ball.
Oil a large bowl. Add the dough to the bowl, turning to coat with oil. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, then towel. Let dough rise in warm draft-free area until doubled in volume, about 1 1/2 hours.
Grease two mini loaf pans. Punch down the dough. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and divide into two pieces. Roll each piece out into a small rectangle. At this point, you can sprinkle the ginger on top and then roll it up jelly roll style and put it into a mini loaf pan. Repeat with the other piece of dough. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise about 1 hour until doubled in size. You can sprinkle more ginger on top if you wish. Glaze with the egg yolk + water. Bake at 350F for 25-30 min. Let cool in pans for a few minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool.
- I put my dough into the fridge overnight for the first rising.
- The original recipe called for 1/2 Tbsp. orange extract, but the orange zest + juice works just as well.
- The recipe above is half the original recipe which gave me two mini loaves.