Cranberry Orange Bread

Cranberry Orange Bread for Thanksgiving

This is a recipe for cranberry orange bread that is perfect for Thanksgiving. The cranberries provide a tart flavor while the orange compliments it with its sweet and tangy flavor.

This bread is moist and flavorful, making it the perfect addition to your Thanksgiving table.

For Thanksgiving, I made quite a few things for me, Adam, and our roommate Austin. Chocolate malt tart, salted malt marshmallows (that didn’t work out), compost cookies, and the one requested thing, cranberry orange bread. It is a tradition for Adam. 

So the day before, I started on the brioche recipe. Orange zest was added to the dough, and cranberries were to come the next day. But it didn’t seem to be rising that much.

It was pretty cold in the house, so I put the electric heater by the bowl. Then I used the microwave and blew out the fuse for half the kitchen and the back of the house. I couldn’t get it to come back on, so I just let it sit in the sun for quite a bit, then shoved it in the fridge to be tackled the next day again. 

cranberry bread

When I looked at it in the morning, it looked the same, and let it rise out on the counter for quite a few hours. Still, not much is happening. So I didn’t want to have to go without the cranberry orange bread, so I whipped up a quickbread version that would have to suffice.

After the quickbread was done, I decided to add the cranberries to the brioche anyway and go ahead and bake it anyway. Once in the oven, it miraculously began to triple in size, and I knew it would turn out.

The orange was subtle in it, I would probably do the zests of 2 next time, but all in all, it was good. Then it was off to watch movies, spend all day in pajamas and finally cook some real food around 7 o’clock.     


Cranberry Orange Quickbread

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 1 egg
  • juice and zest of one orange
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
cranberry bread recipe

Oven 350F. Butter and flour standard size loaf pan.

Sift the AP, salt, and baking soda together. Set aside. 

Cream the butter, zest, and sugars together until light and fluffy. Mix in egg. Add in the dry ingredients. Add in the cream and orange juice. Fold in the fresh cranberries. 

Pour into pan and bake for 45-60 minutes until the center is set. Remove from pan and let cool completely on rack.

Cranberry Orange Brioche

  • 1/3 cup (80ml) warm water
  • 2 1/4 tsp dry active yeast
  • 4 1/2 cups (580g) AP flour
  • 1/3 cup (67g) sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 1/2 sticks (284g) soft butter, cubed
  • zest of one orange
  • 1 cup fresh cranberries
cranberry orange bread recipe

Measure all the ingredients and crack the eggs in a separate bowl.

Combine the yeast and water in a small bowl, but do not mix. Let it stand at room temperature for 10 minutes, and only then stir till the yeast has completely dissolved. Set aside for later use.

Prepare your mixer by fitting the dough hook.

Combine the flour, sugar, zest, and salt and sift in a mixer bowl; add the eggs and beat with the mixer for 1 minute at low speed. Scrape the sides of the bowl with your spatula as needed.

Slowly add the dissolved yeast and continue beating for another 5 minutes at low speed. Stop the machine and scrape the dough hook so that you would have uniform batter, then continue to beat for another 5 minutes.

Next, start adding the butter to the batter in about 4 parts, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Once all the butter is in, beat for another 10 minutes till the dough is silky-smooth.

Transfer the dough to the floured bowl, cover with a clean towel, and place in a warm place to rice. The dough needs to rise for about 3 hours till it’s double in size. At this point, it is essential that the dough is placed in a warm place; otherwise, it will not rise (yeast needs warmth to be active).

After your dough has risen, transfer it to a generously floured surface and gently knead the dough for a minute or so, to work out the air bubbles.

Return the dough to the bowl, cover with cling film and refrigerate overnight.

Generously butter two loaf pans. Turn the dough onto a floured surface and roll into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Sprinkle cranberries over the center and then roll into a tight log. With floured hands, divide the dough in half and shape it to fit your loaf tins; cover with a clean towel.

Let the dough rise in a warm place for about 3 hours.

Oven 350F.

Bake the brioche for 35-40 minutes, till it’s well browned on the top. Once out of the oven, quickly turn the brioche over onto a cooling rack.

Thomas Keller brioche recipe base.

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