Monday, May 11, 2015

Secret Recipe Club: Cranberry Orange Yoghurt Bread

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Yes. I know. It has been TWO WHOLE MONTHS since my last post here on the blog. I apologise for the long silence. It has been a crazy time for me. And I've been feeling really sick and out of it. The good thing is that I am starting to feel a lot better and I hope to be blogging regularly again.

I was glad to get back into the kitchen earlier this month to try out my recipe for this month's Secret Recipe Club post. 

This month I was assigned an awesome blog called A Spoonful of Thyme. I am no stranger to this blog and I have visited it before and even cooked from it! You guys know I don't usually blog about cooking recipes - mostly baking. But let me tell you - this rice recipe is awesome! So you won't be surprised when I say that I was thrilled to find I was assigned Kate's blog. Kate comes from a family of cooks and with cooking in her DNA, I'm not surprised that there are so many incredible recipes on her site! I loved cooking from your site, Kate!

I've bookmarked a ton of recipes to try - especially the fabulous pie recipes which you remember your mom and grandma for! I absolutely intend to try this Winter Fruit Pie with Walnut Crumb ASAP. Who cares if it is the middle of a blazing hot summer where I live. This will get made! 
The recipe I chose to make and share with you today is this absolutely flavourful, moist divine quick bread that my family and I LOVED. I am sure you will too!

Cranberry Orange Yogurt Bread
Adapted from this recipe on A Spoonful of Thyme
2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3/4 cup yoghurt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
Zest of 2 oranges
1/2 tsp orange extract
1 cup fresh or frozen cranberries, halved
1 cup lightly toasted pecans

1. Prepare your loaf tin by lightly greasing and flouring it. Kate recommends a 6-cup capacity loaf tin. Preheat your oven to 180C/350F.
2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
3. Stir together the yogurt and orange juice. Set aside.
4. In a large bowl or in the bowl of your stand mixer using the paddle attachment, cream together the butter and sugar for 3-4 minutes until creamy and light.
5. Beat the eggs in, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating for a further 2-3 minutes until the mixture is fluffy and creamy.
6. Beat in the orange zest and extract.
7. Add the flour mixture in small quantities, alternating with the yogurt mixture. Make sure you finish by adding the last of the flour mixture.
NOTE: This mixing should be done on low speed so that you don't end up working the gluten in the flour. Do not over-mix. Stop mixing as soon as the flour has been incorporated in each addition. If you mix too much at this stage, you won't have a bread with a tender crumb.
8. Add the cranberries and pecans and fold them in by hand until evenly distributed.
9. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for 50-55 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Do not over-bake. Keep in mind that if you are using a smaller sized loaf tin, the baking time will decrease. Keep an eye on the bread and remove as soon as it is done.
10. Allow to cool in the pan for about 15 minutes and then gently turn out onto a wire rack to cool before slicing and serving.
I made double this recipe because I had gut feeling that this was going to be very popular around here - and I am so glad I did this! I ended up with two loaves (baked in 5 cup capacity loaf tins), plus 6 muffins with this recipe and I am enjoying the coveted last slice right now as I write this post. The texture was just divine - moist and melting and don't get me started on the flavor! My only change to the recipe was the addition of a dash of ground cinnamon - a flavor I love in combination with orange! I had to skip the orange oil since I didn't have it in my pantry, but I used a splash of orange extract instead, and I increased the amount of orange zest in my recipe.

I made one loaf with the pecans and the rest without because my kids don't really enjoy nuts in their bread. My husband adores pecans and so he ate the pecan loaf almost entirely by himself. Personally, my favourite part of the loaves was the ruby red cranberries. It is amazing how the cranberries are almost inedible when raw and fresh but taste SO good when baked into something like this. Just amazingly yummy!

If you're looking for good ways to use cranberries, this bread is a winner! And if you still have tons of cranberries left, please please please make this Cranberry Hazelnut Coffee Cake. You will not regret it! There are a few more yummy cranberry recipes in my recipe index, if you want them!

Until next time… 

Check out the other posts below for more Secret Recipe Club recipes from the group I bake with!

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