Cranberry raisin sweet bread

May 1, 2012 § 4 Comments

Remember that cranberry mandarin liquor we made before the holidays?  We gave some away, and kept a little for ourselves.  It actually makes a pretty good cough suppressant, too.  I was trying to figure out what to do with the quart of it that we have here at the farmhouse, and I remembered the recipe I have for Pernod panettone, which is full of Pernod liquor, dried fruits, and nuts.  This recipe represents a spin on that rich sweet bread.  Cranberry mandarin liquor is nothing like the anise-flavored Pernod…however, it does have a distinctive flavor of its own.  And if you don’t have any Cranberry mandarin liquor, just use cranberry juice or orange juice.

This is a delicious breakfast bread.  Day old Cranberry raisin bread is good in French toast or bread pudding.

Cranberry raisin sweet bread

1/2 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup golden raisins

3/4 cup cranberry mandarin liquor*

1 packet active dry yeast (1 tablespoon)

pinch of sugar

1/4 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees fahrenheit)

1 cup warm milk (105 to 115 degrees fahrenheit)

1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon salt

2 eggs

6 1/3 cups flour, plus extra for kneading

1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts

in a small bowl, combine the dried fruits and the 3/4 cup cranberry liquor.  Let stand for 1 hour.

In another small bowl, sprinkle the yeast and pinch of sugar over the warm water.  Stir to dissolve.  Let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, whisk together the warm milk, 1/2 cup melted butter, the 1/3 cup sugar, and salt.  Stir in the eggs and 1 cup of flour. Beat until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute.  Add the yeast mixture and 1 cup more of the flour, and beat 1 minute longer.  Stir in the fruits with the soaking liquor.  Stir in the chopped pecans, then add the additional flour, 1/2 cup at a time until a soft dough is formed that just clears the side of the bowl.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured work surface, and knead until smooth and springy, about 3 minutes, adding small amounts of additional flour as necessary to prevent sticking.  Push back any fruits that fall out of the dough during kneading.  The dough should remain soft.  Place the dough in a greased deep bowl, turning to coat the top.  Cover with a towel, or plastic wrap.  Let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 2 hours.

Turn out dough onto a lightly floured work surface.  Divide into 2 portions for round loaves, or leave in one piece for a large loaf.  Form each of the portions into a tight round ball.  Place at least 3-inches apart on a greased or parchment-lined cooking sheet.  Cover with a towel or plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 45 minutes.

Bake in a preheated 375-degree fahrenheit oven for 40 to 45 minutes.  Cool on a wire rack.

Make 1 large or 2 small loaves.

*If you don’t have any Cranberry mandarin liquor, just use cranberry juice or orange juice.

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§ 4 Responses to Cranberry raisin sweet bread

  • viveka says:

    This I like … everything about .. have to try to get that dried yeast over here, maybe I’m more successful – cranberry liquor – something new for me again. By the way used my skillet yesterday .. have some photos – for you feta cheese “oven omelet” as I call it. Worked beautiful! This goes on file now. !!!!!

  • df says:

    Sounds delicious. I’m all over fruit/nut breads of any kind and this sounds yummy. Love the liquer idea. My husband makes a mean cranberry-walnut bread and will be interested to compare notes.

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