Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Cranberry Swirl Loaf

I've never baked with cranberries before, so I was surprised by how many seeds were in those suckers! They all sunk to the bottom, thank goodness.

I hate cranberries.

I really do. Anything with the word "berry" in it should be sweet in my book. Cranberries are not sweet. Ask Madeline; she kept insisting on having one to eat, but as soon as she chewed it a bit she realized how disgusting they really are. (Ironically, she kept coming back every few minutes wanting to try one again, with the same result every time.)
That being said, I L-O-V-E this Cranberry Swirl Loaf. I came across the recipe in the Taste of Home magazine two years ago, so when we were still newlyweds. Kyle kept dropping his not-so-subtle hints that he'd like me to make it. I'm a baker, so I finally relented and gave it a try.
It was a disaster. And I'm not being hard on myself, plain and simple it was horrible. You could tell we were still newlyweds by how much Kyle actually managed to eat over the two weeks it sat in the fridge...he was afraid of hurting my feelings I think.
Anyways, we stumbled across the recipe again recently, and as a surprise I made it for him tonight. He said it was wonderful to walk in to such an aromatic house. The bread had just come out of the oven when he got home at a quarter to 9, so the timing was perfect.
There was just one little problem that I didn't discover until it was too late.
You're supposed to let the bread rise AFTER you put it in a loaf, as well as before. I only let it rise before. Come to think of it, I think I made the same mistake last time too. (Although I made a lot of other ones last time too.)
I should know that. I've only made two loaves of bread every week for the last two months!!!! Oh well, I tried a slice and this time it was SO GOOD, especially warm from the oven. It doesn't look as pretty as the Taste of Home picture, probably because I didn't roll it as thin or zig-zag it as much into the pan...I had two screaming kids at the time, I had to cut a few corners.
Anyways, give it a try! The crumbly topping alone is worth your effort, but the entire combination is quite delicious. We'll see if the loaf survives the night!
UPDATE! So I realized the link to the recipe doesnt work. Sorry! Heres the recipe:
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 package (1/4 ounce) quick-rise yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup butter, cubed
1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cold butter, divided
In a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a saucepan, heat the water, milk and butter to 120°-130°. Add to dry ingredients; beat just until moistened. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
For filling, in a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, brown sugar and water. Cook over medium heat until berries pop, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat; stir in the butter, walnuts and lemon juice. Cool.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 20-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Spread filling to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Place in a zigzag pattern in a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan.
For topping, in a small bowl, combine flour and sugar; cut in 1 tablespoon butter until crumbly. Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Sprinkle with topping. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes.
Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until bread sounds hollow when tapped. Carefully remove from pan to a wire rack to cool. Yield: 1 loaf (16 slices).
I highly recommend going to and search "cranberry swirl loaf" to see a prettier picture of it!


  1. share the recipe so I can try it!

  2. If you click on "the recipe" it should link you to the Taste of Home recipe on their website...I was too lazy to copy and paste the whole recipe last night!!!