Sunday, December 31, 2017

Cranberry-Orange Tea Bread

Having neither shame nor pride, Im well beyond the point of making (and keeping) New Year’s resolutions to eat less, drink less, spend less, work less, or dislike Trump less,
Cranberry-Orange Tea Bread
but I shall try. Not the 
Trump part, but the “work less” part. (1) So this is the part where I promote slow cookers. I have two - one, big as a Buick; the other, the size of a toaster oven. 

I never use either. Sad, but true. Each languishes at the back of the kitchen cupboard, rarely used or thought about. Mea culpa, Dollinks! (2) So this is the part where I promise to repent, which is as close to a New Year’s resolution as I’m ever going to getHar-rumph! 

(3) So this is the part where I introduce this spectacular little Cranberry-Orange Tea Bread, telling you how effortless (true) and delicious (also true) it is, and that you will need to yank your own slow cooker out of the attic or the basement or from whichever dark, dank place you’ve stashed it. 

You already know the benefits of slow cookers; I’m not going to preach. (4) So this is the part where I give you the recipe and urge you to make it pronto, just as I’ve done. This is also the part where I admit that working less = less time in the kitchen = more time cuddling my slow cooker (or “crock pot,” as these handy gadgets were once known).

This recipe requires a slow cooker

Cranberry-Orange Tea Bread:

To Prepare the Tea Bread:

3 c. (700 mL) all-purpose flour, divided
3/4 c. (180 mL) dried cranberries (also known as “Craisins”)
1-1/3 (330 mL) granulated sugar
1 tbsp. (15 mL) baking powder
1/4 tsp. (1.25 mL) baking soda
1/4 tsp. (1.25 mL) salt
2/3 c. (160 mL) skim milk powder
2 c. (500 mL) warm water
1 large egg
1/4 c. (60 mL) canola oil
2 tsp. (10 mL) finely grated orange peel 

Preheat and cover spray-greased 4 qt. (4 L) slow cooker on high setting. Combine 1/2 c. (125 mL) flour with dried cranberries. Set aside. In large mixing bowl, combine remaining flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In medium bowl, dissolve skim milk powder in warm water. Add egg, oil, and orange peel, beating well with electric mixer. Briefly set electric mixer aside. 

Hand-stirring with spoon or spatula, add combined liquid to dry ingredients, just until moistened. Hand-stir in remaining flour-cranberry mixture until smooth. Beat with electric mixer, 2 min. on low, until mixture is smooth throughout. Pour batter into slow cooker. Cover and cook about 2-1/4 hr., testing for doneness with thin skewer. 

When loaf is done, remove slow cooker insert from metal casing, cooling loaf inside insert 20-to-30 min. As loaf begins to cool, loosen sides of loaf from insert by running blunt knife around loaf’s edges, being sure knife penetrates to bottom of insert and loaf. Repeat as loaf cools further, this time gently lifting loaf from bottom of insert as you work around the edges. Turn loaf onto wire rack to cool more fully. 

(5) So this is the part where we eat it. It’s wonderful! Makes 15-to-20 tall slices - double that, if you cut them in half.

To Prepare the Icing Sugar Glaze (optional): 

Standing round and tall, this particularly showy bread deserves special treatment. Drizzle the top and edges with about 1/2 c. (125 mL) sifted icing sugar combined with just enough light cream and a few drops of pure orange extract to produce a runny white glaze. Using a funnel, let the glaze run over the top and sides of the bread. Let glaze set at least 30 min. before cutting and transferring to serving plate. 

Note: This tea cake freezes wonderfully. Cut into slices, separating with waxed paper.

Further Note: You’re a tea bread fan? Among of the best of the best is Yukon Orange Bread. Youll find it at: 

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