Cranberry- Banana Bread

This quick bread is deliciously moist, not too sweet and a little tart. It is adapted from The Bread Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum; I also own The Pie and Pastry Bible and both books are incredible. She is a very particular baker and gives detailed explanations as to the whys and what-fors.  When I saw in this recipe that she wants you to cut the cranberries in half, I seriously balked. But after reading the explanation (so the cranberries don’t burst and lose their shape and also so that they absorb the sugar from the batter), I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. I suppose if Rose tells you to cut the cranberries in half, you cut them in half! I plopped myself down in front of the t.v. with my cranberries and found that this task took about 10 minutes–not even enough time to watch anything. I think it’s worth the effort. This bread is better the day after it’s baked. If you have a kitchen scale, I recommend using the weight measurements.

3/4 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped and toasted
2 cups minus 1 T all-purpose, bleached flour (9.5 oz.)
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
8 T unsalted butter softened
1 cup turbinado sugar (7 oz.)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup ripe banana, mushed up with a fork
1 1/2 T sour cream
1 t vanilla
2 cups cranberries, cut in half

Lightly oil a 9″ loaf pan. Whisk the dry ingredients together. In a mixer bowl, cream the butter and sugar for about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, banana, sour cream and vanilla all at once and beat until well-blended (about 1 minute). Add the flour mixture and beat on low speed only until moistened (about 20 seconds). Oh… and scrape the bowl a couple times in there as well. Add the cranberries and walnuts and beat for about 20 seconds more to incorporate. Pour the batter into the pan and bake at 350ยบ; the recipe states for 55-65 minutes but I had to bake for around 1 hour 10 minutes until it was done. The top of the loaf should be nicely domed with some cracking and no wet batter.

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