Thursday, December 22, 2011

Cranberry Cinnamon Pecan Bread

It's been a while hasn't it?

I'm sorry.  I told you I was going to be a busy girl.  And I wasn't kidding.  I don't think I've stopped running around since I got here.  But with such limited time in Ozark I must squeeze in everything that I well as eat everything that I possibly can.  Seriously, I think the whole eating thing is starting to take its toll...and I love it.

Surprisingly, I haven't done a lot of cooking since I've been here, mainly because we eat out for every meal.  However, I have done a bit of baking the past two days.  And when I say a bit, I mean 7 (yes 7!) pans of cinnamon rolls, a couple loaves of cinnamon/cranberry/pecan bread, and some salted chocolate peppermint bark.  The cinnamon rolls and peppermint bark were a bit excessive but at least made for good holiday gifts.  And the bread was well...divine.

And since it was divine...I think I need to hand over the recipe.  It takes a bit of patience due to the rising time but it's ohhh so good.  And perfect for the holiday weekend.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend and Christmas if you're celebrating!

Cranberry Cinnamon Pecan Bread
 Ingredients: Makes 2 Loaves
  • 3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 4 teaspoons sugar 
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tablespoons shortening at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup whole milk at room temperature
  • 3/4 cup water at room temperature
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 3/4 cup chopped pecans
  • melted butter
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
 1. Start by combining flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon and yeast in a large mixing bowl.

 2. Add water, shortening, lightly beaten egg, and whole milk.

 3. Stir everything together with a large wooden spoon.  Add more water or flour if the dough seems too sticky or too stiff.

 4. Move dough to a floured surface and knead for about 10 minutes by hand.  Dough should be soft and pliable. 

 5. In the last 2 minutes of kneading add in the cranberries and pecans. 

6. Try to distribute cranberries and pecans as evenly as possible.

 7. Transfer dough to a large oiled bowl, rolling around to coat.  Cover with a kitchen towel and allow to double for about 2 hours.
8. After 2 hours, split dough in half and place in 2 lightly oiled bread pans.  Cover with loosely with plastic wrap and allow dough to double again.  About an hour to an hour and a half.
9. Preheat oven to 350° and place loaves on the middle rack.  Bake for 20 minutes and then turn the pans 180° for even baking.  Bake for another 20-30 minutes.  The top will be golden brown.

 10. Immediately remove loaves from pans and brush with butter.  Combine 1/4 cup of sugar and 1 tablespoon of cinnamon in a small bowl and sprinkle on top.

11. Let the bread cool.  Cut.  Serve.  Slather with butter (optional).  Oooh and Aaaah.

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