Sunday, January 27, 2013

Bundt #3 of BCS5: Cranberry-Pecan Bread (aka the Hurricane Bundt)

Baked on October 29, 2012

As I mentioned when I did a mini-post on it back at the end of October, I took the forecast of Hurricane Sandy as a call to break out my bundt pan.

In October of 2011, we had an unseasonably early snow storm.  Because it was autumn, and not terribly cold out, the snow was very heavy.  That heavy snow landed on trees which had not dropped most of their leaves, which then lead to downed branches and downed trees.  And that in turn, lead to power outages.  The Main Squeeze and I were lucky, because although our back porch did take a hit, and we were without power, unlike many folks around us in neighboring towns, we got our power back in about a day and a half.

As far as damage from that October 2011 storm goes, we were really lucky.

With that experience fresh in my mind a year later, the forecasted arrival of another big storm and the possibly of being without power again, meant preparing for that worst-case scenario.  And that meant making sure we had things to eat that did not require power (or opening the fridge).  I wanted something that was going to be a bit healthier and heartier than cake, and I love cranberries, so when I found this Cranberry Nut Bread recipe in my Bundt Cookbook, I thought it would be perfect.

The recipe actually called for cranberry-orange relish, but I just substituted a cup of sliced cranberries instead. The final step of the recipe struck me as strange, "When cool, wrap bread tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store overnight before slicing."  I am really curious why they want you to do that, but I wasn't about to follow that step.  I will say this, after the first day, the consistency of the bread was  a little weird.  Kind of like it started going stale pretty quickly, but not exactly that.  I don't know if following the wrap-and-store-overnight step would have prevented that.  I also don't know if the bread would have simply benefitted from being kept in foil (or plastic wrap), rather than in the Tupperware cake taker I always use for my bundt cakes.

I'm not sure I'd make this bread in the future, but it was fun to give it a try.  I've had other cranberry breads that I've liked better.  I think I might just find another cranberry bread recipe, and perhaps try it in the bundt pan, in the future.  This one was really good the first day, though.

Here's the recipe:

3 cups sifted flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cups sugar
1 egg
3/4 cup milk
1 cup cranberry-orange relish (Though as I mentioned, I just used a cup of sliced cranberries--I had some frozen.  If you have frozen cranberries you want to use, don't bother to defrost them, just slice 'em in half and throw them in.  If you want a cranberry-orange flavor, then just put in some orange zest.  A tablespoon or two should do it.)
1 cup chopped pecans (other nuts would work too)

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar until blended.
Add egg to butter mixture and mix well.
Add sifted dry ingredients and milk alternately to butter mixture; mix thoroughly.
Stir in cranberry relish (or sliced cranberries and orange zest, if using) and pecans.
Bake in a greased and floured (I just use baking spray) 10 or 12-cup Bundt pan at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until bread tests done.
Cool in pan 10-15 minutes; turn out on wire rack to complete cooling.
When completely cool, wrap bread in plastic wrap or aluminum foil and store overnight before slicing.

As I mentioned in my mini-post on this, I had chosen my "wave" bundt pan, as I think of it (but which is actually Nordic Ware's Heritage bundt pan) because since this was a bread, there was definitely not going to be any glaze (which I think of working less well with this shape bundt).  What I didn't realize, until I turned it out of the pan, is how appropriate it was for a bread made in anticipation of a hurricane.  See:

There is a 100% chance of cranberries and pecans.
In any case, we were lucky and the storm wasn't so bad for us--no loss of power or downed tree limbs on our house.  So, I'm crediting the hurricane bread.

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