April 19, 2010

Cranberry Apple Quick Bread

Here's a tasty bread...

This recipe is for a quick bread that's yummy and wholesome. It's quick because you don't use yeast and don't let it rise before you bake it. It uses applesauce instead of oil and additional applesauce and baking soda as a substitute for one egg. I've tried making this bread with no eggs, and it works, but I like the 1-egg version better. With that one egg, the resulting bread is a bit fluffier and smoother; plus, it seems to hold together better.

No eggs? If you'd like to try the recipe without any eggs, substitute 1/4 teaspoon baking soda and 1/4 cup applesauce for each egg. That means you'll use 1/2 teaspoon baking soda and 1/2 cup applesauce instead of 2 eggs.

Baking soda shows up twice in this recipe: It's part of the egg substitute, and it's also combined with the flour and other dry ingredients later in the recipe.

No oil. Applesauce appears as part of the egg substitute, and it's used instead of oil (2 tablespoons) and mixed in with the egg, baking soda, and sugar at the beginning of the recipe.

Scoop or spoon? For this recipe, I recommend you scoop the flour out of its bag or container with the measuring cup(s) you'll use to measure it instead of using a spoon to fill the measuring cup. Scoop up some flour, filling the measuring cup as full as possible, and level it off with a knife. If the measuring cup isn't full enough, just spoon out a bit more to make it the correct measurement, leveling it again with a knife.

Sugar? Yup, there's 1/2 cup of it in this bread. Using less sugar should work out fine, particularly if you use sweet apples instead of tart ones (remember that the cranberries are tart, so if you decrease the sugar too much, your bread will have quite the zing to it). Next time I make this recipe, I plan to use closer to 1/4 cup of sugar, but I don't want to recommend that yet, since I don't know how it'll turn out.

All that said, however, this isn't intended to be a health-food, just a healthier food. 

I really like the taste of this bread (and my husband thinks it should be a household staple). The texture is hearty and dense, partly because the whole wheat flour doesn't contribute well to much rising, and partly because there's so much fruit-n-berry-goodness packed in there. The chopped apples are soft after baking. The cranberries are softened on the inside but remain somewhat firm and often pop (watch out) as you bite into them.....mmmhmm. The cinnamon adds a real nice spice that tempers the sweet and tart flavors of the fruit and the wheaty, almost nutty flavor of the flour.

I think this bread is most delightful when served warm--just after cooling for a bit on a wire rack, or re-heated for a few seconds in the microwave later...that is if any is left after it cools....

Cranberry Apple Quick Bread
Estimated preparation time: 20 - 25 minutes
Estimated baking time: 60 minutes
Estimated cooling time: 5 minutes
Serves: 6 - 10

  • 1 egg (or substitute 1/4 cup applesauce + 1/4 teaspoon baking soda for this egg)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons applesauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups whole wheat flour (scooped out with measuring cup)
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda (this is in addition to the 1/4 teaspoon listed above)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/8 cup milk
  • 1-1/2 cups tart apples, peeled and chopped (about 1 or 2 apples, depending on their size)
  • 1-1/2 cups fresh cranberries (can add an additional 1/4-1/2 cup if desired)

1. Lightly grease a 9" x 5" loaf pan
2. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
3. In a medium bowl, beat the egg.
4. Add the applesauce, 1/4 teaspoon of the baking soda, and the sugar and mix thoroughly.
5. In another bowl, combine the whole wheat flour, baking powder, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, salt, and ground cinnamon.
6. Add the dry mixture to the wet ingredients and stir just till combined.
7. Pour in the milk and stir thoroughly.
8. Add the apples and cranberries and stir--the batter will be thick.
9. Transfer the mixture to the greased loaf pan.
10. Bake for 60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted near the center of the loaf comes out clean.
11. Allow the loaf to cool in the pan for 5-10 minutes before transferring it to a wire rack to cool further.
12. Can be frozen for enjoyment later or served now!



Brian said...

I'm a fan of this bread. It was really good stuff.