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Jamie Stolper
 
This is a wonderful cranberry bread recipe!  First of all, it is mostly about the cranberries, full of sweet-tart flavor that is enhanced by the orange, and no nuts so that all can enjoy (but you can certainly add some walnuts or pecans if you prefer).  Second, it is beautiful to behold, with more than the usual amount of the colorful berries.  And third, this is possibly the easiest bread to make, just sift and stir – you don't even have to chop the cranberries.  This will become a fixture at your Thanksgiving dinner, but is also wonderful toasted for breakfast or tea.  Make it a day or two in advance of serving, as the flavors intensify with a little time – although it will definitely be hard not to steal a slice as it is cooling!  Cutting will be easier with a serrated-edged knife.
 
Ingredients
 2 cups flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar [use 3/4 cup for a less sweet loaf]
4 tablespoons (1/2) stick unsalted margarine, melted and cooled
1 extra-large egg, beaten lightly
3/4 cup orange juice, fresh or not-from-concentrate
2-3 teaspoons freshly grated orange zest
2 cups picked-over and rinsed cranberries
 
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pan (I use a non-stick pan, but I still grease it lightly).

In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the egg, orange juice, and melted margarine.  Stir gently until combined.  Fold in the orange zest.  Do not overmix.

Spoon the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top, making the center just a bit lower than the sides.  Bake in the middle of the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of the loaf comes out clean.  The top should be a rich golden brown color.

Let the pan cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.  Turn the pan to unmold the bread.  (If it doesn't come out easily, run a sharp knife along the sides and try again.)  Let the bread stand on the wire rack, top side up, until completely cooled.  Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for a day or two before serving.  It will remain fresh in the fridge for a week or more, but I guarantee it won't last that long!

Cranberry Orange Bread
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