What's Baking: Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread

Holiday brunch on your calendar? This flavorful Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread is a real crowd-pleaser.

Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread  || A Less Processed Life

Cranberries are not just for Thanksgiving. Or adorning Christmas trees. (Popcorn and cranberry garland anyone?) Fresh cranberries also make for a delicious quick bread. But you probably already knew that.

Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread  || A Less Processed Life

I was at the grocery store the other day and was instantly enamored by a bin of locally-grown organic cranberries. I couldn't help but scoop some into a bag. Perhaps a few too many. But that's why there's always a quick bread recipe up my sleeve!

Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread  || A Less Processed Life

This recipe features the classic flavor combination of cranberry and orange; a tart and sweet pairing that can't be beat. I added pecans, but you could sub in walnuts if you'd prefer. All of the recipes I looked at were sugar bombs, which really isn't my jam. I decreased the sugar to just a half-cup–which is still quite a bit, I do realize. But when most recipes call for at least a cup, I feel pretty good about the change. And it's still plenty sweet!

Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread  || A Less Processed Life

This bread would be perfect for a holiday brunch. I also love bringing a freshly-baked loaf of bread to a party as a gift for the host/hostess to enjoy the following morning for breakfast. Wrap it in parchment paper and tie with string, and you've got an easy impromptu present to give to anyone.

Cranberry Orange Pecan Bread (printer-friendly version)
makes 1 large loaf

2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 cup fresh cranberries, roughly chopped
1/2 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon orange zest

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 8"x4" loaf pan and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, and sea salt. Stir in the chopped cranberries and chopped pecans.
3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange juice, sugar, buttermilk, melted butter, and egg. Stir in the vanilla and orange zest.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepped loaf pan. Bake in the oven for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes, then remove the loaf from the pan and let cool completely.