I’m going to be honest with you; I didn’t bake this bread this week. I made it a month ago when bags of fresh cranberries were piled high in nearly every produce department across the country.
So, why am I starting the new year with an old recipe? Simple. Even though the holidays are over and fresh cranberries might not be as abundant, I made this bread for my brother and father, and they loved it.
That’s a big deal.
Learning to Cook Vegan
Like most of us, I didn’t grow up vegan. I came to veganism through vegetarianism twelve years ago, back when there were limited vegan options and well before vegan cheese could melt.
I’m an adventurous eater and would frequently try to impress my family with my newfound love of vegan cooking. Like any beginner, I had some successes and tons and tons of barely edible failures. Let’s say that it wasn’t surprising that my family would hesitate before tasting something I prepared.
Thankfully, vegan food (and my cooking) has come a long way since then.
I’m still testing things out on my family. After all, they’re not vegan, so they’re good people for testing the tastiness of vegan food, which leads me to this bread.
I’ve been taking all kinds of food over to my dad’s house since my mom passed away. This bread, inspired by Orange Cranberry Muffins from Isa Chandra Moskowitz, was one of the first things I took over to him and my brother, who was visiting from out of state.
They’re tough vegan critics, but they loved it. My brother wanted more cranberries and my father a few extra minutes in the oven, but they both enjoyed the bright citrus flavor mixed with a not-as-sweet bread with the perfect crumb. They ate it all.
How to Have Fresh Cranberries All Year Long
This quick bread puts cranberries front and center. Here in the US, cranberries begin to make an appearance in grocery stores in November, just in time for Thanksgiving and will disappear shortly after the Christmas Holiday in December. It’s the perfect time to grab a few extra bags of cranberries and freeze them for use throughout the year.
I have several bags of them washed and ready in mine right now.
If you can’t find fresh cranberries at your local market, frozen cranberries will work just as well. Stay away from dried cranberries though; they won’t work in this recipe at all.
Before You Start Baking
Before I get to the recipe, there are a few things you should know.
First, I used whole wheat flour because that is what I had on hand. I’m pretty sure flours like all purpose or pastry flour would work well in this recipe- I don’t know about gluten-free flours though, I’ve never worked with them.
You can also replace the sugar in the recipe with a sweetener of your choice- I used organic white sugar for the same reason I used whole wheat flour- that’s what I had on hand.
Now, on to the baking!
- 2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1/2 cup ground flaxmeal
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/3 cup organic white sugar (or other sweetener of your choice)
- 1 cup soymilk
- 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 1/8 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 cup fresh lime juice
- Zest from one lemon and one lime
- 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and lightly grease a 8.5" x 4.5" loaf pan.
- In a glass liquid measuring cup, mix the soy milk and vinegar together and set aside for a few minutes to curdle.
- In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients together.
- Once the soy milk is curdled, add the lemon juice, lime juice, and almond extract to the glass liquid measuring cup. Mix well. Add the zest and mix again.
- Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix until fully combined, taking care not to over mix.
- Stir in cranberries and pour batter into the prepared loaf pan.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and continue cooking for an additional 15 minutes or a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan for an additional 15 minutes.
- Serve warm or let cool completely and then top with a glaze, if desired.
Adapted from Orange Cranberry Muffins by Isa Chandra Moskowitz
Nutrition Information:Yield: 14 Serving Size: 1 piece
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 89 Total Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Sodium: 89mg Carbohydrates: 19g Fiber: 2g Sugar: 6g Protein: 3g
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