MINI-MENUS: Give the gift of … bread

Pam Griffin

Cranberry Walnut Bread

3/4 cup butter, room temperature 3 cups white sugar 3 eggs, room temperature 3 Tbsp. orange zest 6 cups flour 1 Tbsp. salt 4 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1 1/2 tsp. baking soda 2 1/4 cups orange juice 3 cups whole cranberries 1 1/2 cups chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350. Grease three 8 x 4-inch loaf pans. Line bottoms with parchment paper, if desired.

Beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add the room-temperature eggs one at a time, allowing each egg to blend into the butter mixture before adding the next. Stir in the orange zest.

Sift together the flour, salt, baking powder and baking soda. Add to the egg mixture, alternating with orange juice.

Coarsely chop the cranberries.

Pour the flour mixture into the mixing bowl alternately with the orange juice, mixing until just incorporated. Fold in the chopped cranberries and walnuts, mixing just enough to evenly combine. Divide the batter evenly among prepared pans.

Bake for 60 minutes. Check at 30 minutes for browning: cover the tops with aluminum foil to prevent them from becoming too dark. Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaves comes out clean. Cool on wire racks. Makes 3 loaves. Holiday Fruit Bread

1 cup flour 1 tsp. baking soda 2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. salt 2 tsp. ground cinnamon 1/4 tsp. ground cloves 1 cup quick cooking oats 1/2 cup butter, melted 1/2 cup white sugar 1 tsp. vanilla extract 2 eggs 2 cups applesauce 1/2 cup chopped walnuts 1/2 cup black raisins

Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease 8 x 4 inch loaf pan.

Sift the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and cloves together in a large bowl. Stir in the oats. Beat the butter, sugar, and vanilla together in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy.

Stir in the eggs until well blended. Mix in the applesauce, walnuts, and raisins. Stir in the flour mixture just until moistened. Pour batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake until a knife inserted in middle comes out clean, about 55 minutes. Take care not to over bake. Cool 5 minutes in pan before turning out on a rack to cool completely. Makes 10 servings.