What is it about a slice of this quick bread that I find so appealing?…Maybe it’s the tender crumb or the sweetness of the white chocolate or the bright red little explosions of fresh cranberries baked in each slice? Or maybe it’s because of the holiday tradition that dates back to my early memories of Christmas mornings gathered around a beautifully decorated tree opening gifts in pjs with family while munching on slices of sweet breads. I’ve always loved to bake quick breads for family and friends at the holidays. Our family favorites were the ones baked with apricots, dates, banana, nuts and cranberries. After the gifts were opened a hot breakfast usually with bacon and eggs was served but my favorites were always the slices of sweet cranberry quick breads with the memories of Christmas morning in every slice.
Today I’m sharing a quick bread recipe that I tried this week from a new cookbook, Baking for Friends by Kathleen King. I also made her recipe for cranberry sauce crumb bars with my left over homemade cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving. Made with a rolled oat crust and crumb topping- those bars were killer. I think I have enough fresh cranberries for one more small batch recipe, maybe cookies?
Baking with Friends is my kind of baking cookbook, filled with beautiful photos and sweet recipes for all my favorites, like cookies, cakes, breads and pies. I have a few more recipes bookmarked for this holiday season and for Saint Patty’s day I have to try her recipe for guinness brownies.
Quick breads freeze well and make a fun baking project for the weekends before Christmas. I sliced my white chocolate cranberry bread up for the pictures and to share with friends but my next loaf is going to my ‘littles’ for Christmas morning, to carry on a wonderful delicious family tradition.
Adapted from Baking for Friends by Kathleen King.
- 6 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
- 2 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- 3 large eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 cup fresh whole cranberries
- 1 cup toasted pecans, chopped
- 1 cup white chocolate chips
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Lightly butter and flour a 9x5 loaf pan.
- Melt the chopped white chocolate, I used a bowl placed over barely simmering water, set aside to cool-giving it a few stirs- while continuing with the recipe.
- In a medium bowl whisk together the flour, salt and baking soda, set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, a few minutes.
- Beat the eggs in one at a time, scrape down the sides of bowl as needed.
- Beat in the yogurt, followed by the cooled white chocolate, orange zest and juice and vanilla.
- Turn the mixer to low speed and add the flour mixture.
- Stir in the whole cranberries, pecans and white chocolate chips.
- Spread the batter evenly into the prepared pan.
- Bake until skewer inserted in bread comes out clean, about 70-75 minutes.
- Cool on a metal rack for about 10 minutes.
- Remove bread from the pan and cool completely before slicing.