Cranberry Swirl Bread

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My husband and I keep talking about how it doesn’t really feel like Christmas.  Maybe it is the weather which feels more spring than winter.  Maybe it is that we both are working right up to the very last minute, so haven’t had the chance to relax into the holiday like we have in the past.  Who knows?

But ready or not, feels like it or not, this week is Christmas.  And this bread tastes like Christmas. There is a rich, soft yeast bread, there is tart and sweet cranberry filling, and there is a super sweet powdered sugar top: apparently in my mind those things equal Christmas. Plus, it is an unspeakably beautiful bread. This is truly a bread to impress your fiends and family.

I hope you are spending this holiday with your friends and family.  And I hope that there is laughter, good food, and warmth.

Cranberry Swirl Bread

From The Stiers Aesthetic

For the Bread:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups flour

For the Cranberry Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cup chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

In a small sauce pan heat together the water, milk, and butter just until the butter melts.  Allow this to cool to lukewarm.

Mix together the sugar, yeast, salt, and 1 cup of the flour.

Add in the cooled milk/water/butter mixture.  This is one of the best smells in the world!

Beat the batter well and then add in the remaining flour.

Stir until a smooth dough forms.

Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it is soft and feels alive.  Also, when you poke it lightly  with a fingertip, the dough should bounce back.

Put the dough in a greased bowl and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile make your cranberry filling.

Combine the cranberries, brown sugar, cornstarch, and water in a small sauce pan.  It could be the same sauce pan that you used to melt the milk/water/butter mixture together.  That would finally save some space in your dishwasher.

Cook this mixture, partially covered, over medium heat until it is quite thick.  This should take about 10 – 15 minutes.

Remove it from the heat and stir in the butter and lemon juice.  Then allow it to cool.

After the bread dough has risen, punch it down and roll the dough into a roughly 10 x 20 inch rectangle.

Spread the cranberry mixture onto the dough, leaving about a 1/2in edge free of cranberries.

Roll the dough up from one of the shorter sides as you would for cinnamon rolls.  But instead of cutting the dough into rolls you are going to cut it through lengthwise.

Carefully twist/braid the two halves together so that the cranberry layers fan open, and transfer it into a greased loaf pan.

Cover with a towel and let the loaf rise for an additional 30 – 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the bread for 40 – 45 minutes.  You may find your edges are getting too brown, in which case cover the bread with some aluminum foil and continue baking.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire wrack to cool completely.

Dust the top of the loaf with powdered sugar and garnish with some fresh cranberries.

Have a very Happy Christmas!

 

Cranberry Swirl Bread

For the Bread:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup butter
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1 package yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 cups flour

For the Cranberry Filling:

  • 1 1/2 cup chopped cranberries (fresh or frozen)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • Powdered sugar for dusting

In a small sauce pan heat together the water, milk, and butter just until the butter melts.  Allow to cool to lukewarm.

Mix together the sugar, yeast, salt, and 1 cup of the flour.  Add in the cooled milk/water/butter mixture.

Beat the batter well and then add in the remaining flour. Stir until a smooth dough forms.

Knead the dough for about 5 minutes.

Put the dough in a greased bowl and let it rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile make the cranberry filling.

Combine the cranberries, brown sugar, cornstarch, and water in a small sauce pan. Cook this mixture, partially covered, over medium heat until it is quite thick.  This should take about 10 – 15 minutes.

Remove it from the heat and stir in the butter and lemon juice.  Then allow it to cool.

After the bread dough has risen, punch it down and roll the dough into a roughly 10 x 20 inch rectangle.  Spread the cranberry mixture onto the dough, leaving about a 1/2in edge free of cranberries.

Roll the dough up from one of the shorter sides as you would for cinnamon rolls then cut it through lengthwise.

Carefully twist/braid the two halves together so that the cranberry layers fan open, and transfer it into a greased loaf pan.

Cover with a towel and let the loaf rise for an additional 30 – 40 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Bake the bread for 40 – 45 minutes.

Cool in the pan for 5 minutes before removing to a wire wrack to cool completely.

Dust the top of the loaf with powdered sugar and garnish with some fresh cranberries.

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