Saturday, May 14, 2005

Cranberry, Apricot, Orange Bread

If, like me, you ended the holiday season with six bags of cranberries in your freezer because they were on sale for $.99 a bag here's a good recipe.

Modify it as you wish. I found that flax instead of eggs will help cut down on cholesterol and make you a hero to patchouli stinking, shoeless, idiotic hippies everywhere. I can post instructions for doing that if anyone would like. Flax is high in omega fatty acids or some such crap and it acts as a vegan replacement for eggs. Butter has cholesterol, but good flavor, so you can replace half of it with applesauce. I just take the old apples out of the fruitbowl and blend them (skin on, core out) with a little water. The sauce will make the bread a little more tender and moist, but the other strong fruit flavors will keep it from tasting oddly appley.

Apricot, Orange, Cranberry Bread (This is actually a double batch but it fits into three of my bread pans and makes the loaves a little less...short) You can halve it use two bread pans for shorter loaves.)
7 cups flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 sticks butter

2 cups sugar
2 tbsp + 2 tsp orange zest
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups orange juice
1 1/3 cups milk
1 1/3 cups chopped apricots (I use dried apricots, thought the recipe doesn't specify. I like to chop the apricots into long thin chunks, not fine, so they have a more toothsome quality.)
1 1/3 cups walnuts (If I add nut, which I don't ususally, pecans from people's yards are what I use.)
6 cups cranberries, chopped in a food processor (I have used dried cranberries in occasion when they are cheaper. I boil them in a little water until rehydrated, then use the water in place of some of the OJ, but that's just if I feel like fuckin' around.)

Sift (HAH, right, like I'm gonna waste my time for a quick bread. Ignore!) together the flour (How many times have you seen recipes on the internet that call for flower?), powder, soda and salt. Cream the butter and the sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the orange zest and the eggs one at a time. Add the orange juice and milk and beat until it looks curdled.

Add the flour mixture and mix until moistened. Stir in apricots, cranberries and your nuts.

Place baking rack in the middle of the oven and preheat it to 350 deg. F. If you have an oven like mine, you had to start it up to at the beginning of this whole process and check the thermometer repeatedly to see if 350 deg. F falls closer to 200 or 400 on the dial today.

Butter and Flour (or just grease however you want) three loaf pans. (or 10 - 5 3/4" X 2 1/4" bread pans but who the fuck owns those?)

Pour batter into the pans. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour (or, if, once again, your stove is like mine, an hour and 20 minutes) until your testing item (switchblade, punji stick [sans poop], cake tester, toothpick, shish kebab stick) comes out clean.

Cool for ten minutes. Remove from pans. Cool the rest of the way. Give away most of them or take them to work, 'cause who in their right mind would eat all of that shit.

These do last well if well wrapped and frozen. They also would make a dandy bread pudding.
If you make a reduced fat version, wrap it sooner 'cause low-fat shit goes stale quicker.

Anyway, once again I have chosen a profession where the women outnumber the men. Why is it that modern women are impressed by guys that can cook, but are unable to do it themselves?

Back in the day, were men (who were unable to boil water) impressed to point of gushing by women who could do simple tasks in the kitchen? Or is this merely a product of our fast-food, immediate gratification, dumbed-down Amerika?