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Orange Cranberry Bread

Orange Cranberry Bread

I have been looking to change-up the holiday table a bit. I am big on traditions but there’s always room for minor improvements. Cranberries definitely belongs on the table, but serving cranberry sauce which no one in our household seems very fond of anyway, just doesn’t make sense.  So I was looking for an alternative when I came across this wonderful recipe. The only minor change I made was to toss the chopped cranberries in a little confectioners sugar to take away some of the bitterness of the berries. The bread turned out sweet and tart with a subtle background flavor of orange and a little crunch from the walnuts, very delicious. A nice addition to my holiday table.

Cranberry Bread (makes 1 loaf)

Ingredients:

165 gram all-purpose flour (5.8 oz)

135 gram whole wheat flour (4.75 oz)

200 gram sugar (7 oz)

1 small teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder

35 gram unsalted butter, melted (1.15 oz or 2 1/2 tablespoons)

1 egg, beaten

177 milliliter orange juice (6 oz or 3/4 cup)

1 tablespoon orange zest (zest from 1 medium orange)

50 gram walnuts, chopped (1/2 cup) – optional

160 gram fresh cranberries, roughly chopped (1 1/2 cups)

2 tablespoons confectioners sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C). Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan (22 x 12 cm), line bottom of pan with parchment paper and set aside.

Give cranberries a rough chop, add confectioners sugar, stir to combine and set aside.

In a medium bowl combine both types of flour, sugar, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Add melted butter, egg, orange juice and orange zest, stir until blended. Add walnuts and cranberries, stir until evenly distributed. Pour batter into loaf pan and smooth the top. Bake for 45 to 55 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan for 15 minutes, then remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack. Enjoy!

Source: adapted from Wild Yeast via Ocean Spray

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Fastelavnsboller

Fastelavn is a Nordic holiday celebrated on Sunday or Monday before Ash Wednesday. It is similar to the American Halloween where children dress in customes and beg for candy. Some towns may have a parade followed by the traditional “slå katten af tynden” which is a wooden barrel that has cats painted on it and is filled with candy. The children takes turn hitting the barrel with a bat and the one to hit the bottom out, spilling the candy, is crowned “kattedronning” (queen of the cats). Hitting of the barrel continues and the one hitting down the last plank is crowned “kattekonge” (king of the cats).

If the children go door to door begging for candy they will come to the door and sing a little tune called Boller op, boller ned. This song basically says: Buns up, buns down, buns in my stomach, if I get no buns, then I will make trouble. The buns mentioned in the song is reffering to the Fastelavnsboller which is a popular pastry served on this particular day.

There are many different varieties of Fastelavnsboller recipes. Some is made from a Wienerbrød dough and some are a regular yeast dough. Some are prefilled with a custard or jam while others are sliced open and then filled with a custard or whipped cream filling. The Fastelavnesboller which I made here is a regular yeast dough which was prefilled with custard. I absolutely adore custard and would (if no one was watching) eat it by the spoonful. However, for these particular Fastelavnsboller which I choose to prefil and then bake, it turned out that the wonderful custard got almost completely absorbed into the bread and loosing its intensity. So next time I make this recipe I think I’ll prefil with jam instead because the jam still has its intensity even if some of it gets absorbed into the bread.

Ingredients:

Dough:

2 deciliter milk (1 cup)

25 grams butter (2 tablespoons)

50 grams cake/fresh yeast (or 4 teaspoons dry active yeast)

1 tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 egg

450-475 grams flour (3 3/4 cups)

1 additional egg for glazing (optional)

Custard filling:

1 vanilla bean

1 cup milk

2 egg yolks

2 tablespoons superfine sugar

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Jam filling:

your favorite jam (if using)

Chocolate icing:

1 cup confectioners sugar

2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa

hot water

White icing:

1 cup confectioners sugar

hot water

Sprinkles for decorating

Directions:

In a small saucepan heat up milk and butter to finger temperature, melting the butter. Break up cake yeast and place  in a small bowl, pour warm milk over and stir to dissolve yeast. Add sugar, salt and egg, stir to mix. Add flour a little at the time, stir to combine. Note: it may not be necessary to add all the flour. Knead the dough until smooth. Leave dough in bowl and cover with a dry tea towel. Place in a warm location and let rise for 1 hour.

While dough is rising, make the filling. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise and scrape out seeds with the tip of a knife. Place vanilla seeds and milk in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, beat the egg yolks and sugar together until pale in color and fluffy. Add cornstarch and mix together. While continuing to beat the eggs, slowly pour half of the hot milk into the eggs to temper it. Then pour the tempered egg mixture back into the saucepan and return to low temperature on the stove. Continue to whisk mixture over low temperature until the custard starts to thicken, making sure the custard does not boil. Remove from heat, place in a small bowl, cover with cling wrap directly on the custard surface to prevent a skin from forming and place in refrigerator to cool.

Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside.

Lightly dust with flour and turn dough out onto the working surface. Knead dough a little until smooth and elastic. Roll out into a 40 by 40 cm square (15 x 15 inches) and cut dough into 12 pieces. Place a heaping teaspoonful custard or jam (if using) in center of each square. Using the leftover egg whites, brush the edges of the square dough to help seal the edges. Fold each of the four corners up to the center and press to seal all edges, letting the air inside escape. Turn the dough ball over, tuck under all edges and place on baking sheet with seam side down. Repeat with remaining squares. When done forming dough balls, cover with a dry tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes in a warm location.

Preheat oven to 190 degrees Celsius (375 degrees Fahrenheit). After dough has been allowed to rise, break open an egg and lightly beat it in small bowl. Brush egg-wash onto each dough ball before baking. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool before icing.

To make icing, combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix until desired thickness (somewhat thick but spreadable). Spread icing onto each fastelavnsbolle and place sprinkles on top before glaze sets. Enjoy.

Source: dough from Lone Kjær – Hverdag de luxe and custard filling adapted from Trina Hahnemann – The Scandinavian Cookbook

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