This is a perfect holiday bread recipe! I created this over the weekend because I had cranberries, oranges, and pecans on hand. I know those flavors go famously together, so I started thinking of putting them into a bread. As I searched for recipes online, I found way too many options, but none of them sounded just right. Some used only orange juice for the liquid but were reported to be dry; others used buttermilk for the liquid but, as a result, did not have enough orange flavor. I decided to combine several different recipes.
Then, as I was thinking about which elements I wanted to include from which recipes, inspiration struck. I wanted to add oats soaked in cream for extra texture, density, and moisture. I threw the other recipes out the window and started baking, excited to see how this would turn out.
Let me tell you, it turned out great. My husband says this is the best bread I have ever made, and I think he may be right. He also requested that I put it on the menu for Christmas, and I will--but there is a chance I will make it again before then, too. It's that good.
This bread is all things wonderful: thick, hearty, dense, moist, and crumbly, with just enough sweetness, hints of tartness, and a little crunch here and there. Try it; I'm sure you won't be disappointed!
*Scroll to the bottom of the post for a printable version of the recipe*
Here's the list of ingredients:
1/2 C oats
1/2 C whipping cream
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 C brown sugar
1/2 C white sugar
1 C cranberries, fresh or frozen (If you're using frozen, don't thaw them)
1/2 C pecans, coarsely chopped
1/3 C vegetable oil
1/2 C orange juice
1/4 C milk
1 T orange zest
1 t vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 and grease a loaf pan.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the oats and cream.
Set aside for 10-20 minutes, or until the oats have soaked up the cream.
Here's how mine looked after 10 minutes:
Here's how they looked after 20 minutes, which is how you want them to look:
Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugars, cranberries, and pecans. Set aside.
In a separate mixing bowl, combine egg, vegetable oil, orange juice, milk, orange zest, and vanilla.
Add the oat mixture and the egg mixture to the flour mixture. Stir until thoroughly combined. Make sure you break apart any clumps of oats and incorporate them into the rest of the batter.
Pour into loaf pan and bake for about 1 hour, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.
Halfway through cooking time, cover loosely with foil tent.
When finished baking, let cool on the counter top or a cooling rack, if you can stand waiting that long to eat it.
Just look at how pretty this bread is!
Cut into thick slices and serve. We ate ours plain, but you couldn't go wrong with a little butter spread on each slice, either.
Right-click the image below to download a printable copy of the recipe.