Monday, December 14, 2015

Coconut Cranberry Walnut Bread


I have fond memories of cranberry walnut bread.  In my family, it was a treat that we only had during the months of November and December, so we always looked forward to it as the holidays approached!  With five kids in the family, a loaf didn't last long.  We used to double (or triple?) the recipe.  Good times.  :)

I can't remember the name of the old cookbook that the recipe came from.  Good Housekeeping, maybe?  Anyway, it was an old, faded, hardback that still sits on the bookshelf in my parents' kitchen.   I think it was published in the 1950s.  I remember that it had very entertaining (and sexist) diet and nutrition advice.  Ha ha.  Well, times change.

Anyway, I still had some leftover cranberries in the refrigerator from Thanksgiving.  I thought it would be a perfect opportunity to update the recipe and add some other flavors that I love.  I didn't copy the old recipe exactly, but I used it as a base.  

Coconut and cranberries.  Two things that would never actually meet in nature.  A freak pairing of the modern world.  Pretty tasty, though.  This bread was delicious - delicious and a bit crumbly.  It's those darned oats.

I've been using blended oats quite a bit lately.  They're a great substitute for white flour.  I just put them in my high-powered blender, and like magic, I get oat flour.

You could always buy oat flour if you don't want to deal with blending the oats.  Or you could substitute more all-purpose flour if you're not in the mood to make some weird hipster bread.  Ha ha.

Here's the recipe:

Coconut Cranberry Walnut Bread

Makes 1 loaf


1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup finely blended rolled oats (or oat flour if you have it)
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 cup liquid coconut oil (you may have to melt it)
1 tsp. grated orange rind
1 egg, beaten
1/3 cup orange juice
3 tbsp. white vinegar plus enough water to make 2/3 cup
1 cup halved fresh cranberries

1/2 cup dried unsweetened coconut, toasted

I almost over-toasted it!  At 325 degrees, this took about 3 minutes!
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

Non-stick cooking spray

Parchment paper


1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

2. Spray a 9x5x3 standard loaf pan with non-stick cooking spray.  Line the bottom (and the sides, if you wish) with parchment paper.  If you don't have parchment paper, you could flour the pan; just be very careful when removing the bread from the pan!

3. Mix the first five ingredients together in a medium bowl.

4. In another small bowl, whisk together the coconut oil, orange peel, egg, orange juice, and vinegar/water mixture.

5. Pour the wet ingredients into the medium bowl and stir together until just blended.  Fold in the cranberries, coconut, and walnuts.

6.  Transfer the mixture to the loaf pan and bake for about an hour.  The time will vary a bit depending on your oven.  I would keep an eye on it for the last 15 minutes or so and take it out when a toothpick inserted in the center comes out almost clean.  

7. Allow the bread to cool in the pan for about an hour.  Remove from the pan and slice with an electric knife.  Or a serrated knife if you want to live dangerously.  Enjoy!  :)

We really enjoyed this bread.  The only drawback (and I'm not even sure it's a drawback), is that it's a bit crumbly.  I jumped the gun and tried to remove it from the pan after about 15 minutes.  Well . . . I wouldn't recommend doing that.

I also did NOT use parchment paper - I added that instruction after the fact.  Next time, I will use the parchment paper, as it will make removal from the pan much easier.  

I'm pretty sure it was the blended oats that made this bread a little more fragile than the original.  I don't consider it a mistake, because I loved the flavor (and extra fiber) that the oats added.  It's just something to be aware of.  If you're in a rush to eat this bread, be careful.  If you want perfect looking slices . . . well . . . maybe this isn't the bread for you.  It's so delicious, though!  The texture from the toasted coconut and oat flour?  AWESOME!  My husband loved it, and this isn't really his thing.

He also thinks it pairs perfectly with bacon.  (We had this for brunch.)  I don't know . . . take a bite of bread and then a bite of bacon?  A cranberry-coconut-bacon sandwich, maybe?  O.O  

Please feel free to comment!  What did you think?

Thanks for reading!

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