Craisin®-Nut Bread

From now on, I’d like to try to regularly post something simple, lighthearted, and fun each Friday, because I know I can get pretty intense sometimes. Today, I thought I’d share a bread machine recipe that’s become a big hit in my house.

Margaret and I got a bread machine for our wedding, almost 16 years ago. Just recently, I’ve started using it regularly to bake actual bread. In fact, we’ve all but stopped buying bread from the grocery store, preferring instead sacks of bread flour and jars of active dry yeast. A loaf of home-baked bread from the machine costs less than a dollar and tastes better than from the store. The bread machine makes the process relatively painless, because it does all the hard work for you; just put in the ingredients, and 3 hours later, fresh-baked bread. And baking bread at home also provides plenty of opportunity for variety and experimentation.

One of my experiments paid off, because the Little One specifically asked for it yesterday, Daddy’s homemade Craisin®-Nut Bread, badgered me to make a loaf. I wanted to take a picture of it. Unfortunately, I didn’t act fast enough, and it disappeared first. I have to admit, it’s quite tasty, especially warm with a little butter spread on it. Good for breakfast, brunch, or dinner.

Our bread machine is a Welbilt® model, and this recipe is based on its standard recipe for “Basic White Bread,” a 1½ lb loaf. But I use the Sweet cycle (instead of the Basic cycle), and I add a half-cup of Craisins®-brand sweetened, dry cranberries and a half-cup of chopped walnuts, at the appropriate time during the cycle.

Here’s the whole recipe, for reference:

Craisin®-Nut Bread

(For Welbilt® countertop household bread machines. Consult manufacturer recommendations for other makes or models.)

1 cup water
2 tablespoons oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons salt
3 cups bread flour
½ cup Craisins®-brand sweetened, dried cranberries *
½ cup chopped walnuts *
2¼ teaspoons (1 package) active dry yeast

Use Sweet cycle, 1½ lb loaf.

* Add Craisins® and nuts at the beep. (However, you may add them in order, especially if using the delay timer.)

If you try this out, I’d love to hear how it turns out and how you like it.


P.S. UPDATE: I just discovered that Suzie the Foodie, whose blog I just recently started following, earlier this month had posted her own recipe for Cranberry Bread. She calls her recipe “Craisin Bread,” although it doesn’t use real Craisins®. She uses real, dried cranberries (which is quite kewl), and brown sugar to sweeten it. Her recipe sounds delicious as well, and I might try it sometime. I’m also sure it would also taste good with walnuts added.

P.P.S. I’ve also considered playing around with making a quick-bread variation. If I do, I might post it as well.