Monday, December 6, 2010

Cranberry Soda Bread with Lime Glaze


I'm not a big "bread" person in terms of actually baking bread.  I don't know, it sort of scares me!  I've made homemade bread before and it always just turns out alright.  It's never anything special, but it's certainly not horrible either.  I've just always envisioned homemade bread as being really, really good.  And the times that I've had it, it is!  This is definitely a cooking hurdle I need to get over and I'm working on it. 

I think, more than anything, it's working with yeast that scares me.  Making bread can be a delicate process; there are a lot of steps in between to let the bread rise (sometimes more than once) and kneading it just so.  For one reason or another, mine usually comes out dry.

This recipe I actually consider a "cheater" recipe in that it doesn't utilize yeast.  It's quite simple and ends up coming out as a cross between a scone and biscotti.  It has a hard shell on the outside, but is rather dense on the inside.  I made this recipe for work on Black Friday.  I thought it would be a nice little "something" to help fill us up but also kill our sweet cravings!

The bread itself was pretty good, although it did seem a little dry (not too bad), but I might've overbaked it as well (again, if you've followed any of my other Turkey Day/Black Friday posts, you'll know that I had lots going on in the oven and some things ended up staying in there too long)!  And I missed a step in the process to help vent it and let steam escape during baking.  It certainly didn't ruin the flavor and the best part of this recipe is the lime glaze!  Holy smokes, people, I'm telling you that I could not keep my hands off of the glaze once I was done using it on the bread.  It was so good and just that hint of lime was really refreshing and such a nice complement to the somewhat sweet, yet somewhat tart cranberries in the bread.  It was a really  nice combination and if I make it again, I will definitely be sure not to overbake it!  I think this bread would be great for a bridal or baby shower of some sort or perhaps a brunch!

Cranberry Soda Bread with Lime Glaze

1 1/3 cups plus 1 Tbsp. Milk
1 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
4 cups Flour
1 1/2 Tsp. Baking Soda
1 Tsp. Salt
3 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter, chilled and cubed
1 cup Dried Cranberries
1 Egg
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1 Lime, zested and juiced

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a small bowl, whisk together 1 1/3 cups milk and the lemon juice; let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt.  Rub in the butter until coarse crumbs form.  Stir in the cranberries.

Beat the egg into the milk mixture and then add to the flour mixture, mixing until just combined.  Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead until it just comes together.  Form the dough into an 8-inch round and place on the prepared baking sheet.  Using a knife, score an "X" 1/2-inch deep in the center.  Bake until golden and crusty (about 25-30 minutes).  Let cool completely.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, lime zest, lime juice and the remaining tablespoon of milk.  Drizzle over the cooled bread and slice for serving.

Yield: 8-12 Servings


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