it is spongy and tangy from buttermilk,
citrusy with orange zest and juice,
and tart from the cranberries.
The nuts can be omitted, which I usually do, though I snuck some into one of the mini-loaves.
The recipe doubles easily—I made one regular loaf and then six mini-loaves.
The Best Cranberry Nut Bread
from Cook's Illustrated
⅓ cup orange juice
1 T. grated orange zest form 1 large orange
⅔ cup buttermilk
6 T. unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing pans
1 large egg, beaten lightly
2 cups unbleached flour
1 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
1½ cups cranberries, chopped coarse
½ cup toasted pecans or walnuts
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Grease a 9x5 inch loaf pan.
Stir the orange juice, orange zest, buttermilk, melted butter, and egg in a small bowl.
Whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a large bowl. Stir the orange liquid mixture into the dry mixture. Stir in the cranberries and nuts.
Bake for 20 minutes, then reduce the temperature to 350ºF and bake for another 30-35 minutes.