Come Thanksgiving, there are some things that are non-negotiable; cranberry bread for breakfast, for example. Typically, I dutifully whip up a classic recipe loaded with chopped cranberries, orange zest and walnuts. But after 22 years of essentially making the same recipe (now a gluten-free version), I decided to get wild.
It could be argued that this cranberry-studded confection isn’t actually a bread. The fact that it’s drizzled in a luscious, rosemary and orange spiked pink glaze and topped with sugared cranberries might lead one to believe that this falls into the cake category and is, therefore, a dessert.
I beg to differ. I would say that since this gluten-free quick-bread is baked in a loaf pan, it is decidedly a bread. And breads are breakfast foods. Surely the amount of orange zest and cranberries must have some redeeming qualities. Vitamin C, perhaps?
Each year my Mother-in-Law ships us the most beautiful, fresh cranberries from Annies Crannies on Cape Cod. I use them in sauce and relish, and bake them into apple pies, cranberry frangipane tarts (another non-negotiable Thanksgiving must-have), and yes, cranberry bread.
In this year’s cranberry bread, I nixed the walnuts (don’t tell my MIL) and added fresh minced rosemary. The whole thing is topped with a sweet tart cranberry glaze, redolent of orange and rosemary, and garnished with sugared cranberries (which are, incidentally, fabulous on a holiday cheese board).
Sure, this gluten-free cranberry bread would look amazing on your Thanksgiving dessert table. But it would also be a perfect morning-of breakfast with a cup of hot coffee. Consider it a little something to fortify you for the day of marathon cooking that awaits.
- 6 tablespoons of salted butter, at room temperature
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 2½ cups of all purpose gluten-free flour blend (I love Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 these days)
- 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your flour blend contains it - Bob's does)
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ baking soda
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ cup whole milk (or non-dairy milk of your choice)
- ½ cup buttermilk, sour cream or non-dairy milk soured with 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon of minced, fresh rosemary leaves
- zest from one orange
- 2 tablespoons orange juice (from about half of the orange)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup of fresh, rinsed cranberries roughly chopped (a food processor is great for this)
- Add 1 cup of fresh cranberries, 1 cup of sugar and one cup of water to a sauce pan with two sprigs of fresh rosemary and 2 strips of orange rind.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 10 minutes or until the cranberries pop and the syrup is thick and glossy.
- Strain syrup though a sieve into a bowl, discarding solids. Add ¼ of this syrup to 2 cups of powdered sugar and whisk until smooth. Reserve the rest of the syrup for a gin rosemary spritz (recipe coming SOON...).
- Preheat your oven 350°F. Grease a standard (9x5 inch) loaf pan and set aside.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter until fluffy. Add the sugar and beat until fully incorporated. Add the eggs, one at a time to the butter sugar mixture, scraping down the sides of the bowl and continue to beat until the mixture is smooth and glossy.
- Add the flour, xanthan gum (if using), baking powder, baking soda, and sea salt. Spin the blade a few turns to mix.
- Add the milk, buttermilk, rosemary, orange zest and juice, and vanilla extract and beat until the mixture is smooth. Fold in the chopped cranberries.
- Pour batter into your prepared baking dish and bake for approximately one hour, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in the pan for 10 minutes. Slide a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen bread, then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Once cool, drizzle with cranberry glaze and top with sugared cranberries and rosemary sprigs for garnish, if desired.