Friday, February 27, 2015

Whole Grain Apple Cranberry Loaf Bread

Eight years back when I started this blog, I had nothing to offer in the baking department. I had in the past goofed up several cake bakes by substituting baking soda with baking powder, reducing the flour called out in the recipes as per my wish, adding liquid beyond imagination. You get it, right? I didn't know a thing about baking!

Slowly things (read "luck") changed. Getting inspired by professionals like Ina Garten, Martha Stewart and a few fellow bloggers, I learnt a few things about baking! Number one being….."stick to the recipe". Yet, the imprudent baker that I was, I tried a banana nut bread with some substitutions in the original recipe, that came out of the oven fabulous…. not once or twice but several times!!! A few more attempts with other bakes came out well. The baker in me was on fire but little did I know that I was only on my way to mess up a few more cakes!!! Luck had changed again and I parted ways with baking.

A few years after our big move back to India, I got a small Morphy Richards oven to be able to make veggie bakes, enchiladas, pasta etc. I was pretty happy with my oven. I decided to try my luck with my very trusted banana nut bread!! Voila! It came out great yet again! A few other cakes were tested and they tasted great…..then came the call by Kitchen Aid asking home bakers to send their entires to Pro baker 2015!! Suddenly a burst of energy rose inside me… was time to stop trying recipes and instead create some!! Too early to be so confident but I had some kind of gut feeling about getting this one right. 

This whole grain apple cranberry bread needs a little introduction! An idea that captured my mind for a whole month now, a recipe that was developed over a week with a lot of reading on quick breads. I agree that the recipe is not very uncommon but when you develop something on your own with a lot of thinking going behind the recipe, it becomes very special to you!! And it becomes even more special  when the risen cake does not collapse in front of your eyes, no power cuts during baking, both kids asleep during the entire prep, bake and cooling process (yay!). Was that luck or what?? My sudden impulsive on the spot decision to reduce an egg and add yogurt instead worked very well too. I think it gave the bread a nice crumb. The sweet local apples pair beautifully with the slightly tart cranberries. Walnuts provide a nice crunch to this moist crumbly bread. The addition of whole wheat convinces you to reach for guilt free second servings!! It tasted even better the next day as the flavors matured. And I was on cloud nine when my 5 year old girl said, "Mama, when will you make this bread again?"

This is my entry for Kitchen Aid's Probaker 2015! Come participate and have fun!


Whole Grain Apple Cranberry loaf bread-
1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup demerara sugar, firmly packed
1 egg, room temperature
1/2 tsp vanilla bean powder OR 1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup apple sauce (recipe follows)
1/4 cup homemade yogurt, room temperature
2 medium sized apples cored, peeled and diced
1/2 cup dried cranberries, coarsely chopped (I left a few whole)
1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup powdered sugar
1-2 tsp milk


Grease and flour a 8 1/2 X 4 1/2 X 2 3/4 loaf pan. Line bottom with parchment. Preheat oven to 175 deg C.

Sift wheat flour, flour, baking powder thrice. Reserve.

With an electric beater cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add egg and mix well. Beat in vanilla bean powder followed by apple sauce and then the yogurt.

Now add the reserved flour mixture and with the beater on low, mix just until incorporated. Do not over beat at this point.

Fold in the diced apples, cranberries and walnuts. The batter will be quite thick!

Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan and even out the top. Keep the pan on a cookie sheet and bake in the preheated oven for 25 minutes. After 25 minutes remove the loaf pan and place on to another empty loaf pan of the same size and bake for another 25 minutes or until tester comes out clean. Alternately you can bake at a lower temperature (165 Deg C) until the tester comes out clean.

Let the bread cool in the pan for about 10 minutes, then remove on to cooling rack to cool completely before slicing.

Mix the ingredients for the glaze and pour on top of the loaf bread. Let some glaze drip on the sides.


Cut think slices and enjoy with your morning tea or coffee. The flavors mature the next day and the bread tasted even better making this a perfect make ahead dish for a brunch party.

*If not using the glaze, increase the sugar in the recipe to 1 cup.
*The bread stays well at room temperature for 1-2 days only. If yours lasts longer then store in the refrigerator.
*I think you can easily substitute the fresh fruit and dry fruits in the recipe with other ingredients of your choice. Let your imagination run wild!
*You could add a pinch of salt to the batter. I didn't.

Recipe for Apple Sauce-
2 medium apples, cored, peeled and diced
1 inch stick of cinnamon
4 cloves
1 TBS organic brown sugar
2 TBS water, if needed
1/4 to 1/2 tsp lemon juice

Put all the ingredients in a sauce pan and cook until tender and mushy. You can add a couple of tablespoons of water if needed. Fish out the spices and then mash with a potato masher or puree in your blender. Makes about 1 cup. Store any left overs in the fridge.

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