December 5, 2011

Cranberry Swirl Loaf

I love making this during the Christmas season-it's a fun bread to wrap up for friends! It's great toasted, but watch the crumb topping so it doesn't burn. Another pretty way to make this is with a drizzle of glaze in place of the crumb.

3 to 3-1/2 cups flour
1/3 cup sugar
1 package (2-1/4 teaspoons instant yeast)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup very warm water
1/2 cup very warm milk
1/3 cup butter, cubed

1 cup chopped fresh or frozen cranberries
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon lemon juice

2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cold butter, divided

Place all of the bread ingredients (flour through the cubed butter) into your bread machine pan. Set on the dough cycle and allow it to run its course. When cycle is complete, place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning to coat the top; cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Alternatively, in a large bowl, combine 1 cup flour, sugar, yeast and salt. In a saucepan, heat the water, milk and butter to 120-130 degrees. Add the liquid ingredients to the flour mixture; beat just until moistened. Stir in enough remaining flour to form a soft dough. Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 5-7 minutes. Put in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. During the last half hour of the rising time, start on your filling. In a small saucepan, combine the cranberries, brown sugar and water. Cook over medium heat until berries pop, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in the butter, walnuts and lemon juice. Cool. Punch down dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 20-in. x 10-in. rectangle. Spread filling to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; pinch seam to seal. Place in a zigzag pattern in a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan. For the topping, in a small bowl, combine the flour and sugar; cut in 1 tablespoon butter until crumbly. Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Sprinkle with topping. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 45 minutes or longer. Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes. Carefully remove from pan to cool on a wire rack.

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