This delicious sweet bread is filled with cranberries and walnuts, a typical – and delicious – American mixture. Serve with lots of unsalted butter or cream cheese.
4 oz. plus
1 teaspoon butter, melted
1 oz. fresh yeast
3 oz. plus
2 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons lukewarm milk
1 lb. strong white flour
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
6 oz. fresh cranberries, washed and trimmed
4 oz. finely chopped walnuts grated rind of
1 small egg
7 fl. oz. warmed milk
1 tablespoon sugar mixed with
1 tablespoon milk
With the teaspoon of butter, grease a 2-pound loaf tin and set aside.
Crumble the yeast into a small bowl and mash in 2 teaspoon of sugar with a kitchen fork. Add the milk and cream the milk and yeast together to form a smooth paste. Set the bowl aside in a warm, draught-free place for 15 to 20 minutes or until the yeast mixture has risen and is puffed up and frothy.
Sift the flour, the salt, nutmeg and cinnamon into a warmed, large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Put the cranberries into an electric blender and blend for 2 to 3 seconds or until they are chopped but not pulpy.
Transfer the cranberries to a bowl. Add the chopped walnuts, remaining sugar and the orange rind to the cranberries and mix together thoroughly.
Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and pour in the yeast mixture, melted butter, egg, milk and the cranberry mixture. Using your fingers or a spatula, gradually draw the flour into the liquid. Continue mixing until all the flour is incorporated and the dough comes away from the sides of the bowl.
Turn the dough out on to a floured board or marble slab and knead for about 8 minutes, reflouring the surface if the dough becomes sticky. The dough should be elastic and smooth.
Rinse, thoroughly dry and lightly grease the large mixing bowl. Shape the dough into a ball and return it to the bowl.
Dust the top of the dough with a little flour and cover the bowl with a clean, damp cloth. Set the bowl aside in a warm, draught-free place for 1 to lj hours or until the dough has risen and has almost doubled in bulk.
Turn the risen dough out of the bowl on to a floured surface and knead vigorously for about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a square and place it in the prepared tin. Cover with a damp cloth and return the dough to a warm place for 35 minutes or until the dough has risen slightly.
Preheat the oven to fairly hot 400 °F (Gas Mark 6, 200 deg C). Place the loaf tin in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to moderate 350 F (Gas Mark 4, 180°C) and bake for a further 35 minutes.
After removing the bread from the oven, rap the underside of the loaf with your knuckles. If the bread sounds hollow, like a drum, it is cooked. If it does not sound hollow, lower the oven temperature to warm 325 °F (Gas Mark 3, 170°C), return the loaf, upside-down, to the oven and bake for 5 to 10 minutes.
Brush with the sugar mixture and serve the loaf slightly warm or cool.