This holiday quick bread recipe was kindly shared by Amy York, the passionate home cook and visionary behind the newly-opened Anchorage kitchenware store and cooking school, The Dirty Apron. If she’s not watching a cooking show or devouring a cookbook, York says she is in the kitchen cooking for her huge extended family.
Born and raised in Alaska, York and her husband, Geary, wanted to create a space that was both welcoming and an extension of the way she interacts and cooks for others.
“Building a community was a huge driver behind opening The Dirty Apron,” she said.
As to this cranberry bread, York says it’s also a family affair. York’s mother sent her off to college armed with family recipes.
“When I first tried to re-create this cranberry bread, something didn’t go right,” she said. “The texture was off, the taste was different, I didn’t know what went wrong so I called and asked my Grandma for the recipe and quickly saw that my mom had accidently written three cups of orange juice when the recipe requires only three quarters of a cup. But even the 3-cup version tasted good! We still laugh about it today.”
The bread is studded with juicy seasonal cranberries — fresh are great but frozen work fine as well. If squeezing juice fresh, be sure to include some of the zest into the batter. Make a few loaves and offer as a holiday food gift. Speaking of holidays, York says she is most excited about the November-December schedule. Classes include vegetarian and vegan menus to mastering duck à l’orange and Italian meatballs. “And lots of holiday baking classes, including gluten-free baking options. And more than anything, we have lots of fun!” — Kim Sunée
Cranberry orange bread
Recipe adapted from Amy York, The Dirty Apron
Makes 1 (8-inch) loaf
2 cups/250g all-propose flour
1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄2 teaspoon fine salt
3/4 cup to 1 cup/180g to 200g granulated sugar
4 tablespoons oil, such as grapeseed, avocado, or extra-virgin olive oil (or softened butter or vegetable shortening)
3⁄4 cup fresh orange juice (and zest of one orange, if juicing fresh oranges)
1 egg, lightly beaten
8 ounces cranberries (frozen is fine), divided
Coarse sugar, such as turbinado, for sprinkling over top
• Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 6-to-7-cup capacity loaf pan (usually 8½ x 4½ x 2½ inches); line with parchment leaving an overhang on either long side and grease paper; or grease pan and lightly dust with flour, tapping out any excess.
• In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside. In a large mixing bowl, cream together oil and sugar until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in egg and orange juice just until combined. Add dry (flour) mixture to wet ingredients and mix just until combined, scraping down sides of bowl, as needed. Mix in one cup of cranberries, just until blended. Spread the batter into prepared pan.
• Use remaining cranberries to spread evenly over batter, making sure to gently press cranberries into batter without cranberries. Sprinkle top with coarse sugar. Bake for 55 to 65 minutes, rotating pan halfway for even baking. Loaf is ready when a tester inserted in center comes out mostly clean. Let cool in pan 5 minutes. Lift loaf, using parchment handles if using, and remove to a cooling rack. Allow to cool at least 10 more minutes before slicing.