Looking for a little treat to nosh on with your morning coffee? Infused with dried cranberries, orange zest and cinnamon, my orange-cranberry swirl bread recipe makes a gorgeous, light-as-air bread that is perfect for slicing up and toasting on a chilly fall morning. This recipe is a homemade riff on the store-bought swirl breads that my entire family loves, but this version contains only wholesome, easy-to-pronounce ingredients and only a fraction of the sugar found in the ready-made variety. Read on to grab the recipe!
Confession time: I used to be terrified of baking yeast breads. The whole blooming/rising/proofing process was quite intimidating, so I opted instead to make quick breads (which are absolutely delicious in their own right).
Y’all–I was missing out.
Yeast breads are so simple to make. Truly. Don’t let the multiple steps involved intimidate you. Once I finally took the plunge and prepared my first homemade yeast bread a few years back, that first bite I took of that fresh-from-the-oven, melt-in-my-mouth deliciousness had me wondering why on earth I hadn’t done it years before! This orange-cranberry swirl bread would be a great recipe to try your hand at baking with yeast, as the dough is very forgiving. But don’t take my word for it: I hope you’ll try it for yourself. You can thank me later. 😉
Orange-Cranberry Swirl Bread
- 3 tablespoons warm water 105 to 115 degrees
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1 cup warm milk 105 to 115 degrees
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 to 4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon fresh orange zest
- 1 tablespoon butter melted
- 1 egg beaten
- Pinch of salt
For the glaze
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 2 teaspoons hot milk
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla
- Combine water and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer, and allow to sit until yeast blooms, about 5 minutes. With the mixer's paddle attachment, stir in the milk, 5 tablespoons melted butter, sugar, egg and salt, mixing on low speed until well combined. Gradually add in the flour, 1/2 cup at a time, mixing on low speed to incorporate after each addition and adding enough flour to yield a dough that is moist but not sticky. Outfit the mixer with the dough hook, and knead with the machine on medium speed for 5-7 minutes, or until dough is smooth and elastic. Place the dough is an oiled bowl, and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Place cranberries in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with water. Microwave on high until water boils, about 1 minute. Drain water and allow cranberries to cool.
- In a small bowl, mix together the 1/4 cup granulated sugar, cinnamon and orange zest. Set mixture aside.
- Gently punch down the dough, and turn onto a floured surface. With a rolling pin, roll the dough into a 8x18-inch rectangle. Brush the surface of the dough with the 1 tablespoon melted butter and sprinkle with the cinnamon-sugar-zest mixture, reserving 2 teaspoons of the mixture for sprinkling onto the top of the loaf before baking. Spread the cranberries evenly over the surface. Starting at one of the 8-inch ends, roll the dough tightly in a jelly roll fashion, pinching the ends and seams closed. Place seam side down in a greased 9x5-inch loaf pan, and allow to rise until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 375. In a small bowl, whisk together the 1 egg and pinch of salt. Brush the mixture evenly over the surface of the bread and sprinkle with the reserved cinnamon-sugar-zest mixture. Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until bread is browned and the top sounds hollow when tapped. Turn the loaf onto a wire rack and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
- While bread cools, prepare the glaze. In a medium bowl, combine the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, whisking well until smooth and adding more sugar or milk as needed to achieve the desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over warm loaf.
The beauty of this bread is that you can substitute any dried fruit/spice/zest combination you wish: dried blueberry and lemon zest with nutmeg and classic cinnamon-raisin are two of my favorites. There are so many possibilities!
Now that your mouth is watering, why not linger a bit longer to check out these other delicious yeast bread recipes?
Thanks so much for stopping by!
Having grown up in a home brimming with sewing notions and paintbrushes, Amy has a deep love for all things creative. On any given day, you’ll find her knee-deep in her latest creative endeavor, with projects ranging from sewing and crafts to home decor and kid-friendly ideas. Amy believes that everyone, regardless of skill level or experience, possesses the ability to create something beautiful, and Positively Splendid was born of her passion for helping others harness their innate creative potential.