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Today is such an exciting day for me! I have the opportunity to participate in the Better Home and Gardens Ultimate Baking Challenge. It is a “sweet sixteen” style match up. There are four categories: cinnamon, fruit, peppermint and chocolate. My category is fruit.
Let me tell you a little bit about his recipe. This recipe is adapted from Better Homes and Gardens Lemon Coffee Cake Load and it is also my first homemade sweet bread recipe. It is crazy delicious. I infused the sweet bread with orange zest and then I kneaded dry cranberries into it. I topped this bread with sliced almonds and an orange cream cheese glaze. Update: Better Homes and Gardens has since removed the recipe from their website.
This bread has two different rising periods. First, it needs to rise before kneading, then it needs to rise once again before baking. It is not necessarily a quick recipe, but it is well worth the wait. The satisfaction of a homemade bread is indescribable. Pulling pieces off the bread loaf makes me less guilty, AND I don’t need a knife!
The original bread recipe calls for the squares to be baked in 9″x13” dish, but I chose to make this in a loaf pan. In order to do so, I rolled the dough into a large square, then use a pizza cutter or bench knife to cut the dough into smaller squares. Your pan should be well greased and floured. I also put a piece of parchment paper in the pan which helped me easily lift out the bread. You should pack these into the bread pan stacked upon on another. You don’t need to pack them in too tight because when the dough rises again, it will expand.
When baking this recipe, I covered it with tin foil as soon as the top started to brown. I wanted to prevent the top from over baking. I had my baking sheet in the lower middle portion of my oven.