Braided Cranberry Bread

Fitness Expert

Straight out of the oven or served with a cup of hot coffee or tea, this sweet bread is perfect for that!


  • 2-3/4 to 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh cranberries
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped pecans
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons finely shredded orange peel
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons butter, melted
  • Orange Icing (optional) (below)


  1. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup of the flour and the yeast; set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat and stir milk, the water, granulated sugar, the 2 tablespoons butter, and the salt until warm (120 degrees F to 130 degrees F) and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture to flour mixture; add egg. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping side of bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
  2. Turn out dough onto a floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once. Cover and let rise in a warm place until double in size (1 to 1-1/2 hours).
  3. Meanwhile, for filling: In a small bowl, stir together cranberries, brown sugar, pecans, orange peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves; set aside.
  4. Punch down dough. Turn out onto lightly floured surface. Cover and let rest for 10 minutes. Grease a baking sheet. Roll dough into a 14x10-inch rectangle. Brush with the melted butter. Spread filling over dough. Starting from a long side, roll up dough. Seal seam. Cut roll in half lengthwise. Turn cut sides up. Loosely twist halves together, keeping the cut sides up. Pinch ends to seal. Place loaf on the prepared baking sheet. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly double in size (about 30 minutes). Meanwhile, preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Bake about 25 minutes or until golden. Transfer loaf to a wire rack; cool completely. If desired, drizzle with Orange Icing.
  6. Orange Icing: In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup powdered sugar and enough orange juice (1 to 3 teaspoons) to make icing of drizzling consistency.

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