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Cook the Book: Pumpkin Walnut Cranberry Quickbread

"This recipe makes a lot, and I mean a lot—two very hefty loaves to be exact. But given how good it is, I'm not really complaining."

[Photograph: Robyn Lee]

When you work in a restaurant, brunch is a bummer. Everyone is either exhausted from the previous evening's shift or hungover or maybe both. Regardless of whether you are working in the front or back of the house , bad moods are inevitable.

The last restaurant where I had the (dis)pleasure of working brunch shifts was happily located in close proximity to Amy's Bread. Each weekend morning I made a point to stop there and buy a big bag filled with a variety of Amy's goodies to share with my grumpy co-workers. It worked like a charm. Moods improved almost instantly with a few bites of the pastries.

This Pumpkin Walnut Cranberry Quickbread was a particular favorite at the restaurant. Since I no longer work brunch shifts and my trip's to Amy's are less frequent, I decided to make a loaf at home.

The recipe comes from The Sweeter Side of Amy's Bread and the home-baked version of the bread was deliciously identical to Amy's original, with one minor change.

My local market didn't have any fresh cranberries (not quite Thanksgiving time yet). In their place I substituted dried cranberries soaked in orange juice to rehydrate them, which also gave this a little extra tang. Just a word of warning: this recipe makes a lot, and I mean a lot—two very hefty loaves to be exact. But given how good it is, I'm not really complaining.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have a copy of The Sweeter Side of Amy's Bread to give away this week.

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