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'Gluten-Free on a Shoestring' wins wheat-free wars: Cranberry Bread recipe

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If you've ever looked at gluten-free food products and winced at the price, Nicole Hunn wants to help. She's become famed for her clever, consumer-savvy cookbooks that help you win the wheat-free wars, such as "Gluten-Free on a Shoestring: 125 Easy Recipes for Eating Well on the Cheap" (click for details).

Now the author of "Gluten-Free on a Shoestring, Quick and Easy: 100 Recipes for the Food You Love--Fast!" has turned her talents to what seems like an impossible task: Making gluten-free bread easily and inexpensively.

The result is a compendium that ranges from cinnamon buns to stromboli and beyond: "Gluten-Free on a Shoestring Bakes Bread: (Biscuits, Bagels, Buns, and More)" - click for more information.

If you've always wanted to experience the pleasures of home-baked bread but thought it was too tricky, Nicole comes to the rescue with information about bread-making terminology, kitchen essentials and trouble-shooting tips for gluten-free baking.

Tip: Find out why Miley Cyrus, Lady Gaga and Gwyneth Paltrow have chosen gluten-free diets for weight loss by clicking here.

Give it a try with the sample Cranberry Bread recipe below. The notes are from Nicole.

Ingredients

  • 8 tablespoons (112 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 cup (200 g) granulated sugar, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 3 eggs (180 g, out of shell) at room temperature
  • 2 1/2 cups (350 g) all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 teaspoon xanthan gum (omit if your blend already contains it)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10 ounces fresh cranberries, halved
  • 2/3 cup milk, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (56 g) sour cream, at room temperature (can substitute Greek-style plain yogurt)
  • Coarse sugar (like Sugar in the Raw), for sprinkling

Directions

Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease well a standard (9-inches x 5-inches or slightly smaller) loaf pan and set it aside.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or a large bowl with a handheld mixer, place the butter. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the 1 cup of granulated sugar and the eggs, beating well after each addition.

In a separate, medium-size bowl, place the flour blend, xanthan gum, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and whisk to combine well. Place the cranberry halves in a separate, small bowl, and add a tablespoon of the dry ingredients to the cranberries, along with the remaining tablespoon of granulated sugar, and toss to coat. Set the cranberries aside.

To the mixing bowl with the butter and sugar mixture, add the dry ingredients, alternating with the milk and sour cream, alternating between the two and beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. The mixture will be thick but smooth. Add the cranberries and reserved sugar and dry ingredients, and mix gently into the batter until evenly distributed throughout.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth the top. It will fill or nearly fill the pan. Sprinkle the top lightly with coarse sugar. Place the pan in the center of the preheated oven and bake, rotating once, until golden brown on top and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (about 1 hour). Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for 20 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. Slice thickly and serve.

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