Orange-Autumn Berry Bread
3/4 cup autumn berries (yes, you can use cranberries instead!)
1 tbsp grated orange peel
1 1/4 cups orange juice
1/4 cup honey
1/4 cup butter or oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup wheat germ
1/2 cup lightly toasted, chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease an 8x4 loaf pan or a 12-cup muffin tin. In a saucepan, combine cranberries, orange peel, juice, and honey. Bring to a boil, stir in butter or oil, and remove from heat. Allow to cool to lukewarm while combining other ingredients.
Combine the flour, leavenings, salt, and wheat germ. Stir in cooled liquid ingredients and fold in walnuts, reserving 3 tablespoons for topping if desired.
Pour batter into loaf pan or muffin tins. Sprinkle nuts on top and press down lightly with your hand or the back of a spoon. Bake loaf for 50-60 minutes, muffins for 15 minutes. Test with a toothpick. Let the loaf/muffins rest on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out of pan, and the loaf for another 30 minutes before slicing. The bread will be less likely to crumble that way.
Notes: I had to wait longer then the time it takes to mix the dry ingredients for the liquids to cool. In addition, I didn't decorate the muffins with walnuts since we were just eating them for breakfast, but it seems like a nice touch of you're taking this to a holiday gathering. I've also collected and frozen some autumn berries so I can use them in this loaf later in the season. No need to de-pit them; the pit is chewy and barely noticeable. Keep in mind that they sweeten as the first frost date approaches! If they're still just too tart for you, try adding a bit more honey to this recipe if you're using them.