Craisin® bread

My wife used Craisins® (Ocean Spray's dried, sweetened cranberries) to make dried fruit bread with the Toastmaster 1171 bread machine a friend gave us for our wedding (Thanks, S.D.!), and Craisin® bread has been quite popular with us and the friends and relatives with whom we've shared it ever since. As Ocean Spray's packaging suggests, Craisin®s are also good with salads, but if you've got a bread machine, I highly recommend trying Craisin® bread. Our bread machine has a special mode for breads such as dried fruit bread, alerting you with a beep to add ingredients which aren't mixed together right at the start (note: you should also seize that beep moment to knock any small pieces of dough clinging to the sides of the bread machine down, so that they mix into the dough ball).

Craisin® bread is great for breakfast and snacks, and a convenient way to use up hardened brown sugar (dissolve it in the water as a first step of putting the ingredients together; I eventually learned there are effective ways to make brown sugar soft again). We have also tried cut up dried apricots instead of Craisins®, but that doesn't make as tasty a bread. I also didn't find Trader Joe's dried, sweetened cranberries to be as tasty as Craisins®. Consumer Reports magazine compared Craisins® against Archer Farms' similar product in the October 2009 issue (p. 18), and found Craisins® "moister, more flavorful, and fresher-tasting". You might think I work for Ocean Spray, trumpeting the virtues of Craisins® this way, but I don't.

Ingredient 1 lb loaf 1 1/2 lb loaf
water 80°F/27°C 3/4 cup 1 cup + 1 TBL
oil (we use canola oil) 2 1/2 TBL 3 TBL
brown sugar 1 1/2 TBL 2 1/2 TBL
salt 1 tsp 1 1/2 tsp
dry milk 1 TBL 1 1/2 TBL
bread flour 2 1/4 cups 3 cups
active dry yeast 1 1/4 tsp 2 1/2 tsp
Add at the beep:
dried fruit 1/2 cup 3/4 cup
nutmeg 1/2 tsp 1 tsp

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