Photo: Greg DuPree; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time
40 Mins
Total Time
3 Hours 15 Mins
Yield
2 loaves

The entire family will love the sticky-fingered fun of tearing apart these sweet layers filled with tangy cranberries and bright orange zest. The recipe makes two loaves of bread; give one as a gift, and take the other to brunch.

How to Make It

Step 1

Prepare the Bread: Stir together warm water, active dry yeast, and 1 teaspoon of the granulated sugar in a small bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.

Step 2

Beat unsalted butter with a heavy-duty electric stand mixer on medium speed until creamy, about 1 minute. Add salt and 1⁄2 cup of the granulated sugar; beat until light and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in whole milk and yeast mixture. Gradually add 4 1⁄2 cups of the bread flour, beating on medium-low just until combined.

Step 3

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes, adding up to 1⁄2 cup flour, in very small amounts, if necessary to keep dough workable. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, turning to coat all sides. Cover and let stand in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Step 4

Combine frozen cranberries, orange zest, and remaining 1⁄4 cup granulated sugar in a medium bowl. Set aside.

Step 5

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured work surface. Divide dough in half. Roll 1 dough half into a 16- x 10-inch rectangle, and cut into 8 (5- x 4-inch) rectangles. Spoon about 1 tablespoon of the cranberry mixture on each rectangle. Fold rectangles in half over filling so that short sides meet. Then stand, cut side up and folded side down, in a lightly greased 8- x 4-inch loaf pan. Repeat with second dough half and remaining cranberry mixture in a second loaf pan. Cover pans loosely with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place until dough doubles in size, about 1 hour.

Step 6

Preheat oven to 350°F. Remove and discard plastic wrap. Bake in preheated oven until golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted in center comes out clean, about 30 minutes, shielding with aluminum foil after 20 minutes to prevent excess browning, if necessary.

Step 7

Cool in pans 10 minutes. Transfer from pans to wire rack to cool slightly, at least 10 minutes.

Step 8

Prepare the Icing: While Bread cools, beat cream cheese, butter, and salt with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until combined. Stir in vanilla extract and 1 tablespoon of the orange juice. Stir in up to 1 more tablespoon orange juice, 1 teaspoon at a time, until it’s smooth and creamy.

Step 9

Drizzle Bread lightly with Icing, and serve with remaining Icing on the side for dipping.