March 12, 2010

From the Baker’s Rack: Orange Bread

Last Saturday morning I was looking for a quick breads recipe to whip up for some overnight guests that were coming for a visit.

I had seen the recipe on Simply Recipes and had to try it. If you haven’t visited this blog, it’s a great one. Head on over there, but only after you read this post.

Quick breads are different from yeast breads in a fairly obvious way: they don’t depend on yeast as a leavening agent. Instead they rely on baking soda, baking powder, or both. The crumb is more cake-like (think banana bread vs. baguette). The advantage of quick breads is the in the name…they are quick! You don’t have to spend hours proofing yeast and waiting for your loaf to rise. Just a few minutes to make the batter, a few minutes more in the oven, and a fresh, delicious breakfast for your guests.

Orange Bread
Adapted from Simply Recipes

• 1/3 cup butter
• 3/4 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 Tbsp orange zest (I would use more)
• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking soda
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• 1/4 teaspoon salt
• 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
• 1 cup plain yogurt

• 1 teaspoon lemon juice
• 1 teaspoon orange juice
• 1/3 cup powdered sugar (confectioner's sugar)

1 Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 4x8-inch loaf pan.

2 Beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes on high in an electric mixer. Add the sugar and beat for an additional 2 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until completely incorporated after each addition. Beat in the orange zest. Note: Next time I will do a mix of ½ cup white sugar and ¼ cup brown sugar

3 In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon.

4 Add the yogurt and dry ingredients by thirds, starting with the yogurt, alternating the additions. Beat only until just incorporated. Note: I tried to get a picture of this but was too hard, so I will just show you what a messy cook I am instead.

5 Immediately pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Place in middle rack of 350°F oven.

Bake for 45-50 minutes*, until a skewer inserted into the center comes out clean.

6 Cool on a rack in the pan for 5 minutes. Then remove the loaf from the pan and cool for another 10 to 15 minutes.

7 While loaf is cooling, prepare optional glaze if using. Whisk together the lemon juice, orange juice, and powdered sugar until smooth and there are no lumps. Drizzle over bread. Note: we got hungry so ate some before the glaze was ready, hence the missing right heel of the loaf.

As the Barefoot Contessa always says, “how easy is that?”


  1. So how did your guests like the orange bread? I'm having overnight guests this weekend and always welcome new breakfast recipes.

  2. looks delish meg! i heart your red mixer too!

  3. Isn't that mixer the perfect shade of red? I heart it too!