Thursday, September 26, 2013

Indian River Sweet Orange Bread


Indian River Sweet Orange Bread
Source: Maida Heatter's Book of Great Desserts (Andrews & McMeel Publishing, 1999 ed.), pg. 134.

This is a delicately flavored orange bread that can be eaten as is or it can be toasted and served with butter, cream cheese or honey butter. My oranges didn't make quite enough juice that the recipe called for so the flavor was not as intense as I like it. You have the option of adding raisins or nuts (or both). I added raisins to one of the loaves and left the other one plain. 

I have always loved the combination of chocolate and orange and wondered afterward if adding chocolate chips might be good. I may try that the next time.

I froze one of the loaves for later. When I do serve it, I'm going to whip up a orange glaze to go over it.

If you like this, you might also be interested in the Texan Orange Cake and the Spanish Orange Cake.

4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
1 TBS. plus 1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
3 large oranges (to yield 1 1/3 cups juice)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 cup water
3 TBS. butter
3 eggs, slightly beaten
Optional: Walnuts or pecans and/or currants or raisins

Adjust oven rack to 1/3 from the bottom. Preheat oven to 350. Butter (or spray) 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2 inches and coat with fine, dry bread crumbs.

Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt into a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Zest the oranges and squeeze the juice (you need 1 1/3 cups of juice). Set aside.

Place the orange zest, sugar and water into a large saucepan. Stir over high heat until the sugar is dissolved and it comes to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and boil for 5 minutes.
 
Remove the pan from the heat and add the butter. Stir until the butter has melted.
Add the orange juice and the eggs and stir.
Pour the orange juice mixture over the dry ingredients.
Stir until the dry ingredients are moistened.*
Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour (until
cake tester comes out dry).
Cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then remove the cakes to a cooling rack to cool completely.

* 1/2 cup of nuts or raisins may be added to the batter if desired. You can always have one cake with raisin and the other with nuts or whatever you prefer.