Baking History

A Taste For The Past

Orange Bread

Posted by bakinghistory on October 22, 2008

A very good bread with a citrusy aroma

This recipe results in a wonderful loaf full of the flavor and scent of oranges, thanks to both freshly squeezed orange juice and a good amount of orange zest. The texture is reminiscent of a very light brioche, or even challah, with a moist fine crumb and a thin, soft crust. It is excellent freshly baked, and, later, toasted and spread with sweet butter and a good orange marmalade, to have with tea or coffee.

This bread goes to Susan’s Yeast Spotting Roundup is HERE

From the original recipe by the King’s Daughters Society of Duluth, Minnesota

In: King’s Daughters Cook Book, 1916—USA


4 cups bread flour

1-1/4 tsp active dry yeast

1/4 cup of warm water

1 cup to 1-1/4 cups orange juice (about 2 large organic oranges, or 3 small ones)

grated zest of all the oranges used for the juice

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp sugar

1 large egg yolk

2 tbsp butter, softened

1 large egg white (to glaze)

Mix the yeast in the warm water and set aside for about 10 minutes.

In a mixer bowl pour 1 cup of orange juice, the grated zest, egg yolk, sugar and flour, mixing on low speed for about 1-2 minutes. Add the yeast and mix for a few more minutes, then add the salt. Mix a little longer, at low speed, and then add the butter. Mix until the butter is well incorporated and the dough is smooth and well developed. You might need extra orange juice, depending on how your flour absorbs liquids. I needed 1/4 cup extra juice, and I used King Arthur bread flour.

It is important to have some extra juice on hand if needed, because adding extra water would diminish the bread’s orange flavor.

Let the dough ferment in a lightly greased covered bowl, until double in bulk. Then shape it as you like (I made a large 4-strand braid), but it can also be baked in two bread pans (9 x 5-inch pans).

If you decide to bake it free-form, sprinkle generously a baker’s peel or a baking sheet with semolina, then place the loaf on it.

Let the prepared loaf (or loaves) ferment, covered, until light, then brush gently with the egg white lightly beaten with 1 tbsp water.

Bake in a preheated oven (350°F) on a baker’s stone if you have one, or simply on the baking sheet on which the bread proofed, for about 45 minutes or 1 hour, depending on the size, until the crust is a deep golden brown. Cool the bread(s) on a rack.

15 Responses to “Orange Bread”

  1. buono, con una marmellata e una tazza di thea è perfetto per una merenda, ciao!

  2. Glossy crust and soft orange crumb are so tempting — thanks for another wonderful bread.

  3. Louise said

    What a refreshing recipe for such a bleak and gloomy day. If I only baked! I must ask Manuela, is that much orange juice “normal” for a timeless recipe such as this one?

  4. Simona said

    This sounds really good, as I like orange flavor in baked goods.

  5. bakinghistory said

    @ Astrofiammante: Ciao 🙂

    @ Susan: Thank you 🙂

    @ Louise: Here in Massachusetts is already very cold, baking bread lifts my spirits 🙂 . As for the quantity of orange juice in this recipe I am not sure, I have found other old recipes that used a little less juice and a higher ratio of water. This one was definitely the best. The juice tenderizes the crumb and gives both a subtle sweetness and a nice tang.

    @ Simona: then I am sure you would love this bread, the orange flavor is really intense 🙂

  6. I love showy breads that are a delight to the taste buds and the eyes as well.

  7. Ivy said

    This is almost a cake. It looks so good and it would be great for breakfast with butter and honey.

  8. […] Orange Bread ~ Baking History […]

  9. bakinghistory said

    @ MyKitchenInHalfCups: Thanks 🙂

    @ Ivy: yes, especially with orange blossom honey.

  10. Margie said

    definitely a ‘must’ try! 🙂

  11. bakinghistory said

    @ Margie: yes 🙂

  12. mycooky said

    this looks very yummy;) thanks for sharing…..

  13. bakinghistory said

    @ Mycooky: Thanks for visiting 🙂

  14. _Ale said

    This bread looks really yummy! Do you think I can make buns with the same recipe?

  15. bakinghistory said

    @_Ale: yes, absolutely, it would work beautifully. It keepsits shape well, so you can even choose fancier shapes than mere round or oval buns.

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