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.
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.