I am going to tell you a story. Get ready.

schmo. and joy.

This is Ashley. She is my best friend. She came to visit me this weekend from the faraway land of Chicago. Lakemoor, more specifically. She is not proud of this.

reading.

Ashley got to bake with me this weekend. First, we had some reading to do.

wheat and all-purp flour.

Then, we had some improvising to do. I ran out of regular flour. So I had to add in some wheat flour. Whatev. That’s how we roll.

oops! a spill.

Oops! We were a little messy.

sea salt.

Now for the ingredients! First, some tasty sea salt. (Does not supply iodide? Is this really something people care about?)

grating orange rind.

Then, add a smidgen of grated orange rind. I used Valencias. You can use whatever kind you fancy. I won’t judge.

orange, still.

This orange was getting a little jealous of all the fun we were having, so we let it hang out for a while (to be used later in our sangria! Sucker!).

orange zest and sugar = yum.

Um, if this mixture of sugar and orange doesn’t make you want to bake this bread immediately, shame on you. Shame. On. You.

pouring.

Ashley was very helpful by taking photos whilst I worked. She is an excellent contributing photographer.

whisking.

After the pouring, whisking. And after the whisking…

mixing.

Mixing! Check out those mad skillz, yo.

And then…

quick orange bread.

Bread! (Yeesh, I need a tan.)

valencia orange bread.

Check out that beaut. It’s awfully yummy, too.

ashley grace, en vogue.

He he. She’s going to hate me for this one.

Debrief: This bread is mostly made up of ingredients you have right in your kitchen, making it economical. Plus, it’s a quickbread, making it easy. I also think you could improvise a lot with this bread, adding in pistachios with orange or changing up the citrus altogether, perhaps with lemons and blueberries. It’s cheap and simple enough to make a mistake or two before you figure out your favorite version.

Quick Orange Bread
Courtesy of The Joy of Cooking

Yields two 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch loaves

Ingredients:

3 cups all-purpose flour
3 tsp double-acting baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp grated orange rind
1/2 to 3/4 cup sugar (use more sugar for a more cake-like consistency. I chose the former.)
1 egg
1/2 cup orange juice
1 1/4 cups milk
2 tbsp melted shortening

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Sift flour (or a mix of all-purpose and whole wheat, as I did), baking powder and salt together in a large bowl. Combine and add grated orange rind and sugar. Combine and add egg, orange juice, milk and melted shortening. (Optional: add 1 cup chopped or broken nutmeats.) Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl. Combine all ingredients with a few swift strokes. Stir lightly until barely blended. Bake the bread in two greased loaf pans about 40-50 minutes or until done.

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