“A Hint of Orange” Yogurt Bread

April 3, 2010 § 2 Comments

This past week has come-and-gone with many bleary-eyed yawns and loads of quick breads and muffins.  It’s April and my work schedule has gone topsy-turvy!  My work crew and I are watching and recording pollinators – like hummingbirds and carpenter bees – and blooming flowers at 5:45 every morning, on a small hill that’s a part of the Tucson Mountain range.  I love mornings, but I’ve got to say, with a 4:30am wake-up call, even yogurt – my breakfast of champions – sounds miserable.  Instead, I’ve been packing thick wedges of sweet and savory breads in my backpack all week that I enjoy during the 6 o’clock hour.  I’ve been nibbling slices of this moist, aromatic bread up and down the trails, while catching glimpses of deer, nuthatches and on Friday, a roadrunner all puffed up from the early morning chill…  Now that’s a breakfast tradition that’s pretty tough to beat!

This loaf and I have been through a lot of trials – this last week I think we hit five!  I’ve dabbled with the sugar ratio and found that 1/2 cup brown sugar + 1/4 cup evaporated cane sugar is my favorite.  However, if you’re looking to scale back, remove the evaporated cane sugar entirely (not the brown sugar – it’s key!) and replace it with 1 tablespoon of molasses.  I’ve tried it and it was still quite good if you’re looking for a more savory bread.  One word about the bulk of this bread – the whole wheat flour & oat bran: This loaf isn’t as dense as a brick!  Thanks to the oil and brown sugar (which are hygroscopic), this bread retains great moisture.  And the yogurt and baking powder also contribute to the fluffy texture.  A final note about the baking time: Don’t be alarmed if the top of the bread looks as if it’s browning too rapidly; when fully cooked, the edges will be brown and the top will turn a golden-caramel color; double-check with the knife test just to be sure.  This loaf freezes wonderfully and also stays moist for several days on the counter-top.

1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup evaporated cane sugar
2 eggs
1.5 teaspoons orange (or grapefruit) zest

1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup oat bran
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup plain, whole-milk yogurt


1.  Preheat oven to 325 degrees on convection. If your oven doesn’t have convection, amp up the heat to 350 degrees.  Line the bottom of a bread pan with parchment paper.  Grease parchment paper and pan and set aside.

2.  Combine oil, sugars, eggs and orange zest.

3.  In a separate bowl, mix dry ingredients.  Toss with a fork.

4.  Combine portions of flour mixture and yogurt alternatively into the liquid mixture until just incorporated.  Don’t over-beat or gluten will form, yielding a tougher bread.  Pour batter into bread pan and bake for 44-47 minutes until top is dark, golden brown and a knife comes out clean.  Let cool for 5 minutes and remove from pan.  Cool completely on the counter.

Diet Notes: Nut-free


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§ 2 Responses to “A Hint of Orange” Yogurt Bread

  • Kathi says:

    I made these this morning to bring to a lovely brunch. They smell fantastic. I didn’t have oat bran, and used my oat flour (ground up oats) and I used your molasses substitution and put them into muffin pans for 30 minutes. I put a little granola topping on them to be festive, and they look fantastic.

    Thanks for the recipe. This is a keeper!


  • Billie says:

    This bread was delicious! Cannot wait to try it again!

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