“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
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