If I lived in the kind of place where you visited your new neighbors to introduce yourself and welcome them to the neighborhood, this is the gift I would bring. Wrapped in a clean dishcloth tied together with a jar of homemade jam, I’d soon be anyone’s favorite neighbor. That’s how good this Whole Wheat Orange Bread is.
A dessert or even breakfast bread, this loaf is sweet with a bit of tang. Before baking, you dust the top of the dough with some cinnamon covered sugar, which bakes into a nice crumble and is the part of my slice that I save for last. Easy to prepare, you can be eating this bread in less than and hour and a half. There is no need for it to rise since you don’t even use any yeast!
I like to make this bread once a month as a nice treat. It’s perfect for your midmorning snack, pairing it with a cup of tea. Whenever we have guests over, it’s seems to be an always impressive snack, smeared in my Strawberry Vanilla Jam.
The recipe itself comes from a cookbook, More-With-Less Cookbook, that was given to me by an old work friend after a discussion as to why I’m vegetarian- one of the main reasons being sustainability. Many people don’t know that most animals are fed more than three times the amount of grain than what their bodies produce in meat, with cows actually producing meat at an astonishing one to six ratio. A Cornell University study found that the U.S. could feed 800 million people with the grain that livestock eat!
What boggles my mind (as my grandma likes to say) is that we could be feeding that human editable grain to the one in five people that live chronically hungry in our world instead of using it to fatten up livestock. The More-With-Less Cookbook is actually published by the Mennonites, and it was not given to me not because of the religion, but because we share the same message of limited resources. It’s filled with tons of recipes about how to use grains, vegetables, and legumes to fill the majority of your plate, with meat playing a less significant role than the typical American diet.
With recipes like this bread, I don’t think any of us would have trouble reducing our energy consumption. It’s amazing how something so good for the planet could taste so sweet as well. Who knows, maybe in the example of loving your neighbor, I might just become one that shares a loaf of bread.
Whole Wheat Orange Bread
1 ½ Cup of Whole Wheat Flour
1 ½ Cup of All Purpose Flour
¾ Cup of Sugar
Zest of 1 Orange
2 teaspoons of Baking Powder
½ teaspoon of Salt
¾ Cup of Orange Juice
½ Cup of Whole Milk
½ Cup of Canola Oil
1 Egg, beaten
1 Tablespoon of Sugar
½ teaspoon of Cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 350F.
In a mixing bowl, combine all the Flours, Sugar, Orange Zest, Baking Powder, and Salt until well distributed. Add in the Orange Juice, Milk, Oil, and Egg, stirring until all the ingredients are moistened.
Pour the dough into a greased loaf pan and sprinkle with a mixture of the remaining 1 T. of Sugar and Cinnamon.
Bake the loaf for 60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Remove the bread from the loaf pan immediately and let it cool on a wire rack. The loaf will store for 3 days in an airtight container and will last a week if refrigerated.
If you’re feeling fancy, you can also add a ½ Cup of Chopped Nuts to the mix, but beware of neighbors with nut allergies.