A Loaf of Bread
A Collection of Illuminated Recipes
With baking, I’ve always thought that if I follow a recipe I will turn out a well made cake/cookie/bread. But that is not the case. With each bake one’s skills grows and one has to accept that there will be failures. It’s a combination of technique, practice and common sense. One thing I have learned is that not two ovens are the same. You have to know your oven. For example, my baked goods burn when they are on the bottom rack. So, I hardly use that section.
I don’t always make notes while baking, for the sheer fact that I’m lazy, but it’s always good to know what changes you did to the recipe in order for it to turn out well. For this orange bread recipe, I took notes and wish to share them with you.
I picked this one because it had two parts. Making the orange peel and making the actual bread. Plus, I was attracted to the illustrations.
Recipe from book:
1/4 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup milk
3 tsp baking powder
3 cups flour
1 cup chopped pecans
candied peel of 4 oranges
Cream butter and sugar. Add 2 beaten eggs. Sift flour with salt and baking powder and alternately with milk. Add vanilla, orange peel and nuts. Bake for one hour in moderate oven. Cool. Slice thin.
Orange Peel recipe from book:
Cut peels in small pieces. Boil three times, draining well each time. The fourth time use very little water and add 1 cup sugar. Cook until candied and dry. Chop fine.
Remove as much of the pith from the orange peels as much as possible. Otherwise, it will have a bitter taste. You will see here that I went ahead and chopped up the peel before boiling it. If you were to not use it for this recipe and just dip them in chocolate later, leave them in strips.
As the recipe states, little water is needed for the last stage of boiling. I thought 1/2 cup of water wouldn’t be that much, but it was! I would say 1/4-1/3 cup is sufficient. Because I put too much water(which I had to take out to speed up the process) It takes ~24 mins for it to be candied.
Things to note while making the batter:
1. Make sure your butter is at room temperature. It’s easier to cream it with the sugar.
2. Alternate wet and dry ingredients as you incorporate. I used a stand mixer.
3. The batter does come out like a real dough consistency. It is sticky. But no kneading is required, treat it like a cake batter.
4. Don’t forget the pecans! I almost did.
5. Moderate temperature(as stated in the recipe) is around 375°F
I split up my dough into 4 mini loaf pans. It makes for quicker baking and you can freeze the loaves for convenience. My pans are non-stick and I love them. Here is the link if interested [Chicago Metallic Non-Stick Mini Loaf Pans, Set of 4.] I baked them for 40 mins. [Please note that as stated, each oven is different and you must keep an eye on your baked goods.]
It came out so pretty and perfect! I let them cool a little bit in the pans and then took them out to complete cooling on a metal rack.
Perk: Left over oranges and a cup of Earl Grey for drinking along side a slice of this bread makes for the perfect snack.
Overall, I enjoyed it. It is a bit time consuming, but well worth the effort.
One print copy of A Loaf of Bread(will ship from Amazon)(US ONLY) or e-book of choice(value up to $5) if International. Winner will be chosen randomly and contacted via email.
Christie Whaley (née Phillips, née Miller) was an American artist and calligrapher who produced pen-and-ink, watercolors, woodcut, and folk art from 1963 until the end of her life in 1984. Her greeting card company, Lightwing Artworks, produced pen-and-ink representations of natural subjects she found near her eventual home in Denver and the Rocky Mountains.
Mari Christie has been a professional writer and communicator in Denver, Colorado for twenty years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Writing, summa cum laude, from the University of Colorado Denver and has been published in magazines, newspapers, board rooms, and creative collections since 1990.
As an author, she primarily works in historical fiction, including “Blind Tribute,” about a newspaper reporter and editor during the Civil War, and a duology, “The Stolen Child” and “Concrete Loyalties,” set in the Tammany Hall crime culture of turn-of-the-century Brooklyn, New York. Under the name Mariana Gabrielle, her first Regency romance, “Royal Regard,” is now available on Amazon.
Her book-length epic poem set in the Mayan underworld, “Saqil pa Q’equ’mal: Light in Darkness,” and “A Loaf of Bread,” an illuminated cookbook to which she contributed colorization, are both available now.