Behold, another post about my favorite weakness: homemade bread. I seriously cannot resist the stuff--the low-carb diet craze of some years ago was a torturous but effective means of temporarily whittling my waistline--and always seem to have a supply around. Its latest manifestation was the result of almost MacGyver-like baking conditions: I aimed for a yeast-risen loaf that was barely sweet, could be sliced, and involved oranges. The oranges were a non-negotiable component; I had nearly a dozen navel oranges on hand and limited plans for how to eat them, other than in their raw state. The orange bread I settled upon baking only reduced my citrus bounty by three, so I will need to devise additional means of orange consumption.
Because the recipe I consulted consisted of neither a completely vegan ingredient list nor instructions beyond dumping everything into a bread machine, making Orange Bread required a bit of tweaking and additional work on my part. I substituted the egg with 1/4 cup unsweetened soy yogurt, margarine with vegetable oil, and sugar with 2 tablespoons agave nectar. Additionally, I used 2 cups bread flour and 1 1/2 to 2 cups white whole wheat flour. After allowing the dough to rise until doubled, I divided it equally into four oblong pieces and placed them in a lightly oiled loaf pan to rise for a second time. The loaf baked at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 25 minutes, emerging a beautifully orange-kissed, golden brown hue. The aroma wafting through the house was so vibrant--a pleasant combination of homemade bread and fresh citrus--and I could not wait for the bread to finish baking.
I somehow remained disciplined enough to allow the bread to cool for an hour before eagerly slicing into it. My patience was rewarded with soft, faintly tangy-yet-sweet bread. The orange flavor is milder than the bread's aroma suggests, but definitely present. Because the bread has just the slightest sweetness, it promises versatility. I've already enjoyed it in its fresh state as well as sliced and toasted, but I see it working beautifully in a sandwich or French toast.
Now to figure out what to do with the rest of those oranges...