During the depression, my grandmother bought a cookbook from a door-to-door salesman. It’s called The Household Searchlight Recipe Book, and it is an awesome source of interesting recipes that I think are being lost. Today, I made one called “Orange Bread” because my son asked me to make something I’d never made…
2 Large oranges
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup boiling water
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg, well beaten
1 cup milk
3 cups flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
Peel oranges. Cut rind in narrow strips. Cover rinds with hot water. Boil until tender. Drain.
[I reserved 1/3 cup of the water for the boiling water listed above. Also, I ate the oranges. Mmm.]
Add 1/2 cup sugar and 1/3 cup water. Boil 20 minutes, stirring constantly.
[You can slack on this for the first 10-15 minutes, but you have to stir OFTEN. For the last five, stir constantly. ALL the water will be gone, by the way.]
Remove from fire. Stir until cool.
[I transferred to a glass bowl and put it in the freezer for about 10 minutes.]
Add egg and milk. Sift flour, measure, and sift with baking powder and salt. Add to orange mixture. Mix thoroughly. Pour into well oiled loaf pan
[I recommend parchment paper on the bottom. Also, I used cake flour, so make the standard substitution if you do this, too.]
Let rise 20 minutes. Bake in hot oven, (425 F) about 1 hour.
[About 30 minutes in, I covered the top with buttered aluminum foil (butter-side down) and let it go another 15 minutes. It was done to perfection.]
This is not a sweet bread at all, plus the taste sneaks up on you. At first, it’s hey, bread. Big deal. And then the sugary orange spreads through your mouth, and even though it’s not sweet, it’s just really really delicious.