Orange zest and a half cup of lemonade infuse this bread with a subtle zing, balanced by the creamy flavors of walnuts, pecans, and milk. Moist and subtly sweet, this citrus nut bread is a tasty snack, with nutritional benefits from the nuts and orange zest. Savor a slice with a cup of coffee or tea, as an after-school snack, or even just grab a piece on the go. Some may like to spread cream cheese or jam on a slice; I like it just as it is. There is something joyful and energizing about citrus flavors. As we wait for seasonal fruits to become ripe here, citrus can do wonders to tide us over. Though it takes almost an hour to bake, it takes just a few minutes to zest some orange peel and mix up the batter.
This recipe is adapted from a favorite orange walnut bread recipe in one of the many cookbooks I have collected from various churches over the years. Once I got started making the bread, I realized I didn’t have the orange juice the recipe called for. I also didn’t have enough walnuts. My husband suggested I use lemonade instead of the orange juice, and I used a combination of walnuts and pecans. The bread turned out great! I actually like it better than the traditional orange walnut bread. The lemonade gives it a sunny flavor and such a pretty, delicate color.
The making of this bread helped soothe my nerves. I made it a day or so before my daughter was to leave on her overnight class trip to Chicago. I know she loves this bread, and making it for her made me feel like I was giving her an extra hug before she waved goodbye and hopped on the bus. It is true that food can express love in ways that words sometimes cannot. I look forward to hearing all about her trip when she gets back!
Meanwhile, spring marches on with warm days and cold days, bright sun, rain, and wind. The key is to dress in layers, since it changes so quickly! The scene around us is becoming more colorful by the day. After the browns and grays of winter, it feels good to see such bright colors. Our cherry trees are starting to blossom! Bright yellow dandelions decorate bright green grass. I hope you are all having a great week!
Citrus Nut Bread
- 2 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour
- 3/4 cup of sugar
- 1/2 cup of milk
- 1/2 cup of lemonade
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg, beaten slightly
- 1 tablespoons of orange zest
- 1 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup of a combination of walnuts and pecans, chopped
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Lightly grease an 8.5 x 4.5-inch loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir to combine. In a smaller bowl, combine the milk, lemonade, butter, egg, and orange zest. Add those ingredients to the bowl with the dry ingredients. Stir gently until just incorporated and a batter forms. Stir in the chopped nuts. Pour the batter into the greased loaf pan. Bake in your 350-degree oven for 50 to 60 minutes, or until the bread is golden and the top cracks just a little. Test to see if a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. When the bread is done, allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and enjoy!