I hear a storm’s a’brewin’ here on the East coast! Sometimes you never know if you’re actually going to get an insane blizzard or storm or if the media is totally overplaying how serious the weather is going to be. This time seems pretty legit, though – the mayor is holding press conferences, the governor is telling people to work from home, and Kramer even had his first day back to grad school cancelled tonight because of how bad the snow is going to be. I suppose we’ll see when it really starts up this afternoon and later tonight. I do love a good snow storm, but not if it’s going to mess with people’s power and heat and all of that. We’ve always been really lucky in that we’ve never lost electricity or anything like that, even during Sandy a few years ago. I’m ready to hunker down and grab some snacks at the bodega after work. My problem is always that I’ve got plenty of food in the house, but nothing that can just be eaten – everything has to be prepared. That helps when the late night snack monster hits and I want to eat everything in site, but there’s nothing really in sight unless I want to bust out a pan and a cutting board. For situations like these, though, where there is the slight chance you’ll lose the ability to turn on your oven or stove, it’s good to have some supplies handy. Thankfully our bodegas never get ransacked for supplies like some grocery stores do before storms, but I hope I’ll find a few good things to pick up after work today. I definitely need some hot chocolate if nothing else.
We went to our friend Tom and Val’s place on Saturday night to play some board games and see their baby, Victoria. It’s always crazy to see the offspring of your two friends grow into an actual human person. I can see her personality developing more and more each time I go over there to see her, and the two of them are so happy and are such great parents that it makes even my cold, black heart feel some a little warm and fuzzy inside. Anyway, I wanted to bring something over that is appropriate for busy first time parents. I figured a quick bread of sorts would be perfect – they can grab a slice as a snack while they’re running around with the baby, or maybe have it as a light pick-me-up dessert after dinner. I don’t think that this is typically Val or Tom’s preference for breakfast, but I would love a slice of this with some black coffee or strong tea. Anyway, I found a basic quick bread recipe on The Kitchn and got to work. A little blood orange zest, a little lemon zest and a slightly sweet syrup poured over the top of the hot bread made for the perfect loaf, in my opinion. You get all of the bright citrus from the oranges and lemons, but there’s the slight bitterness from the blood orange that I love, like you’re eating a bread with a touch of Campari (my favorite). If you’re waiting for a blizzard like I am, grab some seasonal blood oranges, bake this bread, drizzle a little honey and spread a little butter over a fresh-from-the-oven slice and get cozy!
What you’ll need – some coworkers gave me this really nice olive oil that I used the rest of in this bread, but any oil will do.
I also had these really cool dried mandarin oranges that I chopped up a bit and added to the batter – I don’t expect anyone has these but if you do throw ’em in!
Bake for 40-50 minutes, until set.
Then pour your syrup over the bread and let it soak in.
This bread will keep well, wrapped up and at room temperature, for up to 5 days.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1½ teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 egg
- ¼ cup olive oil
- zest of 2 blood orange (or 1 blood orange and 2 lemons)
- juice of 1 blood orange + 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
- powdered sugar, for decoration (optional)
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Line a standard 9x5 loaf pan with parchment, or grease well with butter or oil.
- Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, whisk together the milk, egg and olive oil. Gently stir the wet mixture into the dry mixture, until a shaggy batter has formed - don't overmix your batter! Fold in your blood orange and/or lemon zest.
- Use a wooden spoon or a spatula to spread the batter into your prepared pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, until set and a toothpick comes out clean (my loaf took about 40 minutes).
- When the bread is almost ready, bring the juice of 1 blood orange and 1 teaspoon of sugar to a simmer, stirring until the sugar dissolves (*note: you can add more sugar if you like to make the syrup sweeter). When the quick bread comes out of the oven, poke 10-12 small holes with a chopstick or something similarly sized over the top of the bread, then pour the blood orange syrup over the bread. Let the loaf cool for 20 minutes or so before slicing - serve with a little butter and honey on the side, or feel free to sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve as a light dessert with whipped cream.