I really really enjoyed this bread.  It has warm honey and orange notes, sweet red raspberries and crunchy sliced almonds.  It is delicious sliced and toasted with a little bit of butter – but also really nice alone.  Sylvie and I actually couldn’t stop picking at this bread.  Very addictive to us – but not for everyone.  Andy and Rob really didn’t like it at all which is hard for me to imagine, and Greg thought it was good but the taste too strong.  Hmmm….guess that is what makes the world go round.  I found this recipe in the fictional novel, How To Bake a Perfect Life, which was a nice easy read.  The character writes about this bread she made up on the night that she felt great new love.  She states “Filled with light and juice and tenderness, it is one of my favorite things.”  How romantic is that?  Unfortunately that didn’t work well here with Rob.  Funny.  I wanted to bring some to friends but bumped into a homeless man and decided that he might want a bit of sunshine and tenderness.  It did bring a big smile to his face but I didn’t get to hear his comments. Oh well, try it if you are game – make it for a brunch.  I think it will delight.

Don’t overfill your pan.  I did, and in order to cook it through I had to over-bake a bit.  It was a little dry, so don’t fill all the way, use the leftover for a few mini muffins and problem solved.

sunshine fruit and honey bread (slightly adapted from How To Bake A Perfect Life by Barbara O’Neal):

2 cups all-purpose flour (remember to peek at baking tips to see how to measure flour correctly)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup raw sugar (I used sugar in the raw – this added a slight crunch to the bread)
1/2 cup dark honey
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
2 teaspoons orange zest
2 eggs
1 cup raspberries
1/3 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup fresh orange juice (from the orange you zested)
1/2 cup sugar
pinch of kosher salt

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9×5 inch loaf pan.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Set aside.

With the paddle attachment of you electric mixer or with hand held beaters, cream the butter and sugar together for a few minutes until lighter and fluffier.

Add the honey and both extracts and orange zest and continue to beat and scrape down.  Add the eggs one at a time – on medium speed.

On the lowest speed add the dry ingredients in 2 batches  – and mix until just incorporated.

Remove from mixer and gently fold in raspberries and toasted almonds.

Scrape into prepared pan and again, don’t overfill – maybe make a few mini muffins on the side.

Bake for about 50-60 minutes – but check often and before.  Toothpick should come out just clean.  (Muffin time will be shorter.)

Cool for 20 minutes and then invert bread onto a wire rack.

To make the glaze, mix together the orange juice and sugar and heat gently until the sugar is dissolved.  Add a pinch of salt and then drizzle over the bread.


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