First, thank you to my baking compadre, Cousin Leah, for encouraging me to return to my long-ignored baking blog. I’d forgotten how much fun it is!
Now I’ll get right to the point: You HAVE to try this recipe! It’s AMAZING!
This is a case of “The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.” Because this recipe (found on King Arthur Flour’s website) has the nicest blend of flavors. EVER! And the flavors don’t just complement each other, they amplify each other. And the moist texture is to die for.
One thing that really takes the flavor to the DIVINE level is the crystallized ginger, which melts into the batter as the bread bakes. (It’s listed in the recipe as “mini diced ginger.”) You can find crystallized ginger in the bulk section of Whole Foods or most health food stores. And be forewarned: while you are dicing it, the amazing fragrance may cause you to slip into a momentary stupor. I speak from experience.
Other notes on ingredients:
- I did not include the optional pecans or chocolate chips because it simply is not possible to improve on perfection.
- This recipe offers the option to use either butter or shortening, and I went with butter. And I also greased the pans with melted butter, not baking spray.
- For the orange icing (SO GOOD!!), I would recommend adding 2 drops of vanilla extract for smoooooth flavor.
I applied the icing with a pastry brush rather than drizzling it. At first, it was a little thick, but a few sprinkles of milk thinned it out a little for better application. And for yummy looking drippage. MMMMmmm.
Since these are for coffee hour after church, I made 6 mini-loaves (3 x 5.75″) instead of 2 regular 8 x 4.5″ loaves. When you slice the smaller loaf size into 6 pieces, each slice is just the right size for a single serving.
This is one of the best recipes I’ve tried in a long time. I hope you will make it, enjoy it, and share it at home or at work. Or at coffee hour!
Instead of using the baking spray, which can cause the edges of the bread to inflate excessively during baking, resulting in ugly &/or hard bread edges – oh no! – use a pastry brush to grease the pan with melted butter. The brush really gets into the corners, and it’s super fast. This is also works well on bundt pans, with all their shapes and crevices.