Orange Almond Poppy Seed Loaf
This recipe is bursting with flavor- the orange, almond and poppy seeds each have a place in this well-balanced loaf. It is the perfect addition to a warm cup of tea, anytime of the day.
I’m so happy to finally be sharing this recipe with you! I have been working on this one for a while now, wanting to make sure I had a beautiful balance of orange and almond before sending it out into the world.
The first time I made this was for a trip we took for Jackson’s Birthday. We headed to the Picos de Europa for some hiking and I knew we’d need fuel for both our road trip and hike. The morning of our big hike, I grabbed half the loaf and continued packing other things. It was a down and back hike, which in this case meant climbing for about five hours and then descending for three. After the first few miles climbing, we needed a break. We reached for the loaf and quickly realized our mistake: we should’ve brought the whole thing. It was only our first stop and we finished off half the loaf….! It was a perfect hiking snack, that’s for sure. And don’t worry, we packed other food and not only survived, but thrived on the 18 mile hike. Even though this is a blog post about baking, the views from this hike are worth sharing.
back to the baking…
Fresh juice from an orange is always going to beat out the store bought kind, especially since this recipe also uses the zest. When I only used one orange for juice and zest the orange flavor got lost in the background, but with two it helped balance the almond and give that brightness that only citrus can. ☀️ Rubbing the zest into the sugar allows the orange flavor to be evenly distributed and is worth the extra step!
I love almond flavor. I’m planning to make some almond cookies that are in my family cookbook for Christmas and generally just can’t get enough. Back in Goshen my go to was an almond croissant at Rachel’s Bread. And yes…I’ve found my equivalent here at Punto Caramelo. It’s a flavor I never tire of. If you want almond flavor, but not quite the punch I do, you may want to scale back to 3/4 teaspoon of almond extract.
Poppy seeds add an awesome texture to this loaf. Sensory stimulation is important and honestly, I get joy from eating poppy seeds…it’s the small things right? An added delight is that they are pretty high in fiber. Not that we are eating them by the cup but still. Another killer poppy seed recipe is these lemon pancakes– they are quite packed with poppy seeds so I scale back just a bit when I make them.
Baking the loaf
It’s rare that I make something that isn’t enhanced with butter when it comes out of the oven. Especially something made in a bread pan. And while I’m not saying this wouldn’t be good with butter, I am saying it doesn’t need it. It doesn’t even need a glaze. It’s moist (a trigger word for some people, I know) and softly sweet on its own.
I put tin foil over the loaf after 35 minutes so the top wouldn’t brown too much. It was perfectly finished at 55 minutes for me, but you may want to check it slightly before then since ovens can vary. Store it in an airtight container or bag on the counter for two days and then move it to the fridge.
This is a holiday weekend in Spain and I’m planning to do some important Christmas cookie testing. Send any ideas my way as I’m always looking for twists on classics and fun flavor combinations. I’ll tell you more about my hunt for molasses later…
In the meantime, if you make this orange almond poppy seed loaf please let me know what you think! I wish you a weekend full of meaningful time, whatever that looks like to you right now.
Orange Almond Poppy Seed Loaf
- 1 cup whole wheat flour
- ½ cup all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- ¼ cup poppy seeds heaping
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2 teaspoons orange zest two small oranges
- ¾ cup plain yogurt
- ¼ cup orange juice fresh, from the same oranges
- 3 medium eggs
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- ⅓ cup olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 350° F (175° c). Liberally butter a loaf pan and set aside for later.
- In a medium mixing bowl combine the flours, baking powder, poppy seeds and salt.
- Combine the sugar and orange zest in a different medium mixing bowl . Rub the zest into the sugar until it's fragrant and the sugar turns a light orange throughout.
- Add the yogurt, orange juice, eggs, and almond extract to the sugar mixture. Mix until it's fully incorporated.
- Add slowly to the dry ingredients. Mix until just combined, careful not to overmix.
- Add the olive oil and fold it in until combined. It takes slightly longer than you'd think, but be patient and don't mix too quickly!
- Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and smooth the top if needed. Bake for 50-55 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the edges start to come away from the side.
- Use a knife to help separate the edges from the pan. Let it cool for a minimum of 10 minutes in the pan, then slice and enjoy! Keep the loaf in an airtight container on the counter for 2-3 days, then store it in the fridge.
- If you want a more subtle almond flavor, I'd back down to about ¾ teaspoon of almond extract.
- This can be made with lactose free yogurt. While I haven't tried it with other plant based yogurts, I bet it would work!
- Zest the oranges first, then slice to juice them. This might seem like an obvious instruction, but I am speaking from experience. 🤦