As I’ve gotten more interested in collecting old people’s old things, I seem to be leaning toward a few certain categories. I love globes and maps, and can’t resist a vintage metal picnic basket, but above all else, I love, love, love an old cookbook.
My favorites are those from the ’50s and ’60s, and while I don’t often cook out of them, I find them delightfully inspiring and fun to read. Every now and then, though, I run across a recipe that jumps out at me. When I was flipping through my recently acquired copy of the 1963 Pillsbury Family Cookbook, I came across a recipe for orange bread. As a fan of all things quick bread-ish, I knew I had to try it. I only made one tiny change, swapping in butter for the shortening the recipe called for.
It’s pretty speedy to make and will make your whole kitchen smell like orange (which is always a good thing). The bread is tender and moist, and would pair nicely with a cup of tea for a little afternoon pick-me-up. I added a quick orange-vanilla glaze, too, but that’s entirely optional!
adapted from The Pillsbury Family Cookbook 1963
2 c. sifted AP flour
1 t. baking powder
1/2 t. baking soda
1/2 t. salt
2 T. butter
1 c. sugar
1/4 c. orange juice
3/4 c. hot water
2 T. orange zest
Preheat oven to 350°. Grease the bottom of a 9 x 5 loaf pan. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Set aside. With mixer, cream together butter and sugar (“cream” isn’t really accurate here – it will be pretty grainy, but the goal is just to thoroughly mix the butter through the sugar). Add egg and beat well. Combine the hot water and orange juice. Now add the dry ingredients alternating with the orange juice-water to the creamed mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Mix thoroughly after each addition. Stir in the orange zest. Pour batter into loaf pan and bake for 45 – 55 minutes, or until golden brown. Cool in pan for 10 minutes, then remove and cool on wire rack. If you want to add a glaze like mine, I whisked together powdered sugar, orange juice, a splash of vanilla and a pinch of salt until it had a good consistency, then spooned it over the cooled loaf. This would also be lovely with chocolate chips or nuts added – it begs for fancying up!