Baking with XF: Florida Orange Bread

Total Prep Time: ~20 minutes Total Cook Time: 1.5 hours Greetings, browsers of the Internet. I hope this blog reaches you in good health and spirits. My name is Cheyenne—I am a historical interpreter at the Ximenez-Fatio House Museum. As the title reads, this is a blog post that will follow my endeavors to bake. In celebration of the summer (however strange it may be) and Florida’s heritage, we will tackle baking with our state’s famed delicacy: the orange. But don’t worry—I won’t be baking off the cuff! My guide through the culinary delights of citrus will be Ode to a Spanish Orange; a 30-some page pamphlet of recipes that was compiled in 1992 by the Ximenez-Fatio House committee alongside the presentation of several Seville orange seedling trees to organizations in the St. Augustine Historic district by The National Society of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of Florida. Ode to the Spanish Orange, published May 14th, 1992. This cookbook was originally released in celebration of the Columbus Quincentenary. However small a gesture, my iteration of the book’s recipes will act instead as a celebration of the resilient multicultural communities that blossomed all over the “New World.” Now that I’ve cited my sources and stated my claim like a good student, let’s get into the baking! I hope to eventually make my way through the entirety of this little book, and I’ve heard the beginning is a very nice place to start, so: Florida Orange Bread it shall be.Now, it’s been a hot minute since I’ve baked (baken?) bread but I wasn’t intimidated by this recipe at all. Neither should you be! In fact, this is such a straightforward recipe that I’m going to add a supplementary element: Datil-Orange Glaze. (Not for the faint of tongue.) Before I cover the baking process and my experience making this recipe, here are your necessary ingredients for the bread: 3-4 oranges 1 and ½ cups of sugar ½ of a cup of water 3 teaspoons of butter 1 and ⅓ cups of orange juice 3 eggs (beaten) 4 cups of sifted, all purpose flour 4 teaspoons of baking powder ½ a teaspoon of baking soda 1 teaspoon of salt So, the first step is an aromatic one: it’s time to grate the oranges. Grate them until you have about ¾ of a cup of rinds. (I chose to grate a little extra to increase that pristine tartness that Florida oranges are known for—feel free to do the same.) Some more preparatory steps should be to beat those three eggs and preheat your oven to 325°. Combine the orange rinds with the water and sugar in a small saucepan. Cook these slowly and lowly on the stove for about five minutes, or until the sugar is dissolved. It is important at this step to stir your ingredients constantly—when all is said and done, your syrup should measure 1 and ½ cups. It is okay if you have a bit more, though! After…