Orange Currant Bread


Carbs, for all their bad press, really make the best comfort food.  Pasta, bread, potatoes… How about a tender homemade loaf, slightly sweet, and flavored with currants and orange? 

Orange Currant Bread

s Orange Currant Bread

After I made candied orange peel as part of my use oranges to make winter sunshine campaign, I needed to figure out what to do with it–enter Orange Currant Bread.  Of course it didn’t hurt that organic currants are 4.95/lb and homemade candied orange peel is free–since we’re already eating the oranges.   Who said eating organic has to be pricey? No candied orange peel in your pantry?  Substitute another dried fruit and some orange zest…

Candied Orange Peel with oranges


The recipe is based on a currant bread recipe from James Beard that I have loved for years.  When I noticed that it bore some resemblance to the Italian holiday bread Panettone which includes candied orange peel, it was time to have some fun. My version of the bread is a bit healthier (half whole wheat flour and less butter/sugar) but still sweet and rich.

Serving Orange Currant Bread

Serving Orange Currant Bread

For breakfast today, I turned some of the bread into French Toast, topped with strawberries (thawed and sliced) from my freezer and a dollop of whipped cream.  With food like this, I might just make it to spring!

Eating Orange Currant Bread

Eating Orange Currant Bread

Orange Currant Bread
Serves 32
A slightly sweet, tender loaf flavored with orange and currants and a hint of (optional) rum.
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148 calories
24 g
20 g
4 g
3 g
2 g
54 g
10 g
6 g
0 g
1 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 148
Calories from Fat 32
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 20mg
Sodium 10mg
Total Carbohydrates 24g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 6g
Protein 3g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. • 1/2 c butter
  2. • 2 eggs, beaten
  3. • 1 cup milk
  4. • 3/4 cup water
  5. • 1/2 c sugar, plus 1 T
  6. • 2 pkgs yeast (or equivalent)
  7. • 3 c wheat flour (plus additional during kneading)
  8. • 3 c all purpose flour
  9. • 2/3 c currants
  10. • 2/3 c candied orange peel, cut into small pieces
  11. • 2 t vanilla
  12. • 1/4 c rum (or juice or water)
  1. Cover currants and orange peel with rum or other liquid to soften.
  2. In a separate container, heat butter, milk, vanilla, water and 1 T sugar to about 110F. Stir in yeast to dissolve and let sit until beginning to get bubbly.
  3. Blend liquid/yeast mixture with flour, beaten eggs and 1/2 cup sugar until well mixed.
  4. Add currant, orange peel mixture, then knead with dough hook or by hand until dough "pushes back" when pressed. Knead in additional flour if too sticky (or additional liquid if too dry).
  5. Place in large bowl, then cover with damp dish towel and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  6. Punch down, then form into two loaves. Place in greased bread pans and let rise again, about 30 minutes.
  7. Bake in 350F oven for about 40 minutes until golden and bread sounds hollow when tapped. Lightly cover bread top with aluminum foil if it is getting too brown (this is likely).
  1. Makes two loaves.
  2. No candied orange peel in your pantry? Substitute another dried fruit and some orange zest...
Adapted from James Beard
Adapted from James Beard
Art of Natural Living
 Posted on Real Food Wednesdays

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  1. Inger! How lovely and delicious Bread!! I love it!

    • Thanks Gloria. I froze the second loaf to send back to school as a treat for my oldest who is coming home this weekend.

  2. That is one nice looking loaf of bread, Inger. Adding your orange peel and that dash of rum just brings it over the top. Go Carbs! Thank you so much for sharing, Inger…

    P.S. Just wondering, do you have any opinion on food dehydration?

    • Thanks Louise.

      I like dehydration though I don’t do a ton of it. And it is definitely considered “kosher” in natural food circles. My kids hated the fruit leather I tried so that’s not happening again, but tomatoes are a staple and I even did a granola in the dehydrator once. Are you thinking about what to do with you big garden harvest this year?

      • Lol, no, actually, I’m a freezing type of person:) T.W. who often visits my blog, just goat new dehydrator and he was seeking input. I figured you would know something about it so thought I would seek your advice for him. His blog is Culinary Typesif you want to see his new toy:) He only posts on Sunday so it should still be up. He’s in my side-bar.

        Planted peas yesterday in my min greenhouse. It’s out in the mud room but at least they are planted. Today is Lettuce Day!

        Thanks for help Inger, “see” you in March:) I’m getting tons done finally!!!! Sunny day today. Tried to stroll the garden but the snow is about 3 feet!

        • I’ll check out that blog Louise. And I’ll be sure to eat a salad 😉 We’re going back to the deep freeze this weekend I hear, but spring will come. Does make me wonder if I should start the seeds late though…

          • Wow! That’s some poor typing I did in that last reply:) His blog is Culinary Types and I think you will like it. As for the planting, I decided against planting the lettuces today. I think you may be right. Perhaps I am a bit too anxious. I’ll go back to planning and dreaming of warmer weather. I guess we all should. Thanks Inger:)

  3. This looks divine and I love your new layout!

  4. What beautiful bread my friend, it looks so flavoursome and with a perfect crumb 😀

    Choc Chip Uru

  5. no, i could never give up my carbs! this is a lovely bread–i feel like i rarely, if ever, see currants anymore!

    • No I couldn’t see you giving up carbs Grace! I do love my currants. They seem so much more subtle than raisins. Our local health food store has them now, but for years I hunted online–or resorted to dicing up raisins. The things we do to achieve our food goals!

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