Baked Occasionally September – Orange Pancakes with Honey Butter

DSC_1636 Orange Pancake

Can you believe it’s already September? I can’t. While most of you are probably BBQ-ing and hanging by the pool, let me take a minute to talk about the last thing on your mind … pancakes!

My first thought was “Orange pancakes?” I mean, lemon, sure. Banana, of course. But orange? Never really thought about it, I guess. Shannon and I resolved not to tinker and forged ahead with the recipe.

So, when I gathered it all together to get started, I didn’t really know what to expect. Well, one sore arm and a lot of pancakes later, I can say I was a bit underwhelmed, to be honest. The original recipe yielded a batter that was much too thick to use for pancakes, not even remotely pourable and too thick to even spread.

I did, however, attempt to cook them anyway and ended up with a dense, dry pancake that was less than appetizing.

pancakes thick

Gross, right? No thank you.

So, I added some extra buttermilk and orange juice to thin out the batter and make it more pourable, and then we were on our way! The pancakes (once corrected) had a great texture, light and fluffy and perfectly tender! However, they didn’t have much flavor, especially considering the copious amounts of orange juice and zest I knew were in the batter.

orange pancake gif

Topped with honey butter and maple syrup, however, the notes were somewhat floral with a hint of orange, but not nearly the ‘slap you in the face’ flavor I expected. Though I wouldn’t eat them on their own, once I topped them with syrup and butter it was hard to stop eating them.

DSC_1674 2

What I liked:

  • The texture, once corrected, was great! I love fluffy pancakes and these babies fit the bill just right!
  • Honey butter perfectly complemented the pancakes and, along with the maple syrup, brought out the orange notes.

What I didn’t:

  • The original recipe didn’t have nearly enough liquid in the batter, so I had to add extra orange juice and buttermilk to thin out the batter. I have not seen other complaints about this, though, so maybe I just had some weird blond moment…
  • Despite ALL of the orange zest and juice in this recipe, the orange flavor wasn’t as strong as I expected. I expected a brighter flavor, although maybe it was muted by additional buttermilk.

DSC_1655 orange pancake

orange pancakes with honey butter

Ingredients

    For the Honey Butter
  • 8 ounces (225 g) unsalted European-style (cultured) butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons clover honey
  • For the Orange Pancakes
  • 2 cups (255 g) all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 ml) orange juice, freshly squeezed
  • 1 cup (230 g) plain full-fat Greek yogurt, strained
  • ½ cup (120 ml) buttermilk, well-shaken
  • 4 ounces (1 stick/115 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons (25 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons orange zest (from 2 oranges)
  • For making and serving the pancakes
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • Maple syrup, preferably warmed
  • Honey butter (recipe above)

Instructions

    Make the Honey Butter
  1. If your butter is very soft, you can just place it in a bowl with the honey and stir with a spatula until completely combined. Transfer to a small bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Set aside or place in refrigerator for up to 1 week. (Hint: also great on dinner rolls, corn bread, toast, or anything else you might butter).
  2. If the butter is still somewhat firm, cut into cubes and place into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat the butter and honey on medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 4 minutes. Scrape the honey butter into a ramekin to use immediately with the pancakes.
  3. Make the Orange Pancakes
  4. If you want to make a lot of pancakes and keep them warm, preheat the oven to 200°F (90°C). Otherwise, you can skip this step.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt until combined.
  6. In a separate bowl, whisk together the orange juice, yogurt, buttermilk, 4 ounces (115 g) of the butter, the eggs, sugar, and orange zest.
  7. Make a well in the dry ingredients, pour the wet ingredients into the well, stirring just until combined.
  8. If the batter is too thick, add additional orange juice until slightly thinned and pourable.
  9. Cook the pancakes
  10. Heat a large skillet or griddle over medium heat until water splashed on it bubbles and dances, but doesn't immediately evaporate.
  11. Brush the pan with some of the remaining 2 tablespoons of melted butter and pour 1?3 cup batter to the pan per pancake (you can use more or less, depending on what size of pancake you are looking for).
  12. Cook pancakes until bubbles form on the tops and the bottoms are browned.
  13. Flip and continue cooking them until they are completely browned on both sides, another minute or so.
  14. You don't have to butter each time, but you can if you like (I don't). Otherwise, continue buttering the pan and making pancakes until all the batter is used, transferring cooked pancakes to the oven to keep warm, if desired.
  15. Serve immediately as the pancakes are made, or keep them in the oven on a baking pan or heatproof plate just until you’ve cooked them all (don’t leave them in the oven longer).
  16. Serve with maple syrup and honey butter.

Notes

* The liquid as stated in this recipe was not enough for my batter, feel free to add extra liquid, a tablespoon or two at a time, until the batter becomes pourable. Be careful not to over-mix.

* I felt they could also use a bit more orange zest, but maybe my oranges just weren't super orange-y. Feel free to cook a mini 'test' pancake and see how the flavor is before continuing.

http://wee-eats.com/2016/09/05/baked-occasionally-september-orange-pancakes-with-honey-butter/

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cranberry orange pull apart bread

 

cran orange 3-3-2

Yes, I KNOW that we JUST had pull-apart bread.  But, you see, since my recipe make two loaves, and it’s delicious, and… you can never have too much of a good thing.

Or something. I think that’s how it goes, right?

I’ve been trying out this whole “orange-cranberry” thing that everyone’s been talking about… and apparently everyone in the whole world loves but I had never heard of… turns out they were onto something.

So, I give to you, the cranberry-orange pull-apart bread… also known as “the longest-named-bread-in-all-the-land.”  Also known as, “The only thing that saved my first loaf from being completely devoured.”  Also known as, actually no, that’s all it’s known as.

When the fiance asked what I was making and I said “cranberry orange bread” he was super unexcited and responded much like any small child normal adult would, with extreme prejudice and skepticism.

Apparently I wasn’t the only person on the planet who hadn’t combined oranges and cranberries into delicious.

CRAN ORANGE 5-2

So, if there are anymore of you out there, I’m here to let you know that I put oranges with cranberries.  And it was delicious.

Even the fiance loved it.

I wasn’t sure if there would be enough moisture in the mix to rehydrate them, and there wasn’t.  While the bread was still very good, I think it would have benefitted from the juicy berries.  So, I would recommend re-hydrating them in some orange liqueur, orange juice, or even just some water, for about 30 minutes before throwing them into the bread.

CRAN ORANGE 3-3.2

Alternatively, you could probably use some orange marmalade instead of orange sugar for the filling, or fresh cranberries instead of dried, or leftover cranberry sauce even.  I didn’t have orange marmalade, fresh cranberries, or leftover cranberry sauce, but I did have a bag of oranges and a bag of dried cranberries.

I mean, if cinnamon bread is filled with cinnamon-sugar then clearly orange sugar would be perfect for this, right? So, I zested the oranges into some sugar and VOILA!  Orange sugar was born!  Then I sprinkled the cranberries as best I could and shoved any stragglers into the pan after stacking the dough pieces. 

And again with the glaze.

cranberry orange pull apart bread

Prep Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Cook Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 2 loaves

This recipe makes 2 loaves but it can easily be halved to make just one loaf, or you can make two different kinds of loaves filled with cinnamon-sugar or pumpkin

Ingredients

  • 1 recipe of your favorite cinnamon roll dough (my favorite recipe below)
  • For the dough
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 4 cups + 1/2 cup all-purpose flour; divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the filling
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 5 Tablespoons orange zest (about 3 to 4 large navel oranges)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries* (see note below)
  • 1 stick of butter; softened to room temperature
  • For the glaze
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon orange juice
  • 2 teaspoons milk; plus extra if needed

Instructions

    For the filling
  1. In a small bowl, mix together sugar and orange zest, set aside while you prepare the dough.
  2. In another bowl, reconstitute dried cranberries (optional, but recommended)
  3. For the dough
  4. In a large (8 cup) saucepan, mix the milk, sugar, and vegetable oil. Heat over medium heat until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is steaming. Remove from heat and cool to luke-warm (110-115F degrees), then add the yeast. Stir to combine; let sit 5 minutes to allow yeast to bloom.
  5. Stir 4 cups of flour into the milk mixture and put lid on the pot. Allow to sit for 1 hour, or until doubled in size. Once the dough has risen, add remaining dry ingredients and stir to combine. Pour dough out onto a large sheet of saran wrap and wrap dough tightly. Place in refrigerator for 1 hour or up to overnight. (You could also roll the dough out immediately by sprinkling the counter with flour and kneading until the dough is no longer sticky. Once the dough isn't sticky, cover with a kitchen towel for 5 minutes to allow the dough to rest)
  6. To roll the dough
  7. Pour dough onto lightly-floured surface and separate into two equal halves. Roll one half to a 12 x 20-inch rectangle and cover the other with a kitchen towel to prevent from drying out. Spread softened butter over the dough. Cut the rectangle lengthwise into 6 long 2-inch wide strips.
  8. Spoon generous amounts of orange sugar onto one strip of dough and sprinkle with cranberries, top with another strip and sprinkle sugar/cranberries onto that strip. Repeat until all of the strips are in a pile and covered with sugar/cranberries.
  9. Slice the strip of dough into 5 4-inch wide strips. Stack strips tall-wise into a loaf pan. It will be sloppy, they'll flop everywhere, it's OK. I actually propped my bread pan on its side to make the first few strips a little easier.
  10. Repeat with the other half of dough, sugar, cranberries, and butter.
  11. To bake the dough
  12. Cover and let rise 20 minutes while the oven preheats.
  13. Preheat oven to 350F. Once dough has risen and oven is preheated, cook bread 45 to 55 minutes until cooked through. If the top starts to get too brown, lightly tent with a piece of foil and continue cooking.
  14. Cool in pans 10 minutes, then turn out onto cooling rack to continue cooling.
  15. For the glaze
  16. Mix ingredients together, adding more milk if the mixture is too thick or more powdered sugar if the mixture is too thin.

Notes

*Those of you who thermom your bread want the final temp to be between 190F and 200F.

*Glaze is entirely optional, if you do use a glaze be sure to pour it on while the bread is still nice and warm.

*You can rehydrate dried cranberries by covering with water, or another liquid. Pour liquid over dried cranberries and let stand 30 minutes.

http://wee-eats.com/2013/12/03/cranberry-orange-pull-apart/

cran orange pin