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Author Notes: The second I saw white whole-wheat flour in the baking aisle of my local grocery store, I started playing around with it. I assumed I'd have to use some strong flavors to mask the robust taste of whole wheat and was pleased to be shown otherwise. Still, I like this bread the way it is and have not toned down the spices. There is an orange in this bread, yes, but the recipe's name also alludes to the carrot, pumpkin and sweet potato--all harvested in autumn--that not only flavor the bread but also help keep it moist. —betteirene
Makes 16 slices
- 3 cups white whole-wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, very soft
- 1 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/2 cup buttermilk
- 1 orange, any variety, juiced and zest removed
- 1/2 teaspoon grated ginger fresh
- 2 tablespoons very finely chopped candied or crystallized ginger
- 1 cup shredded carrots
- 1 cup roasted pumpkin, mashed or pureed
- 1 cup cooked mashed sweet potato
- 1/2 cup very finely chopped toasted walnuts, optional
- Grand Marnier Hard Sauce and/or Maple-Ginger Butter, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9”x5” loaf pan.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon and baking soda. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the remaining ingredients. Gently add dry ingredients to the large mixing bowl, stirring and folding by hand until the batter is well combined but not overmixed.
- Spoon batter into prepared ban and bake in bottom third of oven for about one hour, checking after 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (A crack running lengthwise down the middle is characteristic of quick breads.) Allow to cool in the pan on a rack for 30 minutes; remove from pan and wrap snugly in plastic wrap to cool completely before slicing.
- For Grand Marnier Hard Sauce: Cream together 1/2 cup (one stick) unsalted butter with 1/2 cup powdered sugar. Add 2 tablespoons Grand Marnier and blend well. For Maple-Ginger Butter: Place a piece of fresh ginger about the size of a garlic clove into a garlic press; squeeze the juice into a small mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup (one stick) softened unsalted butter butter and 1/4 cup maple syrup; blend well.