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Friday, February 28

Sun in the Winter

There’s an unspoken rule for the weather here. People from every corner of the world loves clear skies, sunshine and warmer weather, right? After having lived here and experienced it ourselves, we admit Germans take it to the next level. As soon as the sun shines, even briefly, everyone is outside strolling, window shopping, exercising, and/or dining. Germans (probably) invented al fresco style dining because when the weather is nice they hate being inside. There are even coffee shops where people buy a cup of espresso or cappuccino and drink it outside; it must taste better. Being so far north the winters can be brutal and seem like a never ending season with grey, dreary days. Sometimes weeks pass before we see the sun. Therefore when the skies are clear, the unspoken rule applies.

Fortunately this past week has been an exception to a dull winter and we’ve had glorious weather every single day.

Winter is also THE season to get citrus; fresh, sweet citrus. In Nürnberg it comes from Spain and Greece that I am aware of. The husband loves his fruits, especially Mandarins and Clementines. The other day in addition to buying Clementines I also bought Valencia oranges (typical for juice).

Having those oranges on my counter for an hour, I knew exactly what I wanted to make with them. I’m partial to banana-type breads. For instance. Baked in a loaf pan if I can eat it for breakfast then I am making it or thinking hard about making it. Instead of making it with butter I found an older recipe in my folder with olive oil and yogurt. I’ve made the original but for these delightful oranges I had something else in mind.

Orange Cardamom Yogurt Bread
Yield: One 9 inch loaf
Recipe adapted from this bread

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting the pan
2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom*
3/4 cup sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons orange zest**
1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup orange juice, fresh ***
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the asterisks, please see my notes below the recipe.

Preheat oven to 350°F or 180°C

Thoroughly coat a 9-inch loaf pan with olive oil. (I recommend a glass or ceramic pan.)

With a zester or a vegetable peeler, zest the outside of 1 orange. If using a peeler, make sure to mince the peel with a sharp knife.

Whisk together 1 1/2 cups flour, baking powder, ground cardamom, and salt in a medium bowl.

In another bowl, rub the sugar and the orange zest together orange with your fingers. Then whisk in yogurt, olive oil, orange juice, eggs, and vanilla extract. Fold in the dry ingredients until everything is combined. (Do not overmix.)

Before adding the batter, make sure the pan is coated with olive oil entirely (and the oil hasn’t gathered at the bottom). Pour the batter into the pan and smooth the top.

Bake in the center of the oven until top of bread is golden brown, about 50- 55 minutes. Insert a toothpick or butter knife in the center of the bread, if it comes out clean or with few crumbs then it is ready.

Let the bread cool in the pan on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to loosen the bread. Invert it onto a cooling rack and cool completely.

My notes:
* Instead of 1 1/2 teaspoons of ground cardamom, I would use 1 1/4 teaspoons
** Instead of 2 1/4 teaspoons orange zest, I would use 2 teaspoons.
*** There wasn’t enough orangey flavor, except from the zest, I plan to experiment with omitting olive oil and adding 1/2 cup orange juice, next time. (If you have experience with omitting fats for juice in quickbreads, please do share your experience.)

For longer shelf life, wrap the cooled bread in plastic wrap, then in ziptop bags and place in the fridge for 4- 5 days.

This was a recipe I am thankful to have tried, even the husband raved because it wasn’t too sweet. And to eat this with coffee while the sun shines makes for a perfect February morning.


  1. Hi Krish,
    Love your posts. This bread is on my list of things to bake. I never saw ramps before, your pesto looked amazing. Did you find any good veggie burger recipes? I know I'm commenting here, but it was such a delight to scroll down and read through all your recent travels.

    1. Great hearing from you Neeli! Thanks- let me know how the bread turns out! I knew about Ramps in Ohio because it was a big thing there but you may be able to find them at your farmer's market. Though they're almost out of season here in Germany so check soon in the States!

      Haven't tried another veggie burger since but I did find a recipe I am planning to try from Serious Eats. Let me know if you want the link.