Homemade Orange Bread

Orange bread is a citrus-flavored yeast bread that is not too sweet. My version has candied orange mixed into the dough to give it a pretty presentation and flavor. Toast the slices and top with butter and jam, use it to make delicious French toast or just slice and enjoy it as it is.

orange bread with 2 slices cut, a knife and orange slices on a white board

I love to make this homemade orange bread because it’s a little more dressed up than a plain loaf. It’s not too sweet so you can use it in different ways and the light citrus flavor is a little unexpected for someone who’s never tried it. But if you like something simple than this Simple Yogurt Brioche Bread recipe might be the best bread for you!

Unexpected in a good way, of course. If you’ve been wanting to try a new and different kind of homemade bread you should definitely give this recipe a try.

It’s made with orange juice and candied orange which gives it a light citrus flavour. It’s delicious just as it is with a cup of tea or coffee, but even better if you toast it and top it with butter. Along with this Orange Bread I love to make this Pumpkin Bread, it’s just so flavorful and it gets me ready for Fall!

But, really, no matter how you choose to serve this orange bread, I think it will become one of your favourite bread recipes. And if you love orange desserts as much as I do then you might really enjoy this orange loaf cake called Madeira Cake.

Ingredients for Homemade Orange Bread Recipe

  • Lukewarm water: The water should be between 105F and 115F for the yeast to activate.
  • Granulated sugar: It will speed up the bread’s rising time while proofing.
  • Active dry yeast: Needs to be activated in water, that’s why we need lukewarm water to begin with.
  • Boiling water
  • Softened butter
  • Orange juice: Adds orange flavoring to the bread, use fresh orange juice for the best tasting bread! it also add a boost of vitamin c which we love!
  • Salt
  • All-purpose flour: The best flour to use for this recipe for protein percentage. It keeps the bread soft but it’s still strong enough to create elasticity in the dough.
  • Egg yolk
  • Candied orange: Adds more orange flavor to the bread.

A few tips for the ingredients:

  • Make sure your yeast is not expired. Expired yeast will not activate properly which means your dough may not rise. So, be sure to check it before you make the bread.
  • Lukewarm water means it’s not too cold or too hot. If you want to be absolutely sure, use a thermometer to measure the temperature of the water – it should be between 105F and 110F. Water that is too hot will kill the yeast and if it’s too cold the yeast may not activate.
  • Plan ahead to soften the butter. Leaving it out at room temperature for an hour is long enough.
orange bread on a white board with orange slices and a knife

How to Make Homemade Orange Bread

This recipe is not hard, but it does take some time and patience. Making the dough is quick, but it will need to rise two times after you make it so plan your time.

Step 1: Pour the lukewarm water into a small bowl. Sprinkle the yeast over the top, let it sit for five minutes and then stir to combine.

Step 2: Place the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer and pour the boiling water over the top. Once the butter has melted add the sugar and stir to combine. Add the orange juice and salt and mix again.

mixing the butter in the mixing bowl

Step 3: Using the flat beater, turn on the mixer to a low setting and add some of the flour followed by the egg yolk and candied orange. Once combined add the rest of the flour and then switch to the dough hook attachment. Knead the dough for three to four minutes or until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

adding the flour and egg and kneading in the mixing bowl

Step 4: Turn the dough out onto a work surface dusted lightly with flour. Pull the dough into a ball and place it into an oiled bowl. Turn it in the bowl to coat it evenly with the oil.

Step 5: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave it in a draft-free spot for one to two hours or until the dough has doubled in size. You will know the dough is ready when you press on it. Use your knuckles to indent the dough. If the dough springs back it needs more time to rise. If the dent stays, the dough is ready.

the dough before and after rising

Step 6: Punch the dough down and form it into a loaf and fit it into the prepared loaf pan. Cover the pan and leave the dough to rise for another hour.

placing the dough in the loaf pan before and after rising

Step 7: Bake the loaf for 40 to 45 minutes at 375F.

How do you know when the orange bread is baked through?

The easiest way to check if orange bread is baked through is by checking the internal temperature with a thermometer. It should read between 190 to 200F.

Can I make rolls instead of a loaf?

Instead of forming the dough into a loaf (after the first rise) you can divide it into eight to ten parts (depending on how big you want your rolls). Form each part into a ball and place them on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Let them rise for one hour and then bake them for 12 to 15 minutes.

How to Store Homemade Bread

Once the bread is cooled, wrap it tightly and it will keep at room temperature for several days. You can also freeze the bread for up to three months.

There is nothing better than the scent of homemade bread baking in the oven. I hope you love this orange bread. Enjoy!

a slice of orange bread with the loaf and orange slices on a white board

More Specialty Breads Recipes

orange bread with 2 slices cut, a knife and orange slices on a white board

Homemade Orange Bread

Rosemary Molloy
Orange bread is a delicious citrus-flavored yeast bread that is not too sweet. Candied orange gives it a pretty presenation and it's perfect any occasion.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Rising Time 2 hours
Total Time 3 hours 5 minutes
Course Specialty Breads
Cuisine American
Servings 1 loaf
Calories 1728 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons lukewarm water (105F / 40C)
  • 1/2 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 tablespoons butter (softened)
  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup orange juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour (divided) (250 grams)
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1/4 cup candied orange (20 grams)


  • In a small bowl mix together the lukewarm water and sugar, sprinkle the yeast on top, let sit 5 minutes then stir to combine.
  • In the bowl of the stand up mixer add the boiling water and butter, once the butter has melted then add the sugar and stir to combine, add the orange juice and salt mix to combine. Cool the mixture to lukewarm (105F / 40C) then add the yeast mixture.
  • With the flat beaters on low speed start to mix add 1/2 cup of flour and beat to combine, add the egg yolk and candied orange mix to combine.
  • Add the remaining flour and with the hook attachment knead for 3-4 minutes or until the dough is smooth and compact and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.
  • Move the dough to a lightly floured flat surface, gently knead into a ball and place in an lightly oil bowl, turning the dough to lightly cover in oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, place in a warm draft free area and let rise 1-2 hours or until doubled in bulk.
  • Punch the dough down and form into a loaf or 8-10 rolls. Place in a loaf pan (9×5 inches / 25×11 cm) or on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet. Cover and let rise 1 hour.
  • Pre-heat oven to 375F (190C).
  • Bake the loaf for approximately 40-45 minutes or until done.
  • Bake the rolls for approximately 12-15 minutes.


Check to make sure the dough has risen enough by sticking your knuckles or a couple of fingers in the dough to make an indentation, if the indentation disappears, the dough needs more time to rise.  If the dent remains, the bread is ready to bake or move to the second rise.
The bread is baked when the interior temperature reaches 190-200F (87-93C).


Serving: 1gCalories: 1728kcalCarbohydrates: 315gProtein: 37gFat: 35gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 14gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 431mgSodium: 804mgFiber: 8gSugar: 108g
Keyword homemade orange bread with yeast, orange bread
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


  1. Rosemary, I absolutely love all of your recipes. I look forward to each email I receive. Since I have to watch my sugar I have to be careful which ones I choose. Some are really high in sugar. Any suggestions how I could adjust perhaps with white whole wheat flour and less sugar. Thanks for any help !

    1. Hi Mary, I am sure you could replace the sugar with a sweetener that you usually use or even half the sugar if you prefer. If you decide to add whole wheat I would add 1/2 cup whole wheat and 1 1/2 cups flour to test it out first. Hope that helps. Let me know.

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