Divine Dining: Pecan Orange Breakfast Bread
I had a grand scheme for my Easter Divine Dining column, y’all: hot cross buns.
They were commonplace in Ireland, and those fluffy petite yeast rolls dotted with raisins and nuts, fragrant with lemon zest and topped with that characteristic icing cross, are the perfect way to celebrate the season. But then I remembered that this weekly culinary creative outlet of mine is only my side gig: I’m a full-time pastor, and it’s nearing Easter. Life is busy! I decided that this might be a busy time for you, too.
So, let’s simplify our lives with an Easter breakfast that feeds an army with the very minimum of work and expense: pecan orange bread. This recipe comes from my cousin whose Belle Oaks Inn in Gonzales, Texas, boasts this as the most-praised breakfast they offer.
Two words of warning: first, if you think that creating something divine out of canned biscuits is an abomination to the Lord, kindly pass this recipe by (though you will regret it). Second, if you do dare to make this golden, sweet ring of orange pecan heaven, know that it will soon be requested at every family gathering from now on.
Move aside, hot cross buns, there’s a new Easter treat in town: pecan orange breakfast bread.
Pecan orange breakfast bread
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. toasted pecans, chopped (toast in a 350 degree oven until fragrant, about 10 minutes)
1 T grated orange rind
1/2 c. (1 stick) butter, melted
2 cans of Grand’s buttermilk biscuits (1 8-count, 1 5-count)
1 8 oz. box of cream cheese, cut into 13 squares
1 c. sifted powdered sugar
2 T orange juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Mix sugar, pecans and orange rind together in small bowl, set aside.
Open up biscuit cans (I jump every single time, don’t you?), and separate into individual biscuits. Gently split each bicuit, placing cream cheese square in the center and pressing to reseal. Dip in melted butter and dredge in pecan sugar mixture. Stand biscuits on edge in lightly greased bundt pan, drizzle with remaining butter and sprinkle with pecan mixture.
Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, until golden. Remove from oven and and immediately invert onto serving plate. Do this by placing your serving plate on top of the bundt pan and rapidly turning over. Combine powered sugar and orange juice and drizzle over warm bread. Serve immediately. A helpful hint if your Easter is as busy as mine: you can stuff and dredge the biscuits and cover in the bundt pan and refrigerate overnight (or even for an extra day or two). The morning you’d like to serve this bread, remove from the refrigerator and allow it to warm up on the counter for 30 minutes. Then bake and glaze as described above. Each segment is a serving size; if you’re extra hungry have two. Orange you glad we didn’t make hot cross buns?
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The Rev. Whitney Wilkinson is pastor of Cameron Presbyterian Church.