Cookin’ with Condley

Published 4:42 pm Monday, February 6, 2023

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By Sarah Condley


I was having a Pampered Chef party, where the consultant would prepare a couple of great dishes for everyone to try. I was hopeful that lots of people would attend the party, so I decided to make a couple of different desserts for the crowd.

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Since it was a Pampered Chef party, I looked through some of their cookbooks that I have and found a recipe for Orange Poppy Seed Tea Bread. The recipe sounded very easy, and the accompanying picture looked great. Besides that, I had oranges on hand and poppy seeds in my spice drawer, which meant I would not have to go to the grocery to purchase ingredients.

The day before the party, I gathered all the ingredients and started.

I turned the oven on to preheat, and instead of spraying the loaf pan with non-stick spray, I greased the bottom.

After zesting the orange and juicing it, I sat both aside.

The flour, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds and orange zest went into a small bowl, and I stirred just until everything was combined.

The softened butter went into a large mixing bowl, and I beat it for about 30 seconds with a handheld mixer. Then I poured in the sugar and beat the two ingredients for three minutes – yes, I timed it. After adding the vanilla, I beat the mixture a little bit longer.

The recipe said to add the eggs one at a time and to beat the mixture 30 seconds after each addition. Normally I just put all the eggs in and beat, but this time I followed the recipe to a T. Alternately, I added the flour mixture and the sour cream, again as the recipe stated.

Once the batter was all together, I poured it into the loaf pan and then placed the pan in the oven.

I set the timer for an hour. While the bread baked, I made the glaze as simple as 1, 2, 3.

When the timer sounded, I tested the bread, and it wasn’t done. Five more minutes and the tester still came out with raw dough on it. After a few more minutes, it was ready to come out of the oven.

I immediately turned the bread over on a non-stick cooling rack and realized it would not come out. I turned the pan right side up and used a knife to loosen the bread from the sides of the pan; I turned the pan upside down and finally it came out. Whew, but after lifting the pan from the bread, one end of the pan slipped out of my hand and landed on one end of the loaf – smashing it.

I let out a little scream, and Brad came running. I just looked at him and told him I mushed the bread. Since there was nothing he, or I, could do, I just turned the piping hot bread over to have it right side up and tried to put the mushed part of the bread back together. I thought it might stay together as it cooled, which it didn’t.

The glaze was sitting right beside the mushed loaf of tea bread and I did my best to slather on the orange glaze.

Once the bread was completely cool, I wrapped it loosely in plastic wrap and hoped for the best.

The next day, before heading to the party, I sliced up the bread and put it on a serving platter. When I got to the mushed end, there was no slicing it. But that gave me a chance to taste test this recipe.

I took a bite and then Brad took a bite. I told him I thought it was a little bit dry and he agreed. I was hoping only the mushed part and the bread’s other end would dry.

It was time to head to the party. After a demonstration and tasting a couple of really good dishes, I ventured over to try a middle piece of the Orange Poppy Seed Tea Bread.

Thank goodness the middle pieces were not dry.

So my thoughts, after almost messing the tea bread up completely, is that while the bread was moist in the middle, the orange flavor was very light, and I think it needed to be stronger. Ultimately, I would not call this recipe a “Nailed It” or a “Failed It.”

This tea bread wasn’t one of my finest moments, and I’m not going to add it to my self-made cookbook. You may have better luck if you try it.

Orange Poppy Seed Tea Bread



• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1 teaspoon baking powder

• 1/4 teaspoon salt

• 1 tablespoon poppy seeds

• 2 teaspoons orange zest, finely chopped

• 1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened

• 1 cup granulated sugar

• 1 teaspoon vanilla

• 3 eggs

• 1/2 cup sour cream


• 1/3 cup powdered sugar

• 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice

• 1 teaspoon orange zest, finely chopped


• Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Spray bottom only of a loaf pan with nonstick cooking spray.  For tea bread, combine flour, baking powder, salt, poppy seeds and orange zest in a small bowl; mix well and set aside.

• In a larger bowl, beat butter on high speed of electric mixer 30 seconds.  Add sugar; continue beating 3 minutes until mixture is light and fluffy.  Add vanilla; beat well.

• On medium speed, add eggs, one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each.  Add one third of the flour mixture, beating on low speed just until combined.  Beat in half of the sour cream.  Add another one third of the flour mixture, the remaining sour cream, and then the remaining flour mixture.  Beating after each addition just until combined.  Pour batter into pan.

• Bake 60-65 minutes or until cake tester inserted in center comes out clean and top is golden brown.

• Meanwhile, for glaze, combine powdered sugar, orange juice and zest.

• Immediately remove bread from pan onto a nonstick cooling rack.  Brush some of the glaze onto top and sides of warn bread using a pastry brush.  Repeat several times with remaining glaze as bread cools.  Cool completely.  Cut into slices.  To store tea bread, wrap loosely in plastic wrap and store at room temperature.