The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Orange Infused Avocado Sourdough Bread

Shiao-Ping's picture

Orange Infused Avocado Sourdough Bread

Making breads must be a disease like any other addiction.  You don't want to stop once you get going.  


We just planted a baby avocado tree in our backyard.  A big storm last November uprooted one of our jacaranda trees and there was a spot available.  It will be years before our avocado bears fruit if it survives, but I am getting ahead of my game and practising my skill.  

Hass avocado is our favorite variety of avocado here in Australia.  Apparently in the U.S. it accounts for more than 80% of the avocado crop, including 95% of the California crop.  So, plenty is available.

I once made an avocado moose with orange cream and the kids loved it.  I haven't tried avocado in breads.  The tricky part would be how to let the sourdough shine - would the oil in avocado interfere with the sourdough culture? and, how to preserve the vibrant green color?  I know I will need the help of a little bit of instant yeast.  As well, I am pairing orange with avocado as avocado on its own may be a bit bland.  There may be one too many flavors but this is just my first try.



 250 g starter (refreshed last night at 75% hydration)

 485 g King Arthur Flour Sir Lancelot white bread flour

100 g water

100 g orange juice (about 1  1/2 navel oranges)

10 g very fine orange zest (about 1  1/2 navel oranges)

20 g honey

1.5 g instant yeast (1/2 tsp)


the avocado mixture

150 g roughly mashed avocado (about 1  1/2 medium size avocado)

10 g lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)

11 g salt


I was aiming for a final dough hydration of around 63.5% and I figured the oil/liquid in avocado is anywhere from 40 - 50% its weight. 



              orange zest                                                                       mixing with avocado


I first mixed the starter, flour, orange and honey (for no more than 30 seconds), and while the sticky mess was being infused in orange flavors in resting, I prepared the ingredients for my avo mixture.  I chose the avocado slightly under ripe as I find if avo is too ripe it tends to oxidise too quickly once it's open.  I left it to the last minute to cut open my avo, mashed it with lemon juice and salt - the mixture is great to eat as is - then, chucked it right into my bread machine and turned it on at low speed.  I had to help the machine as the avo was swept aside and not being mixed in.


The rest of the procedure is pretty standard.  Today the weather was warmer than yesterday (around 21C); the first fermentation took 4 hours.  I divided the dough into two pieces and shaped.  Proofing was another 1 1/2 hours.  And here is today's bake:


The boule



The...(what do you call this shape?)



                                         The bread basket


The crumb was a little bit on the dense side, but the aroma!... the orange fragrance really comes through the crumb!  The avocado was also there. The crumb color was a pale olive green (somehow the crumb photo below does not show the color accurately but the open sandwich picture further down is more true).  We sliced the bread after 30 minutes from the oven (couldn't wait any longer), the first thing that hit us was orange, then a slight hint of avocado.  The interest thing was, after the bread rested for another hour and a half, the sourdough taste comes alive.   It was only then that all flavors and sourdough have come together nicely. 


The crumb


There is definitely room for improvement on the crumb.  I am sure Sir Lancelot flour was not the right choice of flour as it is a high protein, hard wheat flour.  I used it because I've only just received it from America and wanted to try it out.  For a more open crumb I should have used a lower protein and more balanced flour.   Nontheless, for the moment, I am happy to have it on its own or in a sandwich...


The open sandwich


The forefathers in 18th century Paris making sourdough breads in their little dark dungeons in the wee hours of the morning, had they had access to ample fresh avocado supply, and fresh oranges supply, would they not have tried the combination?

I've got to finish reading S L Kaplan's book before I get any older.                 





Crustybread's picture

Your bread looks good. You must have gotten the idea for Avocado Bread from Teresa's site Discovering Sourdough from her blog entry, she mentioned making Avocado bread and I thought it was a creative idea. I was thinking of trying it myself.


xaipete's picture

What an interesting idea to fold in avocado and orange rind! I'm sure you could taste the orange, but what about the avocado? Was the taste of the avocado present?


mlgriego's picture

I use blood orange avocado oil in lots of things like homemade granola but always when I made buckwheat waffles.  We love them and once my Dad tried them his wife now has to keep a nice stock of the oil.  We love avocados so I have to try this using my oil and fresh avocados to see how it comes out.  I bet this would make wonderful croutons for a nice salad???

Your bread looks beautiful!

Melody in Santa Fe

Reuben Morningchilde's picture
Reuben Morningchilde

I've been following your posts here with eager interest, and I just wanted to thank you for bringing all these amazing, interesting, inspiring, and entirely delicious looking breads to my attention.

Great baking, great pictures, great writing.


Shiao-Ping's picture

Hi Melody, I've just finished my breakfast with a piece of this toasted orange infused avocado bread, it was most delicious, better than yesterday.  The orange perfume has mellowed significantly and I think it's much nicer this way.  I love your croutons idea - how wonderful would it be on a bed of green salad, lots of rockets and baby spinach, and avocado, and drizzle with your blood orange avocado oil!


And, thank you Reuben, for your most flattering remarks.  I think, like most things in cuisine, some like savory, others don't; some like lots of greens, others like lots of meats; and as for me, I just like lots of starchy things!  Isn't it funny? So, breads really suit me.  But I like to experiment on different ideas.   It's hard for me to do the same thing all the time.  


Xaipete, Pamela, the avocado is present in the color of the bread and the oil in the bread (which makes the bread extra moist).  As for the taste, well, avocodo doesn't have a stand-out taste on its own, does it.


Hello, Crustybread, I absolutely loooove Teresa Greenway's Discovering Sourdough blog, and I did read that post but I was more focusing on how she made her multigrain sourdough so beautifully with open crumb, and can't really remember her mentioning about avocodo.  Her sourdough breads are absolutely beautiful.  I think different indredients are present everywhere in the world, aren't there?  One lasting memory I had nearly 25 years ago when I first came to Australia was the bag of avocados in my boy-friend (now husband)'s car when we're driving to the beach for holiday.  That was the first time I ever had avocodo! I thought at the time that avocado was an Australian thing! Silly me.  I love green color and I have tried several times to incorporate the color into my breads.  One other idea (in addition to using avocado) is mashed peas.  I don't know if you know but Australians are big on their meat pies.  The best meat pies always come with mashed peas and gravy.  So one bread I used to make was putting mashed peas into the dough; but the way I make it is to pan-fry the peas with lots of garlic, then mash it (but reserve a small portion of peas unmashed), so the bread has both very mashed peas and whole peas for different effect and texture.  It was about a month ago, I asked my daughter how would I call this bread - because "pea bread" sounds revolting! she said, how about "goodness green bread!"  I said would people know this is referring to peas?  Well, that was the end of it.  I even made mashed pea challa (or should I say, bioche).  Actually, in terms of incorporating vegitable into breads, I think corns work much better; there is a special sweetness in corns, when fried in garlic, the sweetness is caramelized and gives out a very nice fragrance (fresh corns are way better than frozen corns).   Recently, Susan of Wild Yeast made a lovely Spelt-Carrot Bread.  I wondered why the crumb not red even though she used a large quantity of carrot juice.  Wouldn't it be interesting to make a red sourdough.  Maybe it was the photo.  But there you go - another idea of using "vegitable" in the breads.  And of course, we see potato in breads quite often. 


Thank you for all your comments.



sam's picture


I know this is an older thread, I am a newbie and ran across this post while searching for honey.

The creativity is amazing.

If you are still checking posts, I was curious about the acidity.  I could be wrong but I thought sourdough imparts acidity to a bread, and the above recipe also has orange and lemon, which is also fairly acidic.  Was it too much?  Or did the avocado balance it out?   I haven't checked what kind of pH an avocado is.   But it is fascinating.   

Your bread looks great though, and no doubt it probably tasted great.  It looked great!





Shiao-Ping's picture

Try it for yourself.  If you like avocado and lemon like myself, you'll like this bread.  You may also consider putting some cracked pepper.


shaylaaaa's picture

i was so enticed by this recipe and the surplus of avocados in my kitchen yesterday ... my two tries at this recipe left me with flat unrisen breads !! i've become quite accustomed to the humidity and subsequent changes to baking recipes, being that i live in vietnam, but this one is gonna bug me til i get it right !! i have to say, it smelled and tested great, regardless to the look of it !

Shiao-Ping's picture

Sorry that I didn’t come back to you sooner; I was travelling.  If your problem is that the bread didn’t rise, there could be at least three possible reasons: (1) that your starter was weak, and so the dough did not ferment probably; (2) or, if the starter was healthy and strong, maybe the dough was over- fermented due to the heat and humidity in Vietnam?  If your room temp is 28 – 30 degree C, you will have to cut down the fermentation time by 1/4 to 1/3.  Flat bread could be a result of either under-fermentation or over.  (3) Or, perhaps the instant yeast amount is just too little for you.  You could put in up to 1% bakers percentage in instant yeast, which means it would be 2 teaspoons, rather than 1/2 teaspoon
as in my formula.  

Hope you get better result next time!

ninjacito's picture

I made this bread with a few variations. The avocados I used were ripe, I used tangerines instead of oranges since they're in season right now, and omitted the lemons and commercial yeast. Also, the dough was extremely sticky, I think I probably doubled the flour content.

As for the procedure, I first fermented the dough for 4 hours and then retarded the dough in the fridge for 16 hours, thinking the extra fermentation time would help with the crumb texture. Then I proofed te dough at room temperature for 2 hours before baking. It proofed really nicely both in the fermentation and proofing stages, but I got little to no oven spring out of the dough.  Great tangerine flavor, I don't really notice the avocado except in the moistness of the crumb from the fat content.

Shiao-Ping's picture

Hi thank you very much for your input. From your discription it sounds like your dough may have been over-proved and that's why there was no oven spring and the crumb was  maybe dense. I have problems with a lot of my breads being dense too. I think fermentation and proofing are such delicate things that I get them right once for a type of bread I made but I can't assume the next time when I make the exact same bread that I would get it right again. We are not professional bakers and we don't have set variables all the time.Hope you have better luck next time. I would suggest cutting down the fermentation time and if you do want to try the same time schedule, then try lowering the dough hydration.  Thanks again. Shiao Ping

ninjacito's picture

Do you use a hydrometer?

Shiao-Ping's picture

No, I don't.

ninjacito's picture

how do you tell the % of hydration in your starter?