Tuesday, December 29, 2009

lemon poppyseed bread

OK, in all honesty, there are still Christmas treats at the homestead. Roasted nuts, tarts, lamingtons, shortbread cookies, assorted squares, etc. However, I woke up and realized I was looking at a pile of lemons that are soon going to be seeing the crappier side of life. I needed to put them in action.

I thought about making lemon squares, but that seemed too close to the Christmas treats we are already swimming in. So I ended up heading in the lemon quick bread/muffin recipe direction. Browsing around, I settled on yet another recipe from Joy of Baking. Seriously, go bookmark this site if you haven't already. You'll love it.

I wasn't going to add a lemon-sugar glaze to this loaf, so I opted to chop (not grate) the zest of one entire large lemon. This as you can see, adds quite obvious pockets of lemon goodness to the slices. The result was a success. Without the glaze it's not nearly as sweet, and almost feels healthy compared to those Christmas treats we've all been eating. Give it a go if you like this sort of thing.

Lemon Poppyseed Bread

*adapted from Joy of Baking

3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
1 1/2 cups (210 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
Zest of one lemon, chopped
3 tablespoons (30 grams) poppy seeds
13 tablespoons (184 grams) unsalted butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Spray with a non stick vegetable oil, the bottom and sides of a loaf pan (8 x 4 x 2 1/2 inch). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and spray again.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla extract, and milk. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and poppy seeds until combined. Add the softened butter and half the egg mixture and mix on low speed until moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about one minute. This aerates and develops the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining egg mixture in two batches, beating about 30 seconds after each addition. This will strengthen the structure of the batter.

Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You may have to cover the bread with buttered foil after about 30 minutes if you find the bread over browning.

Cool the loaf in the pan for about 10 minutes then invert onto a greased wire rack. Dig in!


H.Peter said...

Sounds like an interesting concept....

Chris said...

I know some people pass on the poppyseeds, but they add so much.

H.Peter said...

In Austria, we bake a lot with Poppy seeds. Ground up for Danishes, strudel and even as toppings on dessert.

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