Friday, March 4, 2011

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread


Remember how incredibly proud I was of my little lemon tree, which produced more fruit than ever this year? Well, I got quite the reality check when my neighbor knocked on my door a couple of weeks ago with a HUGE bucket full of lemons, inquiring if I would like some of those lemons and that she had plenty more where those came from. Her bucket surely put my little tree to shame. However, I didn't waste any time to answer yes and was "convinced" to take some lemons off her hands. I kept thinking of all the sweet dishes, savory dishes and lemonades I could possibly make with this abundance of citrus. Faced with the extremely hard task of what to use my bounty on first, I began searching the internet for lemon desserts. No sooner had I started looking than when I found this great looking and sounding recipe for a lemon poppy seed loaf. I have loved the combination of those two for a long time and have made Dorie Greenspan's Lemon Poppy Seed Muffins countless times since I first featured them on my blog.

This recipe comes courtesy of Joyofbaking.com.  This bread uses a slightly different method than what I have been used to. Instead of creaming the butter and sugar until light in color and fluffy before adding the eggs, this recipe goes about it in a reversed way. All the dry ingredients are mixed together before adding all of the softened butter and half of the egg/milk mixture. The premise behind this method is that it will reduce some of the gluten formation and with that produce a wonderful quick bread that is almost velvety in texture. What also sets this bread apart is a simple glaze of fresh lemon juice and sugar which is cooked until syrupy, and then brushed over the freshly baked loaf that has been poked with a wooden skewer. By doing so the lemon flavor will penetrate throughout this already wonderful bread and you will get full on, mouth-puckering lemon flavor without adding any artificial lemon extract and as an added benefit it will make this bread even more moist and tender. Each and every bite is loaded with a citrus explosion.

This recipe makes one loaf. Mine turned out a bit short since my loaf pan is slightly bigger then what the recipe calls for, but that certainly did not affect the taste one bit. The first time I made this bread, it was gone in the blink of an eye (I'm talking less then 12 hours). I've baked several of these loaves since, giving some to neighbors (especially my lemon bearing friend), friends, colleagues, high school kids and teachers. As soon as I bake one of them, it pretty much disappears and it is safe to assume that this recipe has been an absolute hit with everyone who has been on the receiving end. I'm even going as far as saying that this recipe has replaced my previous favorite, which happened to be Dorie's lemon poppy seed muffins. I'm pretty sad since my lemon abundance has come to an end and I will have to wait almost a whole year before being able to reap the benefits of  the lemon trees in my neighbors backyard again. So Tahnya, if you are reading this, I'll be more than happy to take some more off your hands next year. Deal?



Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
~makes 1 loaf~

Ingredients:
For the bread:
3 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/4 cup (60 ml) milk
1 1/2 cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour, sifted
3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (outer yellow skin of the lemon)
3 tablespoons (30 grams) poppy seeds
13 tablespoons (184 grams) unsalted butter, softened

For the lemon syrup: 
1/4 cup (60 ml) fresh lemon juice 
1/3 cup (65 grams) granulated white sugar

Preparation:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour 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 butter and flour the paper.

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 aerated 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.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the sugar and lemon juice to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. When the bread is done, remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Pierce the hot loaf all over with a wooden skewer or toothpick and then brush the top of the loaf with about half the hot lemon syrup. Cool the loaf in the pan for about 10 minutes then invert onto a greased wire rack. Brush the remaining syrup onto the bottom and the sides of the loaf. Re-invert the bread so it is right side up and then cool the bread completely before wrapping. Store for a few hours before serving to allow the lemon syrup to distribute throughout the loaf.

Adapted from: Joyofbaking.com

36 comments:

  1. That looks so good! I may have to try my hand at baking this weekend.

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  2. Love lemon poppy seed bread and so jealous you have a lemon tree! Susi, I hope you're doing well and feeling 100% (=

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  3. I made poppyseed bread over the holidays and so wished I had added lemon zest! This looks awesome, and I bet it would be even better slathered in lemon curd- the more lemon, the better!

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  4. What a beautiful loaf! An interesting method to mix it together. I've been craving a lemon poppy seed bread....I'm going to have to try this out.

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  5. Is it weird that I've been craving leom poppy seed loaf? Kinda, right? Well, this doesn't help! I need to make it and soon! mmmmmm

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  6. My neighbors have a nice tree that I *borrow* from. This looks so delightful! Love it. have a great weekend.

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  7. this looks beautiful! i love how moist this is too. thank you for sharing this.

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  8. My husband loves poppy sweets and this would be the perfect one for him. It looks picture perfect!

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  9. That is some beautiful bread. Love lemon poppy seed bread, muffins, dressing...

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  10. *Sob* I want to live someplace where I can have a lemon tree. Sighh.. It's a someday dream.

    Susi your bread is lovely!

    Laura

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  11. Susi- I love how you explained the difference between this lemon poppyseed bread and all the other ones. It definitely helped me to understand why this bread would be far superior to the rest. I can see that it is very moist (most likely from the fantastic glaze). I will definitely have to try this recipe.

    Heading over to check out your post on Tyler's beef stew now:)

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  12. My daughter would love if I surprised her with a glazed loaf of your wonderful bread...I'm going to print off a copy :)

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  13. Lemons off the tree are so delicious. You are so lucky, not only to have your own tree, but generous neighbors, too! My husband brought me home a bunch of lemons from Florida last year (from a business trip). Their flavor was ten times better than store bought, so I can just imagine how great that luscious loaf tasted.

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  14. Sharing on Foodbuzz is always an "a ha" moment for me. I was just organizing my book shelves and came across several old edition cookbooks, one is the Joy of Cooking. This recipe looks delicious and definitely worth making to enjoy for a pick me up on a rainy weekend. I should check out the joyofbaking.com.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Joanne

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  15. What a luscious sounding bread with that lemon syrup! A delectable treat. I bet you're neighbor is happy she shared!

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  16. I am so jealous of your lemons! I wish I could grow citrus in my backyard! This lemon poppyseed bread looks absolutely wonderful. :)

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  17. I love lemon flavor and I can just imagine that slight crunch on my teeth, which I love, from the poppy seeds. But did you know that poppy seeds can cause a false positive on drug tests? Since my husband and I both are subject to random drug testing (employment related) we avoid them. Unfortunately.

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  18. Gorgeous! I love the technique on this bread and will definitely try it soon!

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  19. Mmm..Lemon poppy seed is one of my favorite quick breads. I love the lemon syrup you have brushed all over it. I would love to have a citrus tree at my house!

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  20. Gorgeous, Susi! That is heaven in a loaf pan if I've ever seen it. I adore lemony baked goods, but I'm in the minority in my household in that respect so I don't make them often enough for my taste. I remember you talking about your lemon tree in the past--what a treasure to have in your own backyard! You're one lucky bakin' lady! :) Your photos are big, bright, and vibrant. I love them.

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  21. This is so beautiful, and looks so so tasty! Nicely done Susi!

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  22. I'm glad you've had so many lemons this year, because you've been posting some great lemon recipes!

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  23. wow...I just love lemon cake with poppy seeds. one of my favorites and ur has come out so perfect. wud try ur recipe next time !

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  24. I love it! A lemon explosion!!!

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  25. This looks wonderful and easy! Great photos!

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  26. I was looking for a poppy seed bread recipe. I haven't baked with the lemon poppy seed combination in a long time and this looks like a great breakfast bread for my busy days :)

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  27. Oh, Susi!! What a gorgeous loaf! I love the photo with the lemon on top, novel idea.
    I know what you mean about the bucket of lemons, I had a similar issue with oranges. I was so proud of our tree and the 100+ oranges that it produced, then my dad keeps showing up with bag after bag of oranges and he still has more!
    I never really get a chance to say it, but thanks for all your comments. I don't know how you do it all, family, cook, blog AND comment on each and every thing I make... you are simply amazing.

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  28. What a blessing these were to the people lucky enough to be near you! Your bread looks and sounds just amazing. And from your own lemon tree? Even better! Thank you for sharing! I hope you have a happy week. Your posts bring me joy...thank you for being you!

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  29. That looks like the perfect snack! Wish I were nibbling a slice right now!

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  30. I've been craving lemon poppyseed cake and will have to make a loaf soon.

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  31. Gorgeous lemon bread, Susi! I LOVE poppy seed and lemon desserts. My dad has a little lemon tree.Maybe he'll be sharing some soon with me:)

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  32. I am making this right now!! Can't wait to eat it!!

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  33. How much does this make? One or two loafs?

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    Replies
    1. The recipe makes one loaf! Thanks for stopping by :-)

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