Monday, June 1, 2009

Lemon-Poppy Seed Bread


I'd like to introduce you to my new infatuation.  Some girls might always go for a rich chocolate, making sure their indulgences taste and feel indulgent.  You know, the dark and handsome type.  I for one prefer blondes.  Although I'll never turn down a piece of chocolate anything, as soon as you talk citrus you have my attention.  


When I was little, I used to tell my sister that I wanted to have a key lime wedding pie.  Or better, many key lime wedding pies, all stacked up into a tower.  I promised her a single chocolate cupcake on the side, since she insists on hating lime.  Interesting that that was the only plan I ever made for my wedding before now.  Never one to sit around and imagine my future husband, my dress, my location, the only thing I was concerned for was the food.  The more things change, the more the stay they same, as they say.


The challenge of making my own wedding cake won out over the key lime wedding pie in the end, although who knows, maybe I'll throw one together at the last second.  But to make up for it, I have this lemon cake for you.  And the reason it's so brilliant is because aside from the zest of 2 lemons in the cake itself, the lemon juice glaze moistens and brightens it, and gives it a layer of sugary stick on top so that you have to lick your fingers of all the lemony crumbs at the end.  A finger-licking cake.  Bliss.

Lemon-Poppy Seed Bread
From Beth Hensperger's The Art of Quick Breads

3 tablespoons fresh poppy seeds
1/2 cup milk (I used skim and it was fine)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
Grated zest of 2 lemons
1/4 teaspoon salt

For the syrup

1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

Combine the poppy seeds and the milk in a bowl and let sit for 1 hour to meld flavors.

Preheat the oven to 325 F.  Cream the butter and sugar together, along with the lemon zest.  Add the eggs one at a time, being sure to beat after each addition.  In a small bowl, combine the flour, the baking powder and the salt in a small bowl.  Add these dry ingredients to the creamed ingredients in three portions.  Alternate these addition with the poppy seed milk.  Beat the mixture only until smooth.

Pour the batter into a greased 9x5" loaf pan and bake for 55-65 minutes.  In the meantime, make the lemon syrup by combining both ingredients in a small sauce pan.  Place over low heat and stir just until the sugar is dissolved in the lemon juice.  

Once the loaf is removed from the oven, pierce it all over the top with a toothpick.  Drizzle the glaze over the cake.  Allow to rest for 30 minutes in the pan before turning it out onto a rack to cool.

Notes

* The book asks that you add the zest to the dry ingredients, but I've always creamed it with the sugar.  The sugar acts as a kind of sandpaper, releasing the zest's oils into the batter.

9 comments:

Elra said...

Andrea, this bread sounds like the ultimate poppy seed bread. Anything with lemon and poppy seed will win my heart. Delicious!

JerryNJ said...

Geepers Andrea, perhaps you should have branded a warning on this particular recipe.

This poppy seed infused recipe, although seemingly delicious, should not be consummed by anyone attempting to pass a drug test, especially for employment.

Read under "False positive drug tests"
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Poppy

Tell me, I suppose you've got some ideas to liven up brownies?

LOL

*!*

unconfidentialcook said...

I'm one of those chocolate girls...but I have to say that this looks like a great change of pace, especially as the weather warms and nobody but me wants to eat anything rich.

Andrea said...

JerryNJ, I think you just won the comment of the month award! I've heard of those "special brownies" you talk about ;-)

Dragon said...

Lemon and poppy seeds. Two things that were meant to be togehter. Lovely bread!

Kitchen Flavours said...

Oh wow looks droolworthy......

Chrissy Bell said...

smells soo cook baking! I can't wait to try....hope it tastes as good!!

Chrissy said...

I realize my last comment made no sense. But I brought this to the bf's family's house for the 4th and they loved it! Everyone ate is every morning for breakfast. Good win :)

Yomi said...

MOUTH WATERING !
GORGEOUS!
EXCELLENT WORK!!