Sunday, January 23, 2011
The life of a lemon bread.
It starts with lemons.
There is some zesting of lemon, and a mixing bowl or two, and an amazing smell of baked lemon bread filling the house. Make sure to hang around for that smell. I suggest leaving the kitchen for a few minutes and enjoying the aroma from a different room, just to really embrace the effect that sweet lemon can have on a home on a cold winter day. It's really one of the best parts.
Then, there is a week of eating lemon bread for breakfast, after dinner, and before bed. It's best to just set the loaf on the counter, on a cutting board, wrapped in cling wrap or aluminum foil, with a knife handy at all times. From there, you can slice off a piece whenever you want. This bread goes especially nicely with a tall glass of milk. It also makes a very nice snack while writing a blog post. Just saying.
Here's another good part: This bread is really cake. But you pour the batter into a loaf pan, and just like that, it's bread. So you can slice it up like bread, and eat it for breakfast and before bed, and even while you blog, and all the while, there is this sweet, gooey, lemony glaze that has saturated the top crust, and it quietly screams "Cake!" as you break it apart and eat it with your bare hands, at any time of day.
In the end, after the week is up, there is another loaf of lemon bread, bright and freshly baked. Eat, enjoy, repeat.
Glazed Lemon Bread (from Simply Recipes)
I used Meyer lemons for both loaves, and they were delicious.
4 ounces (1 stick/8 Tbsp) butter, softened
1 cup minus 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
1 Tbsp honey
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 Tbsp lemon zest, from 1 large lemon
1/2 cup whole milk (I used low-fat milk)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 cup lemon juice (from about 1 1/2 lemons)
1/3 cup sugar
1 Tbsp honey
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter a 4x8-inch or 5x9-inch loaf pan.
Sift together the flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium-sized bowl. Set aside.
With a mixer, beat the butter until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the sugar and honey, continue to beat until creamy, a few minutes more. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition to incorporate. On low speed, slowly beat the milk in. Do not worry if the mixture looks a little curdled. Mix in lemon zest.
Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients, beating until smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 1 hour at 350°F.
While the lemon bread is baking, prepare the glaze. Heat the glaze ingredients in a small saucepan on low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.
When the bread is done, poke holes all over the top with a thin skewer or toothpick (this will help the glaze penetrate). Spoon the glaze over it while the bread is still in the pan and is still hot. Use a brush to make sure every corner is covered. Use all of the glaze! Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from pan and slicing to serve.
Makes one loaf.