Jan 26, 2013

lemon sweet bread

This past week has taught me two things.  First of all, I realized that it doesn't take much snow to ruin your day.  Just a few inches, falling quickly enough, can easily through off your whole day's schedule.  Two days this week started that way.  Ridiculously long drives to work do not make me a happy camper.

I also learned something wonderful.  There is nothing better than new carpet.  Nothing.

Puppy agrees.  He refused to sleep in his bed the first night we got the new carpet.  The carpet was just too warm, soft, and inviting.  

We finally finished remodeling the first room in our house, our master bedroom.  It's crazy how much a fresh coat of paint and some clean, cushiony carpet can change the mood of the room.  We've now got our serene retreat.  It seems like the rest of the house can be ripped apart, but once we close our bedroom door, it all disappears.  (At least I say that now...when the rest of the house isn't yet ripped apart.)

So, the moral of the story is that sometimes life is a little bitter (or bitter cold) and sometimes it's a little sweet, kind of like this winter citrus treat.

Last winter I tried a sweet quick bread with blood oranges.  It was amazing.  So, I decided to try it again with lemons.  I adjusted the ingredients slightly based on what we had in our pantry at the moment.  But, I'm happy to say that it turned out just as tasty as the original.

Lemon Sweet Bread
Makes 1 loaf

  • 1 tbsp vinegar
  • 1 c minus 1 tbsp milk
  • 1 c all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 c whole wheat flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 c plus 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1/3 c plus 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (3 lemons, for me)
  • 1 c powdered sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease, flour, and line a loaf pan with parchment paper.  In a large bowl, combine the vinegar and the milk.  Set it aside.  In a small bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt and baking soda.  After the milk and vinegar have sat for a few minutes, add 1 cup sugar, eggs, zest, and vanilla to the milk mixture.  Mix everything well.  Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, whisking as you go.  Add the vegetable oil to the batter and mix it just until everything's incorporated.  Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan.  Bake the bread for 50-60 minutes or until bread is starting to brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

While the bread is baking, prepare the lemon syrup by combining 1 tbsp sugar and 1/3 c lemon juice in a small saucepan.  Cook it over low heat until the sugar is completely dissolved.  Set the syrup aside.

You can prepare the lemon icing at this point, as well.  Mix together the 2 tbsp lemon juice and the powdered sugar in a small bowl, until there are no more sugar lumps.  Set the icing aside.

When the bread is done, let it cool for about 10 minutes before removing it from the pan to a wire rack.  Immediately pour the lemon syrup over it, so it is absorbed.  Let the bread cool completely and then pour the lemon icing over it and enjoy!

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