Lemon-poppy seed bread

Yield: 10 servings

Measure Ingredient
3 tablespoons Poppy seeds; fresh
½ cup Milk; 2% lowfat
5 tablespoons Unsalted butter; at room temperature
1 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1½ cup All-purpose flour; unbleached
1 teaspoon Baking powder
2 Lemon zest; grated
¼ teaspoon Salt
¼ cup Granulated sugar
¼ cup Fresh lemon juice

LEMON SYRUP

1. In a small bowl, combine the poppy seeds and milk. Let stand 1 hour to macerate and meld flavours.

2. Preheat oven to 325F. Cream the butter and sugar in the work bowl of an electric mixer. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine the flour, baking powder, lemon zest, and salt in a small bowl. Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture in three equal portions, alternating with the poppy seed milk. Beat just until smooth.

3. Pour the batter into a greased 9-by-5-inch loaf pan and bake in the centre of the preheated oven until golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the centre of the loaf comes out clean, about 55 to 65 minutes. Place the loaf in the pan on a cooling rack.

4. Meanwhile, to make the lemon syrup, combine the sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan. Place over low heat just until the sugar dissolves. Set aside. Pierce the hot loaf about a dozen times to the bottom with a bamboo skewer, toothpick, or metal cake tester. Immediately pour over the hot lemon syrup. Cool 30 minutes before turning out of the pan onto a rack to cool completely. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and let stand at room temperature overnight before serving.

NOTES : Beth Hensperger (with photography by Joyce Oudkerk Pool), "The Art of quick Breads: Simple Everyday Baking," Chronicle Books, San Francisco, 1994, paperback, ISBN 0-8118-0353-8(pbk), Distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books, 112 East Third Ave., Vancouver, B.C. V5T 1C8, catalogued as 641.815, Toronto Public Library, borrowed may 1998. About the poppy seeds: "Soaking the seeds before adding them to the batter accentuates their elusive flavour. Poppy seeds can range from a clear slate blue to blue-black in colour, with a corresponding wide range of sweetness. In specialty stores, look for Dutch blue poppy seeds, as they are the highest quality and very sweet. Store seeds in the freezer to prevent rancidity because, like nuts, they have a high oil content. The recipe calls for milk. I have specified 2% milk. 2 lemon zests means the zest of 2 lemons.

In general, Beth Hensperger recommends that any quickbreads to be frozen be wrapped first in plastic, then in foil.

Recipe by: Beth Hensperger, The Art of Quick Breads, p. 14 Posted to EAT-LF Digest by "Ellen Pickett" <ellen@...> on Jul 7, 1999, converted by MM_Buster v2.0l.

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