Monday, March 5, 2012

In My Kitchen - Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

I love cooking and the kitchen is definitely my happy place. There is a certain rhythm to cooking that soothes me and provides comfort. There are the tasks that become rote not in a boring way but in a way that signals comfort and a reassuring predictability. This part of cooking is meditative and for a person like me, with a mind that feels as though it is almost always on overdrive, it is a welcome retreat. The other side of cooking is the creative. New recipes, new ingredients, new techniques. It is challenging and stretches my abilities and ideas. I love this artistic side. Most of the time I feel like a creative person without an outlet, I cannot paint or sing, but cooking provides me that space. In honor of my love of cooking, I would like to start a series on the blog called In My Kitchen where I can share recipes and cooking related experiences with you.

Today, I would like to share a recipe I have made twice now, which says a lot in itself as I do not tend to repeat recipes, and which has become an instantaneous favorite in our house.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread!

This bread is really delicious! The yogurt in the recipes ensures that the bread turns out moist and remains so even in the days after baking. My favorite part of the recipe is the genius, lemon syrup which you pour over the bread after it is done cooking. This infuses the bread with a bright, tangy lemon flavor.

Usually, on the weekends we head out to our favorite pasticcerie (bakeries) for breakfast so it says a lot that we happily stayed in and enjoyed this bread on both Saturday and Sunday.

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread 
Adapted slightly from Smitten Kitchen

1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt
1 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 extra-large eggs
Zest of 2 lemons
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup of poppy seeds
Juice of 2 lemons

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8 1/2 by 4 1/4 by 2 1/2-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper. Grease and flour the pan.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt into 1 bowl. In another bowl, whisk together the yogurt, 1 cup sugar, the eggs, lemon zest, vanilla and oil. Slowly stir the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Mix in the poppy seeds. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 50 (+) minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean.
Meanwhile, cook the lemon juice and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar in a small pan until the sugar dissolves. Set aside.
When the bread is done, allow it to cool in the pan for 10 minutes before flipping out onto a cooling rack. Carefully place on a baking rack over a sheet pan. While the bread is still warm, make a series of holes in the top of the bread with a toothpick - this will give the liquid a place to go and it will help ensure the bread is evenly and completely saturated. Then pour the lemon-sugar mixture over the bread and allow it to soak in. Cool.

1 comment:

Nicole Marie said...

oh i want that so bad!! i haven't done any cooking or baking since i moved here