Saturday, May 4, 2013

Very Lemon Loaf with Poppy Seeds



I originally made this for me and Jeremy as a little treat, but we enjoyed it so much I decided to share it here with all of you. Because I wasn't originally planning on posting it, I don't have any step-by-step photos for this post, unfortunately. But I DO have a lot of pictures of the final loaf and detailed instructions for each step. This is a sweet yeast loaf with lemon zest, lemon juice, lemon extract, and a poppy seed marble. And for a bit more tartness I covered the top with candied lemon slices before serving. The result was a sweet and slightly yeasty lemon loaf with the wonderful little textural crunch of poppy seeds mixed into the moist bread.


I added the poppy seeds right at the end of the kneading process to give it a slightly marbled look. It didn't turn out quite as marbled as I wanted, so if I were to make it again I'd double the amount of poppy seeds, which I already did in the recipe listed below. If you're not a fan of poppy seeds, though, feel free to omit them from the recipe. You can even throw in some flax or chia seeds if you're feeling extra-adventerous!



Ingredients:

Lemon Loaf

3 Cups Plus 2 Tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
2 and 1/2 Teaspoons Instant Yeast
3/4 Cup Plus 2 Tablespoons Lukewarm Water
6 Tablespoons Butter, room temperature
1/4 Cup Sugar
1 and 1/4 Teaspoons Salt
3 Tablespoons Poppy Seeds
2 Tablespoons Milk
1 Tablespoon Finely Grated Lemon Zest
1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
1 and 1/2 Teaspoons Lemon Extract
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cinnamon

Candied Lemons

1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Cup Water
2 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
15 Thinly Sliced Lemon Slices (about 1/4 inch thick with seeds removed)

Begin by making the lemon loaf. Knead together all of the ingredients except the poppy seeds either by hand or with the dough hook of an electric mixer. If you're using an electric mixer, mix on the second speed setting. Turn off and scrape down the sides of the bowl to help with mixing if necessary. Keep kneading and mixing until the dough for about 7 minutes or until it is relatively smooth and doesn't stick too much to the sides of the bowl. Add the poppy seeds and give it a few turns or kneads until the seeds have begun to disperse throughout the dough but are nowhere near evenly distributed. We want those thick streaks of poppy seeds!

Place the dough in a slightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise at room temperature and away from direct sunlight until it's roughly doubled in size, which can take around an hour if your room is on the chilly side. Do not allow your dough to rise too long or at too high of heat, otherwise it will become filled with air bubbles and collapse.

Remove the dough and set it on a lightly greased and floured surface. Knead the dough for 5 minutes by folding the dough in half towards you, and then gently but firmly rolling it away from you with the flattened palm of your hand (more tips on kneading in the Tips & Tricks tab above). Shape the dough into a rough loaf shape and place in a lightly greased 9 by 5 inch loaf pan, seam side down. Loosely cover the pan with a sheet of greased plastic wrap and allow the dough to rise until it just becomes taller than the pan. This can take up to an hour, but keep an eye on it.

While it is rising, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and begin making the candied lemon slices. Bring the sugar, water, and lemon juice to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Add the lemon slices and allow to simmer for 35-45 minutes, turning once, until the white pith is slightly translucent. Make sure the syrup is simmering and not at a rapid boil, as this will damage the thin slices and remove more of the lemon flavor. One done, remove the slices from the syrup with a slotted spoon and allow to cool on a wire rack with a couple sheets of paper towels underneath to catch any dripping syrup. Reserve the syrup in the pan.

When rising is complete, remove the plastic wrap and bake in the oven for 40-45 minutes. If you find that the bread is browning too quickly, tent some tin foil over it. Remove the loaf from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Brush some of the leftover syrup over the top of the loaf and arrange the candied lemon slices on top. Allow to cool completely before serving.




31 comments:

  1. Gorgeous loaf and the Candied Lemons really make me want to dive in! Thanks for sharing it (even though you didn't plan to) - I love it when recipes work out so well you just feel compelled to share!

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    1. Thank you Averie! I love it when that happens too :)

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  2. I'm really glad you decided to share the recipe, your cake looks so delicious! I love the candied lemon topping too!

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    1. Thank you Rosie! It added a nice sweetly concentrated lemon flavor.

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  3. Lemon poppy seed - my favorite.

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    1. Thanks so much! It is one of my favorites too :)

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  4. Mmmmmm, I love the idea of a sweet yeasted take on a traditional lemon and poppy seed cake. Gorgeous.

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    1. Thank you Sarah! I love yeasted sweet breads, so having one with some lemon and poppy seeds was a real treat!

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  5. I just love lemon-everything (I have a whole Pin board dedicated to lemon)!
    This looks so delish, and is next on my "must-make" list! thank you

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    1. You're very welcome! Lemon is such a great flavoring, it can add so much zest and brightness to both sweet and savory dishes. I love using it with butter, olive oil, salt, and pepper to season lamb. It is a very simple marinade but the citrus just complements the richness of the meat so incredibly well!

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  6. This looks incredible! Lemon and yeast bread together? How perfect is that for a fresh spring-time recipe??

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    1. Haha, thank you so much David!! It really is a super refreshing and wonderfully zingy little bread :)

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  7. Oh, I love how those poppy seeds look in that bread! Those streaks look great. Lemon poppy seed is one of my favorite combinations; in these days of nutella-bacon-coconut everything (not that there's anything wrong with that!), classic combos like this get overlooked. If I ever decide to post to my blog again, I took photos of a fudge I made for Kevin that I meant as a treat, but after he tried it, he told me I needed to share it. Hooray for unexpected blog posts!

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    1. Hooray indeed! I want to hear about this fudge recipe! I don't think I have ever made fudge myself, I helped my mom make it when I was little but that is the extent of my fudge-making abilities. I'd love to try making it sometime if you post it :)

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  8. Oh this looks so tasty! Thank you for sharing with us!

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    1. I am more than happy to! And thank you for your kind words!

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  9. Yeasted lemon poppy loaf is ingenius! What a sophisticated take... candied lemon slices in lieu of lemon glaze! I bet you'd be the hit of any summer potluck ;)

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    1. Haha, thanks Irina! It was a real treat :)

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  10. Oh man, does this sound good. And it's funny, because as I look at this bread, I'm realizing that in my mind, lemon + poppy seed has always seemed like a combination reserved for muffins only. Which is ridiculous! I'm pretty sure I'd like it better in a sweet bread that in a muffin, especially when it's topped with all those gorgeous candied lemons!

    I have one of those old school poppy seed grinders, and I've been meaning to use it to grind them up for a filling in...something. Possibly some sort of krantz cake thing. There's also this German crumb cake called mohnkuchen that I've been thinking about for a while now. Hmmmm. I need to decide on something, because I really should use that grinder for purposes besides decoration!

    Also, I got your card today! It was so sweet! If it had played the Golden Girls theme song, I think I would have died. :P I'm so glad you had as much fun as I did, and I can't wait to head out to the west coast this fall!!

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    1. Awww I am glad you liked the card! And I have heard amazing things about ground poppy seeds. My Mom is half Hungarian and I know that ground poppy seeds are huge in their desserts, I have never had them before though. I would love to see you make a mohnkuchen! It would encourage me to be less intimidated by them. I know they're just ground seeds but never having had them before makes me nervous about making something with them because I don't know what it would taste like. Silly but true!

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  11. I made a candied blood orange and poppy seed cake recently: citrus and poppy seeds are such a perfect match! And yeasted poppy seed bread reminds me of Makowiec, a Polish poppy seed roll I'm sure you would love!
    Also, I absolutely adore this zebra look! You're a genius!

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    1. Oohhhhhhh your loaf sounds heavenly! I love blood oranges SO much and look for every way to use them while they're in season, next year I am definitely going to try this idea out, it sounds delicious. And I just googled Makowiec, it looks amazing! I love the contrast between the bread and the poppy seed filling, it must taste wonderful with all those tasty seeds in there! And thank you for being so kind :)

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  12. Beautiful loaf and lemons go so well with poppy seeds!

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  13. poppy seeds are terrible for getting stuck between your teeth, but that never stops me from eating them. what a great-looking loaf!

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    1. Haha, me neither! Thank you Grace! :)

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  14. Gorgeous loaf of bread! Love all those candied lemons on top - I have 2 lemon trees in my backyard, and I still have lemons stored away from those trees, can you believe this?
    Poppy seeds are a nice touch!

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    1. That sounds lovely! I have been wanting to get a dwarf lemon tree for some time now, it would be so wonderful to just be able to grab some from the backyard. They're such a wonderfully versatile fruit!

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