I am a big King Arthur fan. Not the King Arthur of medieval legend, but the King Arthur Baking Company. They are an employee owned company that was founded in 1790, originated in Boston, and is now based in Norwich Vermont. In the late 1800s one of the early owners attended a performance of the musical, King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, inspiring them to name their new product, King Arthur Flour. This employee owned company has been named One of the Best Places to Work in Vermont every year since the inception of the award in 2006. I love their recipes, their products, and their bakeware. During this pandemic I have ordered soooo many new pieces of baking equipment, the latest being two tea loaf pans. These loaf pans are ceramic. They are longer and narrower so the slices are the perfect size. Apparently the perfect size for afternoon tea.
As soon as my pans arrived I looked up a recipe for Lemon Bread and got busy. Poppyseeds were optional in the recipe, but I think they’re a great addition. Interesting factoid, it takes about 3,300 poppy seeds to make up a gram, and between 1 and 2 million seeds to make up a pound. They are also rich in thiamine but I don’t know how much you’d have to eat to get your daily requirement. When I was still working and eating lunch out, I frequently met friends at a favorite department store restaurant. This bread reminds me of the lemon poppy seed muffins they served in the Cortland Room with a slice of their classic quiche Lorraine. My Jackson Michigan friends will remember. This bread recipe is from the King.
1 cup (198g) sugar
1/2 cup (99g) vegetable oil
3 T lemon zest
1/4 cup (58g) lemon juice
3/4 cup (170g) buttermilk
2 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 T baking powder
1 T poppy seeds
2 1/2 cups (300g) flour
Lemon Glaze and Lemon Butter Ingredients:
1/2 cup (116g) lemon juice
2/3 cup (132g) sugar
8 T (113g) butter
1/4 tsp salt
Preheat your oven to 350.
In a large bowl combine the sugar, oil, lemon zest, and lemon juice and beat until well combined.
In a separate bowl or large measuring cup, beat together the buttermilk and the eggs.
Finally, combine all of the dry ingredients and whisk to mix evenly.
Add the dry ingredients and buttermilk mixture alternately to the sugar/oil mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as necessary. When everything is incorporated, pour the batter into the prepared pan. I line my pan with parchment paper and spray with Pam for baking. The overhanging parchment paper makes it easy to lift the bread out of the pan for slicing once it has cooled.
Bake for 50-60 minutes if you are using a standard loaf pan, 40-45 minutes with the tea loaf pan. Bake until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove bread from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.
While your bread is baking make your glaze. Whisk together 1/2 cup of fresh squeezed lemon juice with 2/3 cup of sugar, and microwave on high for 30 seconds to dissolve the sugar. A little longer if necessary. Brush half of the mixture on the bread as it cools.
To make the lemon butter, pour the other half of the lemon sugar mixture into a small saucepan set over medium heat. Simmer until the liquid has a syrupy consistency. Remove from the heat and allow to cool to room temperature. Whip the syrup with 1 stick of room temperature butter. Chill and spread on lemon bread.
Once the bread has cooled, slice and enjoy!
The bread is very moist, and the glaze and lemon butter accentuate the lemony taste. A little bit tart, a little bit sweet.
NOTE: It wasn’t until I started baking the sour dough breads that I started weighing out most of my ingredients. King Arthur recipes always include measurements and weights. Several cookbooks I’ve looked through for baked goods recipes use only weights.
The poppy seeds were optional in the original recipe and can be omitted if you choose.