Lemon Tea Bread
This is really a cake disguised as a bread. (The little minx.)
If it seems as though just about all the sweet breads that I make involve lemons, you're right, they do. But each is unique in it's own way...I think.
It's kind of hard to keep track of former recipes when I fall head-over-heels in love with the current one.
Maybe I'm the minx.
At any rate, sweet breads are fantastic because they're so easy to prepare. Sometimes you just crave a textured, tender crumb that only cakes can deliver, but you don't want to fuss with the layered minions. Even though I have had a few problems with loaf pans, they're generally quite cordial, and much less dramatic than their round cousins.
This particular sweet bread/cake is soft, airy, and, most importantly, tart. It was just a wee bit on the dry side...next time, I think I'll poke holes all around the top, and allow the glaze to sink through. But it's quick, and sprightly, and perfect for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Not all cakes can claim such triple threat status.
Lemon Tea Bread
Makes one 8 x 4-inch loaf
for the bread
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking Powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
Zest from 2 lemons
1/2 cup (that's 1 stick) unsalted, room temperature butter
2 room temperature eggs
1/2 cup buttermilk
for the glaze
1 cup confectioners' sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
Zest from 1 lemon (optional)
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Butter and flour an 8 x 4-inch loaf pan.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt; Set aside.
In a separate large mixing bowl, combine the sugar and lemon zest. Use your fingertips to rub the zest into the sugar until it's evenly moistened and fragrant. Add the butter. Beat on medium-high speed until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
On low speed, alternate adding the flour mixture and the buttermilk (beginning and ending with the dry ingredients), and beating only until just blended per addition.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until a thin knife inserted through the center of the bread comes out clean. Remove the pan from the oven and onto a cooling rack. Allow the bread to rest in the pan for about 15 minutes before inverting and releasing it onto the cooling rack. As the bread is cooling, prepare the glaze.
In a small mixing bowl, combine the confectioners' sugar and the lemon juice. Whisk until smooth. If it's too thick, add a splash more lemon juice. If it's too thin, add a few more Tablespoons of confectioners' sugar.
Drizzle the glaze over the bread. [Note: The bread does not need to be completely cool before adding the glaze. The warmer the bread, the more it will soak up the glaze.] If desired, sprinkle the glaze with fresh lemon zest.
Recipe adapted from Southern Living