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applesauce cake

adapted from Gale Gand's Applesauce Cake 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened to room temperature 2 cups brown sugar (dark or light), ...

Saturday, September 27, 2014

orange poppyseed bread

most of the recipes I've seen for this sweet, light tea bread call for artificial butter flavoring and lemon extract, neither or which are ideal ingredients, IMO. also, most of those recipes make two loaves, and I only want to bake one at a time. it's easy enough to double the recipe if you want an extra loaf.

for the bread:

  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk (just about any kind of milk will work; I used homemade almond milk, because it's what I had on hand)
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh orange (or lemon) zest
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour (spoon into measuring cup and level off to get an accurate measure)
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil*, warmed so it's liquid (I used refined, but if you want the flavor of regular coconut oil in this, feel free to use it)
for the glaze:
  • 2 tablespoons orange (or lemon) juice
  • 1/3 cup confectioner's sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh orange (or lemon) zest
  • a tiny pinch of salt
preheat oven to 350 degrees F. butter a 9" by 5" loaf pan. in a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, sugar, citrus zest and vanilla. measure the flour and baking powder into a sifter or fine mesh sieve, and sift it into the liquid mixture. whisk just to combine. add the salt, then pour in the coconut oil while whisking to incorporate -- this prevents it from solidifying when it hits cool ingredients (which is why I never try to mix it into the eggs and milk first). mix just until combined, without lumps, but don't over-beat. pour batter into prepared loaf pan and bake for 45-55 minutes; until lightly browned. a toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean. place on a rack to cool.

in a small bowl, whisk the citrus juice, confectioner's sugar, zest and salt until sugar is dissolved. this will make a relatively thin glaze. while the bread is still warm, gently poke holes in the loaf at even intervals (about 1" apart), then spoon about half of the glaze over, distributing fairly evenly. allow a minute for the glaze to be absorbed, then spoon the remainder over. after the last bit of glaze has been absorbed, remove the bread from the loaf pan (I ran a butter knife around the edges to be sure it wouldn't stick, then placed a plate over the top of the loaf pan and inverted it, then flipped the loaf over so it ended up right-side-up). allow to cool. slice to serve.

this should keep for a few days at room temperature, covered.

*note: I'm especially perplexed at other recipes' use of imitation butter flavor, because I think the flavor of butter interferes with the floral citrus and toasty poppyseed notes here. refined coconut oil adds no scent or flavor, which is how I prefer it, but the tropical scent of regular coconut oil would be an interesting change of pace. butter just isn't the right flavor here for my tastebuds. however, if butter is the right flavor for you, substitute a stick of melted, unsalted butter for the coconut oil.

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