Here is the reason why I baked this lemon bread (or cake). It all started when I brought my son and his two friends to Starbucks for breakfast about two months ago. All they wanted was the "signature" (yeah, my son must mention the word "signature") hot chocolate and lemon poppy seed loaf. So, I got each of them a hot chocolate drink and a slice of lemon loaf! Before I knew it, they wanted more and more of the lemon loaf... I think I must have ended up buying an entire whole loaf that day! So, I told my son, since he adores the lemon loaf so much, I shall attempt to bake it for him one day. He innocently asked if I have the recipe for it, and I replied of course! Well, I did not have it then! LOL!
Two months later, he still remembered my offer and asked if I was still going to bake the loaf for him. So, as a good mother, I had to quickly search for the recipe and fulfill my offer to him. I found a simple version of the recipe by Rose Levy Beranbaum in Joy Of Baking. So, here is the recipe for a fantastic Lemon Poppy Seed Bread. Enjoy.
Recipe adapted from Joy Of Baking
Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
3 Large Eggs
1 1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract
1/4 Cup (60 ml) Milk
1 1/2 Cups (210 g) All-Purpose Flour, sifted
3/4 Cup (150 g) Granulated Sugar
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Grated Lemon Zest
3 Tbsp (30 g) Poppy Seeds
13 Tbsp (184 g) Unsalted Butter, softened
1/4 Cup (60 ml) Fresh Lemon Juice
1/3 Cup (65 g) Granulated White Sugar
Preheat oven to 350˚ F (180˚C) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour (or spray with a non stick vegetable/flour spray) the bottom and sides of a loaf pan (8 x 4 x 2 1/2 inch) (20 x 10 x 7 cm). Line the bottom of the pan with parchment paper and butter and flour the paper. Set aside.
In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest and poppy seeds until combined. Add the softened butter and half the egg mixture and mix on low speed until moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about one minute. This aerates and develops the cake's structure. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining egg mixture in two batches, beating about 30 seconds after each addition. This will strengthen the structure of the batter.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for about 55 to 65 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. You may have to cover the bread with buttered foil after about 30 minutes if you find the bread over browning.
When the bread is done, remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Pierce the hot loaf all over with a wooden skewer or toothpick and then brush the top of the loaf with about half the hot lemon syrup. Cool the loaf in the pan for about 10 minutes then invert onto a greased wire rack. Brush the remaining syrup onto the bottom and the sides of the loaf. Reinvert the bread so it is right side up and then cool the bread completely before wrapping. Store at least overnight before serving to allow the lemon syrup to distribute throughout the loaf.