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Flour Girl: In the Baking Whirled

Lemon loaf comes together in the blender. (Leigh Lambert -- The Washington Post)

Certain recipes in my collection are the equivalent of the little black dress in my wardrobe: must-haves, oft-used and completely versatile.

Lemon loaf falls into that category. Its zingy flavor brings a brightness to brunch and teas (whoever has those anymore?), and it can be served alongside a bowl of sorbet to finish off a summer meal.

I love a classic with a twist. In this case, the gimmick is not one your guests will taste. It happens before you bring it to the table. This is a quick bread (more like a loaf-shaped cake, really) made in a blender rather than a mixer.

It's just a neat trick. If you wanted to make it in a mixer, or by hand for that matter, you certainly could alter the recipe and achieve similar success. But honestly, can you really resist trying it out? I couldn't.

-- Leigh Lambert

Lemon Loaf
Makes one 9-by-5-inch loaf (10 servings)

Adapted from "A Man's Whirled: Every Guy’s Guide to Cooking With a Blender," by Chris Peterson (Simon & Schuster, 2005).

For the loaf
1 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, almost melted
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons poppy seeds (optional)
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon (2 tablespoons)
1/3 cup whole or low-fat milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For the glaze
1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar
Juice from 1 or 2 lemons (1/4 cup)

For the loaf: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with nonstick cooking oil spray or line it with parchment paper, letting the paper overhang on 2 sides to use as handles for extracting the baked loaf.

Whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl; this will aerate the dry ingredients.

Combine the butter and sugar in a blender. Start on low speed, then increase the speed to medium. Stop once; use a spatula to scrape down the sides. Start again on medium speed to thoroughly incorporate.

Add the eggs, poppy seeds, if using, and lemon zest. Blend on medium speed until smooth. Add the milk and vanilla extract; blend on medium speed for 20 seconds.

Add the liquid mixture in the blender to the dry ingredients in the large bowl; use a spatula to fold just until combined. Do not overmix.

Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Transfer the pan to a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes, then use a knife to gently free the sides of the loaf from the pan. Place the loaf on the rack to cool slightly while you make the glaze.

For the glaze: Combine the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice in a blender on low speed for 15 to 20 seconds or until smooth.

Place the warm loaf on a sheet of aluminum foil. Use a fork to poke several holes along the top of the loaf. Slowly pour the glaze over the top, letting it be absorbed into the bread; if it drips down the sides, that is okay.

Let cool completely before serving.

Per serving (based on 10): 268 calories, 4 g protein, 41 g carbohydrates, 10 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 67 mg cholesterol, 184 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber, 26 g sugar

By Leigh Lambert  |  June 4, 2009; 7:00 AM ET
Categories:  Flour Girl , Recipes  | Tags: Flour Girl, Leigh Lambert, lemon, recipes  
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How should one modify this recipe if using a mixer?

Posted by: marsci | June 4, 2009 9:20 AM | Report abuse

To mix this in a stand mixer in place of a blender, cream the butter and sugar first, add all but the dry ingredients and then add those on a low-speed, careful not to over-mix, or you can do this step by hand.

Posted by: lambertl | June 4, 2009 4:37 PM | Report abuse

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