Good Eats and Sweet Treats from My Small Boston Kitchen

Meyer Lemon Bread with Blood Orange Glaze

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

This month, the Daring Bakers were given the opportunity to pick our own recipes for the challenge, provided that they fell within specified guidelines for a quick bread. This was a fun challenge for me, because I LOVE making quick breads of all kinds, and it presented the perfect opportunity to try a new kind. I had leftover blood oranges from some Blood Orange Bars (recipe coming soon!) that I made recently, so I wanted to incoporate those into my recipe, and I’ve been eyeing meyer lemons at the supermarket lately, so I wanted to see if I could find a recipe that utilized those as well. Imagine my delight when I came across a recipe for Meyer Lemon Bread with Blood Orange Glaze! I knew immediately that was what I’d make.

Quick breads are great because they can be prepared in less than 30 minutes, and usually need no more than an hour to bake. This recipe was no different, and it came together really easily. I loved how it made my kitchen smell while baking, like a citrus grove flooded with butter. Delish!

I followed the recipe very closely, with the exception of swapping half the all-purpose flour for whole wheat pastry flour. When I had the batter ready, I noticed the recipe didn’t make a lot of batter, but I still put it in a large loaf pan, so the resulting loaf was rather short and squat. Still tasty, but aesthetically it left a little something to be desired. I’d definitely use a smaller pan next time!

Overall, the flavor of the bread was really great – rich and buttery, with a wonderful kick of sweet citrus. The glaze goes along wonderfully with the bread, and gives it a pretty pop of color. This bread is more like a tea cake than a traditional quick bread – it’s denser with a finer crumb. I wish I had baked it about 5 mintes less, because I found that given how dense the bread was, and the fact that I baked it in a too-big pan, it ended up being a bit drier than I’d have liked. I think that could also be remedied by adding a tablespoon of plain yogurt or sour cream to the batter next time. I’ll definitely try this again! There’s nothing like fresh lemon bread to bring about thoughts of spring… even with our first real snow storm of the season impending!

Meyer Lemon Bread with Blood Orange Glaze

1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup freshly squeezed meyer lemon juice (from about 3 meyer lemons)
Zest of 1 meyer lemon
2 eggs
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup buttermilk
1/2 blood orange, juiced
1 cup powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1) Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, and continue beating until smooth. With mixer on low, slowly pour in the lemon juice and lemon zest.

2) In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Add half of the dry ingredients alternately with the buttermilk to the butter mixture. Continue with the other half of the flour and milk and beat until smooth.

3) Transfer to a greased loaf pan and bake for one hour and ten minutes, or until deeply golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool completely before drizzling with glaze.

4) To make glaze, whisk blood orange juice and powdered sugar until smooth. Drizzle over top of the lemon loaf, and let set before slicing.

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