Lemon Lemon Loaf

I let a lot of things slip through the cracks this week. There’s the laundry, which is piled high on nearly every surface in our bedroom. Oh, and the emails. Why does it seem that when I’m busiest that’s when my inbox is overflowing? If you happen to be one of the folks waiting for a reply, I apologize – I will get caught up this weekend. The fall decorating still hasn’t happened either. Aside from a few mini pumpkins I picked up a month ago and the big bowl of apples on the island, you would probably never guess fall has arrived. We usually decorate pumpkins every year and we’re definitely running out of time with Halloween just over a week away. I even missed a blogging event my friend Di hosted recently. Once per season she’s been inviting bloggers to share a post related to a specific theme selected for that season. She chose loaves for the fall, and even though I had my loaf baked well ahead of time, the post kept getting pushed back. I’m only 5 days late (oops!) in sharing it today, but better late than never hopefully :)

Lemon Lemon Loaf

This lemon lemon loaf recipe comes courtesy of the Baked cookbook, and has been on my to-do list for ages. Di’s event gave me the perfect excuse to finally make it. I love lemon desserts, and baking with lemons in general, especially in the winter. Their bright yellow color always makes me feel better when everything else outside is dead and some variation on brown. The recipe makes two loaves, but I halved it to yield just one. The loaf in the book wasn’t nearly as stout as mine, but appearance aside, it was terrific. The texture is dense, but incredibly moist. Lemon zest and juice are included in the loaves themselves, and after baking, they’re soaked with a lemon syrup and topped with a lemon glaze. I thought the lemon flavor was perfect, and so did my mom, but my step-father said he wished the loaf had even more. I think I stopped short of using all of the lemon syrup to soak the loaf so that may explain it. I could easily see myself enjoying a slice of this bread for breakfast, an afternoon snack or even dessert. It’ll definitely be a repeat here this winter.

Lemon Lemon Loaf

Lemon Lemon Loaf
from Baked by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito

Loaves
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
8 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cup lemon zest (from about 4 lemons)
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

Lemon Syrup
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar

Lemon Glaze
2 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray two 9×5-inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray.

To make the cakes: In a medium bowl, whisk both flours, the baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Add the sugar, eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice to the bowl of your food processor. Pulse until well combined. With the machine running, slowly pour the butter through the feed tube until incorporated. Add the sour cream and vanilla and pulse until combined. Transfer the batter to a large bowl. Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, folding gently to incorporate after each addition. Mix only until just combined.

Divide the batter evenly between the two prepared pans. Bake for 20 minutes, then rotate the pans and reduce the oven temperature to 325 F. Continue baking for an additional 30-35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer the pans to a wire rack and let the loaves cool for 15 minutes.

To make the lemon syrup: While the loaves are cooling, combine the lemon juice and sugar in a small saucepan. Set over medium heat and cook until the sugar is completely dissolved, then continue cooking for an additional 3 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.

Turn the loaves out of the pans and set on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Using a toothpick, poke holes in the tops and sides of the loaves. Brush the loaves all over with the lemon syrup. Let it soak in, then brush again until you’ve used all of the syrup. Cool the loaves completely. (You can wrap the loaves and freeze them (for up to 6 weeks) at this point.)

To make the lemon glaze: Whisk the confectioners’ sugar and lemon juice together in a small bowl, until smooth and pourable. Pour the glaze over the top of each loaf, allowing it to drip down the sides. Let the glaze set for about 15 minutes before serving.

Store the loaves at room temperature wrapped tightly in plastic wrap.