Le­mon-poppy seed duo re­unites

In­stead of pair­ing in a muf­fin, clas­sic combo is rolled into this health­ful bread

The Hamilton Spectator - - FOOD - EL­LIE KRIEGER

This brightly lemony quick bread, punc­tu­ated with gen­tly crunchy poppy seeds, is sweet and ten­der enough to sat­isfy a cake crav­ing, but it does so in a much bet­ter-for-you way.

It is made with health­ful olive oil, mostly of whole-grain flour and has much less re­fined sugar than sim­i­lar recipes. The loaf is sweet­ened in part with honey, which not only lends a rich flavour and some an­tiox­i­dant power, it also makes for an ul­tra-moist crumb. Be­cause honey in­creases brown­ing, the cake bakes at a lower tem­per­a­ture, which makes the top turn out level rather than with a high crown. But what you forgo in height you more than make up for with a glo­ri­ously deep golden-brown, caramelized crust.

To let the le­mon flavour come through clearly and cleanly, I rec­om­mend us­ing both honey and olive oil that are mild and light in taste and colour. This recipe is the per­fect af­ter­noon pick-me-up to en­joy with a cup of tea or to serve as part of a brunch spread.

Le­mon Pop­py­seed Bread

MAKES 10 SERV­INGS (ONE 9-BY-5-INCH LOAF OR TWO 5½-BY-3-INCH LOAVES)

1/3 cup olive oil, plus more for greas­ing the pan

1 cup whole-wheat pas­try flour or reg­u­lar whole-wheat flour

½ cup all-pur­pose flour 1 tea­spoon bak­ing pow­der ½ tsp bak­ing soda

¼ tsp salt

2/3 cup gran­u­lated sugar

1/3 cup honey

2 large eggs

2 ta­ble­spoons freshly grated le­mon zest (from about 3 large le­mons)

½ tsp vanilla ex­tract

1/3 cup buttermilk, well shaken

3 tbsp fresh le­mon juice

2 tbsp poppy seeds

Pre­heat the oven to 325 de­grees. Brush or spray a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan with a lit­tle oil. Cut a piece of parch­ment pa­per to fit the bot­tom of the pan and place it in­side.

Whisk to­gether the whole wheat and all-pur­pose flours, bak­ing pow­der, bak­ing soda and salt in a mix­ing bowl.

Whisk to­gether the sugar, honey, the 1/3 cup of oil and the eggs in a sep­a­rate bowl un­til well in­cor­po­rated, then stir in the le­mon zest and vanilla ex­tract.

Com­bine the buttermilk and le­mon juice in a liq­uid mea­sur­ing cup.

Al­ter­nate adding the dry in­gre­di­ents and then the buttermilk mix­ture to the egg mix­ture, in two batches each, stir­ring af­ter each ad­di­tion un­til just in­cor­po­rated. Gen­tly stir in the poppy seeds.

Pour the bat­ter into the pan, spread­ing it evenly. Bake (mid­dle rack) for 40 to 45 min­utes, un­til browned and a wooden skewer in­serted into cen­tre comes out clean. (The small loaves may need less bak­ing time, and may dome slightly.) Let cool in the pan for 15 min­utes, then dis­lodge from the pan (and pa­per) and trans­fer to a wire rack to cool com­pletely be­fore serv­ing or stor­ing.

Per serv­ing: 250 calo­ries, 4 grams pro­tein, 38 g car­bo­hy­drates, 10 g fat, 2 g sat­u­rated fat, 40 mil­ligrams choles­terol, 140 mg sodium, 2 g di­etary fi­bre, 23 g sugar

DEB LIND­SEY, FOR THE WASH­ING­TON POST

This brightly lemony quick bread, punc­tu­ated with gen­tly crunchy poppy seeds, is sweet and ten­der enough to sat­isfy a cake crav­ing, but it does so in a much bet­ter-for-you way.

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