Jennifer's Recipe: Lemon Almond Bread
Do people still do spring cleaning? Spring cleaning has a lot of interesting history. The Jewish and Greek Orthodox people did it for religious reasons. The Iranians and Chinese cleaned in conjunction with their new year's celebrations. In the frontier homes of our country, it was a way to clean grime and soot after heating homes all winter with a fire. Perhaps a better reason is that once the days start getting longer in the spring, we produce less melatonin and supposedly have the energy to tackle more jobs. It is almost like waking up from hibernation. It is an interesting concept, but does anyone still clean like that? It can sound a little overwhelming and who really wants to clean that much?
I recently decided at the very least I needed to spring clean my refrigerator. There seemed to be some pretty funky smells coming from it. I try to keep track of the food in there but once in a while, I seem to lose control. Thankfully I did find two sources of the smell. I found some black beans that were past their prime and some soured half and half. On the positive side, I found two long-lost lemons. They were still edible and so I decided to try a new recipe, Lemon Almond Bread. I had tasted it a number of years ago at a friend's home and immediately knew I had to have the recipe. This bread is very moist and bursts with lemon flavor, with a slight hint of almond. It is topped with a lemon glaze and almonds. It is a quick bread but it is almost like cake. I think the flavor settles in and the loaf gets moister after about 24 hours. That makes it a good recipe to make ahead. This bread shouts "Spring is here!" and is perfect for any time of the day. It is good with your morning coffee or elegant enough to serve as dessert for company.
I don't know about you, but I like the concept of spring cleaning, I just wish someone else would come and do it for me! I do have to admit it was nice cleaning out my fridge. Maybe that will motivate me to move on to other areas of my house. I doubt any of them will be as fun since that cleaning project led to Lemon Almond Bread. So is spring cleaning on your agenda? Perhaps you can reward yourself afterward with a slice of this bread!
Have fun cleaning or baking or both!
Lemon Almond Bread
Ingredients for the bread:
1 cup granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons lemon zest
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 cup almond milk (or regular milk or buttermilk)
1/2 cup canola oil or vegetable oil
2 eggs, beaten slightly
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
Ingredients for the glaze:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon almond extract
3 Tablespoons sliced almonds, optional
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x4 loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside. Put the sugar and lemon zest in a bowl. Rub together with your fingers until combined and fragrant. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, salt, and baking powder. Add the sugar/zest mixture to the flour mixture. Set aside.
In a separate bowl, combine the milk, oil, eggs, lemon juice, vanilla, and almond extracts. Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir with a wooden spoon until combined. Pour batter into the prepared loaf pan. Bake for 55-60 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean. Place pan on a cooling rack for cool for 15 minutes. Carefully remove the loaf from the pan and let cool completely on a wire rack. When it is cooled, mix the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and almond extract together in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle or spread over the bread. Sprinkle the almonds over the bread. Yield 1 loaf, about 10-12 servings.
*Lemon zest is another term for lemon peel. Use a fine grater against the lemon to get the zest.
*I used unsweetened almond milk.
*The glaze is plentiful, you could cut it in half if you prefer less.
*Leave off the almonds if you have allergies or just don't care for them.
*Next time I might add 1-2 Tablespoons poppy seeds.
*Recipe Source: Two Peas and Their Pod