Orange Poppy Seed Bread

Orange Poppy Seed Bread Lemon Poppy Seed Bread

As I photographed my second recipe session it dawned on me that photographing food isn’t as easy as I thought. I love it, don’t get me wrong, but there are a couple of things I have learned only after doing two sets.  First, my kitchen has terrible light and second, my 50 lens is way too tight. Time for an upgrade! I wish…maybe in a few months. I will just have to continue to sit in my kitchen sink to get the shots I need for each entry.

My first food post, Mexican Pasta Salad, was a big hit among viewers which got my brain thinking on where this will take me. I know I can do this and I am really excited to tackle this project that I hope will be on going.

So let’s get to it! This time around I want to share a recipe I was giving by a past coworker. I love this Orange Poppy Seed Bread so much I included it in little recipe books that I handed out as a wedding favor to each and every guest at our wedding. The recipe book is compilation of Knute’s favorite recipes that I make for him.

I wonder why these types of recipes are referred to as bread? Anyone know? I have no clue. No lemon in this one, however you could substitute lemon juice if you like but I would try it out with the orange juice first. I like the orange taste and it’s what is in the original recipe. They funny thing is so many people are trained to associate poppy seed bread with a lemony taste that after they take a bite they think there is lemon in it. Try it and see how many people think there is lemon used in this recipe.

Orange Poppy Seed Bread

3 cups flour
2 and 1/2 cups sugar
1 and 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
3 eggs
1 and 1/4 cups oil
1 and 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons almond extract

3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter

Sift flour in large bowl. Add sugar, salt and baking powder.

Add the poppy seeds.

Whisk together.

Next, add the milk, oil, and eggs. Whisk the eggs slightly before adding to the bowl.

Add the vanilla and almond extract and whisk all the ingredients together for about 3 minutes.

Coat two 9-by-5-inch loaf panswith a touch of shortening (really, go light) and dust with flour. I am notorious for some of my cakes, or in this case bread, to stick to the pan. I typically put a layer of parchment paper in the pan, with sides overlapping for extra insurance. Go ahead and rub shortening on the bottom of the paper and dust with flour. I would rather do this extra step and have the loaf easily lift out of the pan.

Divide the batter between the two pans and bake at 350 degrees for 55-60 minutes. Instert a toothpick to see if the bread is done. If the toothpick isn’t clean, add a few more minutes baking time and recheck again.

Okay, so now the glaze. (I forgot to add the extracts in this shot..opps!)

Add glaze ingredients to a saucepan.

With the heat set to med-high cook the glaze, while stirring consistently, until it reaches about 160 degrees. Don’t have a candy thermometer? No worries, just cook the glaze until it thickens slightly. Do not overcook, otherwise your glaze will be in the “soft ball” stage and the glaze will not soak into the bread. Make the glaze towards the end of the baking time.

Once the bread is all finished, poke some holes in the top with a fork. Spoon the warm glaze over the bread until the coat is even. Take your spoon and GENTLY pull the sides of the bread away from the pan so the glaze will cover the sides of the bread. Let the cake cool completely before removing it from the pan.

You know what is so great about the bread?! Not only is it moist but the coating produces this yummy sugary flavorful crystallized crust (that is why you need to cook the glaze 160 degrees). The glaze burst in your mouth while biting down on a moist piece of cake, I MEAN BREAD.



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