My friend Holly knows the secret to making an overnight guest feel pampered: a pot of freshly brewed coffee waiting on the counter and a loaf of homemade bread or cake to go with it.
I enjoy sharing baked goods with people I invite into my home. Sometimes that looks like taking a loaf of zucchini bread (made by my mom) out of the freezer or heating up store-bought biscuits (we love this brand). But, every now and then I do the work myself!
A few years ago I spotted a recipe for almond poppyseed bread on A Cup of Jo. I have the recipe taped to the inside of my spice cabinet because I love it so much. (And I get compliments whenever I serve it to friends!)
This recipe makes two small loaves, which is perfect if you’re craving a baked-goods fix but don’t want to go overboard. However, I’d encourage you to double the recipe and freeze or gift your extra loaves. You won’t regret it!
Brenda Score of A Farm Girl’s Dabbles was kind enough to allow me to re-post her recipe here to share with you! Thank you, Brenda!
Almond Poppy Seed Bread with Lemon Glaze
Makes 2 small loaves
For the bread:
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest*
For the lemon glaze:
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled
Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray two small loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside. (Brenda uses two 7-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ pans. I like to double this recipe and use two 8”x4” pans and one mini pan.)
If you’re using a stand mixer, combine the dry ingredients in the attached bowl — flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and poppy seeds. Stir at a low speed until everything is combined. (You will need a large mixing bowl you’re using a hand mixer.)
In a separate medium-sized bowl, combine and stir the wet ingredients with a whisk or fork — milk, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla, almond extract and lemon zest.
Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer on low speed, beat until incorporated. Then, raise the mixer speed to medium and beat for one more minute.
Pour batter into prepared loaf pans. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
While the bread is baking, prepare the glaze. I recommend using a small glass bowl to melt the butter in the microwave. Once the butter is melted, add the other glaze ingredients to the bowl and whisk until incorporated. When the baked loaves are removed from the oven, immediately brush the glaze over the warm bread tops.** It will seem like a lot of glaze, but use every bit of it! The glaze will soak into the bread and make the bread ultra-moist and flavorful, with a bit of a sugary crust once cooled.
Cool loaves for about 20 minutes. Run a knife around the edges of the pans and carefully shake the bread onto a plate. Enjoy!
*Confession: I don’t have a good relationship with my zester. I usually use 1 TBSP of lemon extract in place of the 2 TBSP of lemon zest.
**If you have one, a pastry brush is perfect for applying the glaze. If not, use a spoon or spatula to spread the glaze around the top of the bread. Let it seep down the sides and get into every nook and cranny!
Okay, now I’m craving this bread! What is your favorite baked good to serve guests?