I have to admit that I love the strong flavor of lemon and that I am also always on the hunt for the perfect lemon bread. I went to a William Sonoma store and found this bread baking pan that had imprints of lemons in the bottom. How could I resist? The bread has lemon peel in the recipe and after baking this delightful quick bread, you mix together lemon juice and sugar and drizzle over the top. . .Yum!
For the Bread:
1 3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 1/2 t. baking powder
1 t. salt
1 1/2 c. sugar
1 vanilla bean
12 T. unsalted butter, melted (This is 1 1/2 sticks of butter)
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 c. milk
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
For the Glaze:
1/4 c. sugar
3 T. fresh Lemon Juice
Have all the ingredients at room temperature.
Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a lemon bread pan, okay, or a regular bread pan; tap out excess flour.
To make the bread, in a bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
Put the sugar in a bowl. Using a paring knife, cut the vanilla bean in half lengthwise. Using the top of the knife, scrape the seeds into the bowl. Using your fingers, rub the seeds into the sugar to break up the clumps. Add the butter, eggs, milk and lemon zest and whisk until thoroughly blended.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean, 55 to 60 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the glaze: In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the sugar and lemon juice. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is dissolved. Remove from the heat.
Tap the pan gently on a work surface to loosen the bread. Set the rack over a baking sheet, invert pan onto the rack and lift off the pan. Turn the loaf over and, using a pastry brush, brush the top and sides of the bread with the glaze. Let cool completely before serving.