Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Lemon Loaf

Two things I like - cinnamon and lemon!  On facebook the other day Life Tastes Good
posted this wonderful recipe for a Lemon Loaf.  I have made it twice in three days and I am making it as a birthday cake for my friend on the weekend.  I also think it would make a wonderful Orange Loaf too, by substituting orange for lemon.  I will be making that soon too! 
Mr. SweetArt devoured the first loaf that I could barely get a picture taken!! 
So this time I made it late in the evening so it could cool and he wouldn't get in to it. (sneaky)
I made changed a couple things from the original recipe and here is my version for it - I used my whisk on my kitchen aid as I don't have a food processor.
This is light and fluffy - a wonderful flavour of lemon!
  • 3 eggs (large)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons butter, softened (unsalted, as always)
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons of lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
For the GLAZE
  • 1 cup powdered sugar (for the glaze)
  • 2 tablespoons whole milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
  • 1 Tablespoon of lemon zest
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 9"x5" loaf pan with parchment paper. Allowing extra so the parchment hangs over the sides for easy removal. No need to spray the parchment. Be sure to have oven preheated and pan ready to go before the batter is ready. You want to get the batter in the pan and into the oven as soon as it is mixed.
  2. In a mixer or food processor combine 3 large eggs, 1 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons softened butter, 2 tablespoons of lemon zest and 1/3 cup lemon juice and blend until well mixed.
  3. Add 1 -1/2 cups flour to wet ingredients and mix until just combined. Add 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and mix until just combined. Add 1/3 cup vegetable oil and mix until combined.
  4. Immediately pour batter into prepared loaf pan and place in preheated oven.
  5. Bake for 45-55 minutes until toothpick or cake tester inserted 1/2 way from the edge comes out clean. The top will bounce back when lightly pressed and won't jiggle.
  6. Allow the cake to cool in the pan and then remove from pan. Leave on parchment and prepare the glaze by mixing 1 cup powdered sugar with 2 tablespoons whole milk and 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of zest. Add more sugar if you prefer a thicker icing. Glaze the cake, slice and enjoy
Thanks again Marion for the recipe and inspiration of this wonderful lemon loaf!! Head on over to her page and check our her website too!
And of course - our Facebook page and website too :)


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Basic White Bread

Basic White Bread
First off I am not going to go into the good, bad or ugly of "White Bread"  For me-- once in awhile I love to enjoy fresh white bread - plain and simple.  It brings back wonderful memories of my childhood - and it just tastes wonderful!
There is something special that happens in a home when bread is baking - the aroma fills the air and engulfs everyone that enters the home.  Taste buds light up, smiles appear out of no where and it puts you in a good mood.  Add some fresh jam and a cup of tea and you have a friend for life - or at least until the loaf is gone!
Don't be afraid to try making bread - it's really quite easy and once you catch on to how it should look and feel as it is rising you can start experimenting!
I personally use saf-instant yeast ( I usually have some on the website - just call and check if you don't see it there as I sometimes squirrel a couple away for myself)
Ok so here it is and how I do it- I use my Kitchen Aid Bowl
In the bowl of your kitchen aid add
1 teaspoon of sugar
1/2 cup warm water
2 1/4 teaspoons of yeast
(I still like to "proof" my yeast - most of the time but you don't have to, it's just my preference)
I let this sit for a few minutes then stir the yeast and let it sit for about 5 minutes.
Add 2 cups of flour to this mixture and start to stir on low
Then add:
1 cup of warm milk
2 Tablespoons of butter
2 Tablespoons of Sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 cup warm water
(I take a large measuring cup and warm it all up together)
Now start adding the flour  - this is the part where you don't really follow how much
3 more cups of flour at 1/2 to 1 cup at a time.
You want the bowl to be scrapped clean by the kneading action of the dough hook.  I start with 1 cup and then slowly add more and knead it in.  You want your dough to be slightly tacky -- sticks slightly to your hand when you handle it.  That's when you know you have enough flour in it.  If you add too much flour your bread will be fry tough.
Place your soft dough in a large oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap and a light tea towel until it doubles about 2 hours.
Once it has doubled it will look silky and beautiful - gently place it on the counter and divide it in half and gently lay it out on a slightly oiled counter (SLIGHTLY) just enough so it doesn't stick.
shape into two loaves and place in parchment lined loaf pans.  Cover again with plastic wrap and the towel and let rise for another hour. 
Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 to 30 minutes depending on your oven.  It should sound hollow when tapped. 
For best results do not cut the loaf until cooled (GOOD LUCK WITH THAT! )