Thursday, February 28, 2008

Kitchen Comforts?

Many bakers will tell you that they like to engage in their art as a means of relaxation. “The kitchen is my sanctuary.” I’ve always found that a funny thought, if only because baking always results in a certain amount of stress for me. If I can’t find any obvious problems with that which I’m baking, I’m creating other maladies my poor innocent baked good could be suffering. Either I’m going to burn it or it’s raw in the middle. If I did all my measurements correctly, I’m certain I put in baking soda when the recipe called for baking powder. If I really can’t find anything I did wrong in assembling the sweet, it will turn out to be ugly (I just know it). I’m a baking hypochondriac, if you will.

And while it would seem that my neurosis prevents me from enjoying these jaunts into my kitchen Shangri-la, I find that it soothes me to worry about these small things. Being able to obsess over whether or not I overmixed the dough is, at its core, a luxury. I’m not worrying about how much money I make, how tall I am, or whether or not my boss thinks I’m competent. I answer only to the end product – and in the meantime, the measuring cups, the wooden spoon, and the oven all answer to me.

But on to the recipe!

Today I had no luck in having lemons magically appear in the office kitchen (though I pined for them enough). A special on blueberries at the grocery store and a fervent desire to continue my “breads and bars” quest lead me to the Lemon Blueberry Bread you see before you. Try this recipe from and I promise you, whatever you invest in time and effort will be doubly returned in psychic income. It is much less dense than the Lemon Poppyseed Bread, and pleasantly moist. The cake is not overwhelmingly lemony, save for the top where you apply the glaze. If I had realized this beforehand, I would’ve applied the glaze everywhere.

Lemon Blueberry Bread Recipe:

For the original recipe, click here.


This recipe calls for a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. If you’re like me and you only have an 8 x 4 x 3 inch pan, add a few minutes to the total baking time. But still make sure to check on it initially at around 55 minutes.

Also, in order to coordinate the glaze, I would suggest beginning your work on the glaze approximately 10 minutes before your initial check on the bread. That way, you have time to prepare it, but it doesn’t sit on the stove too long prior to glazing. If your glaze has to wait too long (and you’ve turned the heat off), it will start to thicken. Periodically turn the heat on again and stir it to make sure it maintains the correct consistency while your loaf finishes baking.

Oh, and while the bread was exceedingly popular, I felt I would have derived even greater enjoyment from its consumption if I had added an extra ¼ cup of blueberries.

In short: Coordinate the glaze with the bread so they both end up hot when the glaze is applied. And add more blueberries if you’re adventurous.

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