Monday, February 27, 2012

The Daring Bakers February 2012: Quick Breads

The Daring Bakers’ February 2012 host was – Lis! Lisa stepped in last minute and challenged us to create a quick bread we could call our own. She supplied us with a base recipe and shared some recipes she loves from various websites and encouraged us to build upon them and create new flavor profiles.

Maple Filling is Happy
What is the first thing you think when you hear "quick bread"? Usually for me, it is banana bread. But I've made that so many times I wanted to try something new. I love lemon poppy seed muffins, so I thought why not make a lemon poppy seed loaf? There was also a recipe for a pumpkin bread with a maple cream cheese filling included in the challenge recipes, and I've never done a filled quick bread, so I thought why not? 

I love how easy quick breads come together. The recipes are easy to follow, don't make too much of a mess in the kitchen, and are easy to share when you realize that you've made 4 loaves of sweet bread and just stared a new exercise regimen and you really shouldn't be eating all of that stuff. Probably the hardest thing about making quick breads is waiting for them to cool (the lemon poppy seed has to sit overnight!) before you can break into them and have a slice. 

Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
(Joy of Baking)

3 large eggs
1 ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
¼ cup milk
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour, sifted
¾ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons poppy seeds
13 tablespoons (1 ½ sticks) unsalted butter, softened

Lemon Syrup
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
⅓ cup granulated sugar

Any reason to go to Penzy's....
1. Preheat oven to 350℉ and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter and flour the bottom and sides of a loaf pan (8x4x 2½ inches).

2. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla and milk.

3. In the bowl of your mixer, beat the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, lemon zest, and poppy seeds until combined. Add the softened butter and half the egg mixture and mix on low until moistened. Increase the speed to medium and beat for about one minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add the remaining egg mixture in two batches, beating about 30 seconds after each addition. 

4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 55-65 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. (Check on it about halfway through and cover with foil if necessary to prevent over-browning.)

5. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the sugar and lemon juice to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. 

6. When the bread is done, remove from the oven and place on a wire reach. Pierce the hot loaf all over with a toothpick and brush the top of the loaf with half of the lemon syrup. Cool the loaf in the pan for 10 minutes. 

7. Invert loaf onto a greased wire rack. Brush the remaining syrup onto the bottom and sides of the loaf. Reinvert the bread so it is right side up and cool the bread completely before wrapping. Store at least overnight before serving.

Pumpkin Bread with Maple Cream Cheese Filling
makes 3 loaves

2 packages cream cheese, softened
¼ cup white sugar
1 large egg
1 tablespoon milk
1 teaspoon maple extract or 1 tablespoon maple syrup

3 cups white sugar
1 ¾ cup pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)
1 cup light or non flavored oil
1 cup water
4 large eggs
4 cups all purpose, unbleached flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground cloves

1. Preheat oven to 350℉. Spray three loaf pans with cooking spray.

2. Beat the cream cheese, sugar, egg and milk in a small bowl until creamy, add the maple and blend. Set aside for now. 
The maple made a pretty design in the cream cheese :)

3. In a large bowl, beat the sugar, pumpkin, oil, water and eggs. In another large bowl mix the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt and spices.  Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet. 

4. Pour half the batter into the three pans. Spoon the filling over the batter. Use a spatula to spread it out carefully. Add the remaining batter, making sure you cover the filling completely. 

5. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pans before removing the bread to a wire rack to cool completely.

Store bread wrapped in plastic wrap in the refrigerator. 


  1. That first picture made mr giggle!

  2. Yum!! Both loaves sound great, but I love your happy pumpkin bread!! Wish I had a slice..or a whole loaf... LOL