There’s just something about poppy seed bread (okay–and banana bread, pumpkin bread, zucchini bread–the whole family!): it feels just all too right to eat a slab or two for breakfast, despite the fact that these quickbreads are cake’s first cousins. Maybe even its stepsisters. If you enjoy sweets in the morning with your coffee, whip up a batch! I ate it for breakfast every single day last week. As long as pouring 50 gallons of oil and sugar into the batter doesn’t turn you off, this recipe (from the lovely redhead Bridget over at Bake at 350) is a real winner!
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp almond extract
1 cup + 2 TBS vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups sugar
3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 TBS poppy seeds
First, preheat the oven to 350 F. Grab ahold of two 9×5 inch loaf pans and grease them up, sides and bottom. You can do this with butter, or with good old baking spray.
Can you tell I chose baking spray? (I can just feel my organic friends shivering in horror)
It was about this time I realized we were out of milk. With the loaf pans already sprayed and the ingredients already assembled and my camera settings toyed with, I couldn’t just abort the effort. I contemplated doing a late night run to the grocery store–but that sounded massively unappealing. Thankfully my roving eyes spotted a lone can of evaporated milk, and a quick Google search told me that I can substitute evaporated milk for regular milk in baking as long as I do 1 part milk, 2 parts water.
I exhaled with relief. Thank you, Google. Thank you, internet. Having to change back out of my PJ’s and face a dark and cold Chicago night might have sent me over the edge.
Using a mixer on low speed, mix together the milk, eggs, vanilla, almond extract, and vegetable oil.
It looks like a freaky alien experiment.
I should mention that if you’re not a huge fan of almond extract (I’m not) you shouldn’t worry one bit. I can’t even tell it’s there in the finished product, but I’m sure it adds a little something something that shouldn’t be skipped. Bridget said to use it. And I trust Bridget.
Okay, looking slightly better . . .
Add in the sugar . . .
. . . the flour . . .
. . . and beat on a higher speed for about 2 minutes.
Please forgive the whacko focus in these pictures. It will help you learn patience. Forgiveness. Mercy. Yep, I’m just here to cultivate your virtues through my under par photography.
Aw, you don’t have to thank me–I’m always glad to contribute.
Measure out those poppy seeds:
Stir them into the batter, and voilà!
Look at this gloriously thick batter.
Hey, it’s eating my mixer attachment!
I’m sinking! I’m sinking!
Now! Pour the batter into the two loaf pans.
I’m entranced by the thick, ribbony strands.
Looks like we’re ready to let the heat of the oven finish this here jyarb.
Jyarb = job. Yes, I talk like that on a regular basis. I find funkifying my accent a highly amusing endeavor.
Bake the loaves for 50-60 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. For some reason mine took more like an hour and a half. Maybe my oven was having a freaky evening, or maybe my shenanigans with evaporated milk changed things up too much. I’ll never know . . . until I make it again!
Use the time of bakination to contemplate the state of your kitchen.
I’m thinking of calling my kitchen manager and registering a complaint with the state of Illinois.
Then again, I hate being on hold. Might as well take care of these myself instead of waiting for the Secretary of State to get on the line.
So put on a little music, do a little washa-washin’, and before you know it these little golden delights will pop out:
The one on the left looks like a Marsha. The one on the right, we’ll call ‘Milfred.’
When you take them out of the oven, let the loaves rest for 10 minutes before removing the bread to a cooling rack. If I had waited, this probably wouldn’t have happened:
And I guess it doesn’t matter anymore, since I’ve eaten it all regardless.
It’s a delightful bread–the crust is sugary and crunchy and the inside is sugary and tender. One would hope, with 2 1/2 cups sugar–and one would not be disappointed.
Let’s take things to a new level.
Need I expound on the wonders of melting butter over freshly baked bread?
I need not.
This picture says it all for me.
I’m told you can also wrap the bread in heavy-duty aluminum foil and freeze it. Brillante.
More quickbreads will definitely be in my future. Hope everyone is having a lovely Tuesday morning!
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