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Comfort Food: Lemon Poppyseed Bread

16.November 2010

November is a crazy month.  Somehow the weeks between Halloween and Thanksgiving just melt away and you’re left, head spinning, wondering how in heaven’s name you’ll get everything done between now and new years.

Anyway, luckily, next week is Thanksgiving (WHEN did that happen?) and we all have a chance to settle in and chow down until the Tryptophan kicks in and we lie prone, nearly comatose on the sofa until it’s time for leftovers.  That’s what I’ll be doing this time next week.

Although I like to carry on here about what I cook and how I eat, I’m not posting any Thanksgiving recipes.  I’m returning to the homeland next week and will dutifully eat everything my mother sets before me.  We’re also going to be doing dry runs of a few recipes I’ll be posting about in December. (Did I mention that I’m blogging every day in December? Requests?  Anyone?  Bueller?)

To tide you over, here’s one item of comfort food that I long for whenever it’s been a while since I was home.  My mom was obliging enough to give me her recipe and so I sprang into action and made some for myself.  This Poppyseed bread is laced with lemon and buttery goodness and is deliciously multipurpose: it makes a delicious breakfast, a pretty tasty snack between meals with a cup of tea, and a surprisingly satisfying dessert.  My mom’s original recipe called for butter extract, but I haven’t been able to find any for ages – seriously, why doesn’t any supermarket carry it around here?  Anyway, I threw a little melted butter into the mix and found the taste to be very satisfying indeed.

I also operated on a hunch and made some of the batter into muffins.  Delicious.  Because, you see, they’re smaller and so the glaze-to-bread ratio is higher.  This recipe makes three medium loaves or one loaf and 18 small muffins.

Poppy Seed Bread

  • 2 1/2 c sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 1/2 c vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 c whole milk
  • 2 T poppy seeds
  • 1 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1 1/2 t almond extract
  • 1 T melted butter
  • 1 1/2 t baking powder
  • 1 1/2 t salt
  • 3 c all-purpose flour


  • 1/4 c lemon juice
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 1/2 t vanilla
  • 1/2 t almond extract
  • 1 T melted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the sugar, eggs and oil until well combined.
  3. Add milk, poppy seeds, baking powder and salt.
  4. Add the almond extract, vanilla extract, and melted butter.
  5. Add the flour a 1/2 cup at a time and mix well for 2 minutes.
  6. If making muffins, fill prepared muffin pans (either with paper liners or well sprayed with Baker’s Joy or thoroughly buttered and floured) 2/3 full.  If making loaves, fill prepared loaf pans about halfway.
  7. Bake muffins for about 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Loaves take about 45 minutes.
  8. Combine the glaze ingredients in a bowl and whisk. Pour or brush the glaze liberally over the hot loaves of bread as soon as they come out of the oven.
  9. Allow the breads to cool completely before removing from the pans.
6 Comments leave one →
  1. Kelly permalink
    16.November 2010 19:14

    I can almost taste it…

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      17.November 2010 15:37

      Mmmm. You should try it. Seriously tasty.

  2. 18.November 2010 02:58

    Looks amazing… I have NEVER heard of butter extract! How strange…

  3. wjh permalink
    21.November 2011 14:30

    If you – like me – bake in metric units, I’ve done the math and will share with you. :)

    500 g sugar
    3 eggs
    350 ml vegetable oil
    350 ml whole milk
    2 T poppy seeds
    1 1/2 t vanilla
    1 1/2 t almond extract
    1 T melted butter
    1 1/2 t baking powder
    1 1/2 t salt
    360 g all-purpose flour


    100 ml lemon juice
    150 g granulated sugar
    1/2 t vanilla
    1/2 t almond extract
    1 T melted butter

    Preheat oven to 175°C

    • Darby O'Shea permalink*
      1.June 2012 17:19

      Well done, my German colleague!

      • wjh permalink
        18.November 2012 13:45

        Ha! I’m going to make this again tomorrow, and I was already dreading the conversion… But I already did it last year! I’m impressed by myself.

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