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Poppy Seed Bread with Lemon Curd

Poppy seeds add a crunchy texture and slightly nutty taste to this sunny yellow quick bread. Because the batter is particularly thick, the citrus curd can be spread on top of it and will remain there, rather than sink to the bottom of the pan. The addition of lemon zest to the batter intensifies the bread’s citrus flavor.

Ingredients:

  • Unsalted butter for greasing 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 3/4 cup milk 
  • 1/2 cup canola or corn oil  
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar 
  • 1 tsp. grated lemon zest 
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract 
  • 1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 3/4 tsp. baking powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. salt 
  • 2 Tbs. poppy seeds  
  • 1/2 cup lemon curd (see related recipe at left) 
  • Confectioners’ sugar for dusting (optional) 

Directions:

Preheat an oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with parchment paper and butter the paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk until blended. Add the oil, granulated sugar, lemon zest and vanilla and whisk to blend. In another bowl, using a large wooden spoon, stir together the flour, baking powder and salt. Stir in the poppy seeds. Pour the egg mixture into the flour mixture and stir just until blended.

Using a rubber spatula, spread about three-fourths of the batter in the prepared pan. Using a teaspoon, drizzle half of the lemon curd over the batter. Spread the remaining batter over the curd. The batter will not cover the curd completely. Spoon the remaining lemon curd over the batter. Insert a small knife about halfway into the batter and gently swirl it through the curd once or twice.

Bake until the bread is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 50 minutes. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let the bread cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then turn the loaf out onto the rack and peel off the parchment paper. Turn the loaf top side up and let cool completely on the rack. Using a fine-mesh sieve, dust the top lightly with confectioners’ sugar. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days. Makes 1 loaf.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Essentials of Breakfast and Brunch, by Georgeanne Brennan, Elinor Klivans, Jordan Mackay and Charles Pierce (Oxmoor House, 2007).