Glazed Lemon Bread

Glazed Lemon Bread

Excerpted from The Bon Appétit Fast, Easy, Fresh Cookbook by Barbara Fairchild. Used with permission of John Wiley and Sons, Inc. Copyright © 2008 by Condé Nast Publications, Inc.

Makes 1 loaf

This is a great breakfast or afternoon treat – and would make a nice hostess gift, too. The lemon glaze soaks into the bread, which becomes very moist. If you want more tartness in the bread, add a little lemon juice (about 2 tablespoons) to the batter and increase the lemon peel to 1 tablespoon.

1-2/3 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups sugar, divided
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon peel
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Lightly butter an 8 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2-inch metal loaf pan. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in medium bowl to blend. Using electric mixer, beat 1 cup sugar and butter in large bowl until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in lemon peel. Beat in dry ingredients alternately with milk in 3 additions each. Transfer batter to prepared pan. Bake until tester inserted into center of bread comes out clean, about 1 hour.

2. Meanwhile, combine remaining 1/2 cup sugar and lemon juice in heavy small saucepan and stir over low heat until sugar dissolves.

3. Transfer bread in pan to rack. Pierce top of bread all over with wooden skewer. Gradually spoon lemon glaze over hot bread, adding more as glaze is absorbed. Cool lemon bread completely in pan on rack.

Do-Ahead: Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Turn bread out onto rack. Wrap loosely in foil and store at room temperature.

LYNNE'S TIPS

Life's too short to use up your energy cooking for a crowd if you don't have any extra time. Hand off dishes to friends and family. Some people's dream party is the host provides the house, the beverages and the dessert with others toting along the rest of the menu. Sounds reasonable to me.

The only recipe needing last minute doing is the pea side dish, which you could prep ahead of time.

Since no knives are needed to eat this menu, it's a good candidate for a buffet. That said, if you can have tables, or places where people are able to set down their plates to eat, it makes guests more comfortable and the food safer. (This is said by a woman who has more than once seen her full dinner plate slide off her lap in a moment of enthusiastic conversation.)

Set out pitchers of orange and lime juices, grenadine and bottles of Prosecco. Guests can mix their own juices and go with alcohol or not.

Prosecco is one pick when you want something fresh and bubbly but more wallet friendly than Champagne. Some good, but lower priced, brands are Zefiro, Canella, Mionetto and Veneguzzo. Don't forget Spain's inexpensive Cava's, too.

The key to successful frittatas or oven omelets is not over baking. They dry out and turn tough. Use an instant reading thermometer to check for a temperature of 170ºF. If reheating the frittata, take it out at 165ºF.