Archive for the 'Bread' Category

Lemon Tea Bread


This recipe yields 2 regular-size loaves or 5 mini-loaves. When we tested the smaller loaves (which innkeeper Debby Hayden prefers), we used disposable 6- x 3- x 2-inch loaf pans—sometimes called baby loaf pans—and baked the bread for about 45 minutes instead of 1 hour.

  • 2 large lemons
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 1/2 cups sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 teaspoons poppy seeds

Preheat oven to 325°F. Butter and flour two 9- x 5- x 3-inch metal loaf pans, knocking out any excess flour.

Finely grate enough zest from lemons to measure 2‚ teaspoons and squeeze enough juice to measure about 1/2 cup. Into a bowl sift together flour, baking powder, and salt.

In a large bowl with an electric mixer beat together butter, 2 cups sugar, and zest until light and fluffy. Beat in eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. With mixer on low speed add flour mixture and milk alternately in batches, beginning and ending with flour mixture and beating just until batter is combined well. Beat in poppy seeds and 1 tablespoon lemon juice and divide batter between loaf pans, smoothing tops. Bake loaves in middle of oven until a tester comes out clean, about 1 hour.

While loaves are baking, in a small bowl stir together remaining lemon juice and remaining 1/2 cup sugar until sugar is dissolved.

Cool loaves in pans on a rack 15 minutes. Run a thin knife around edges of pans and invert loaves onto rack. Turn loaves right side up and pierce tops all over with a thin skewer. Repeatedly brush lemon glaze over tops of loaves until all of glaze is absorbed.

Cool loaves completely. Tea bread keeps, wrapped in wax paper, in an airtight container at room temperature 4 days or, wrapped in foil and frozen, 1 month.

Makes 2 loaves.

You Asked For It
May 1999
Packard House, Bath ME

Substitutions: I halved the entire recipe to yield one loaf and skipped the poppy seeds and glaze completely. I used 100% whole wheat flour, plain yogurt in place of butter and milk, a heaping teaspoon of baking soda, 1/4 C of lemon juice in the batter, and half the sugar called for. These changes were suggested by individuals who tried the recipe on Epicurious. The bread had fabulous texture and was very lemony!


Metropolitan Bakery

March 3, 2007
Cuisine: Bakery

Rittenhouse Square
262 S. 19th Street

Phone: 215-545-6655

Revisited: March 25, 2007

IMG_0897 IMG_0898

Chocolate Cherry Roll – dark and rich chewy loaf made with sundried sour cherries and imported bittersweet chocolate ($1.25)

I decided to give the Metropolitan Bakery another go after a mediocre foccacia experience. At the suggestion of a few readers, I tried their signature Chocolate Cherry Bread. Although I wanted to love the bread very much, it just didn’t suit me well. The tart cherries combined with the sweet chocolate was too extreme for my tastebuds. On a positive note, the bread was moist and the chocolate and cherries were plentiful.

With so many bakeries around, I may be ready to give up on the Metropolitan Bakery.

March 3, 2007

Rosemary Foccacia ($1.50)

I know I’m not from Boston, but the only way to properly describe The Astronomer’s metabolism is “wicked.” He consumes roughly 4000 calories daily and weighs a mere 140 pounds. Impressive? I think so. In order to maintain his body weight, The Astronomer must constantly snack. We stopped by the Metropolitan Bakery while strolling in Rittenhouse Square to pick up some calories for the bottomless pit.

After perusing the gorgeous baked goods, The Astronomer settled on the Rosemary Foccacia. The foccacia was not shaped like traditional foccacia–it was round and bulbous rather than flat and square. Also, the outter texture was much tougher than standard faccaia. The bread reminded me of the pizza crust from Pizza Hut (in sort of a sort good way) and not the least bit rosemary flavored. The foccacia tasted decent enough, but not at all what we were reasonably expecting.

Blue Cornmeal Bread

corn bread 12

This sweet corn bread is best served warm. If you can’t find blue cornmeal, don’t worry: Yellow cornmeal works well, too.

  • 2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 3/4 cups blue cornmeal* or yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 3/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed, drained

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, pine nuts, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl to blend. Whisk milk, vegetable oil, eggs and buttermilk in medium bowl to blend. Add milk mixture to dry ingredients and whisk until just blended. Fold in corn kernels. Pour batter into prepared dish. Bake until tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Cut bread into 2-inch squares and serve warm.

*Blue cornmeal is available at natural foods stores and specialty foods stores.

Makes about 28 pieces.

Bon Appétit
November 2001

Substitutions: I halved the entire recipe, used two eggs, 1% milk instead of whole, 1% milk+lime juice in place of buttermilk, did not have any pinenuts, used applesauce in place of oil, 100% whole wheat flour in place of all-purpose.

Banana Cornbread

banana bread 12

  • 3 tbs. maple syrup
  • 2 bananas, mashed
  • ¼ C apple sauce
  • ½ C milk
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 C Cornmeal
  • 1 C whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbs. Baking powder
  • 1 tsp. Baking soda
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1 banana, sliced

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 8 x 8 inch baking pan. Place the maple syrup, mashed bananas, apple sauce, milk and vanilla into a blender or food processor; puree until smooth OR mix by hand. Mix together cornmeal, whole wheat flour, baking powder, soda and cinnamon. Stir flour mixture into banana mixture until blended. Fold in sliced bananas. Pour into prepared pan. Bake is preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes or until brown on top.

Adapted from recipe for Banana Walnut Cornbread

Cranberry Cornbread Mini-Loaves

cranberry mini loaves

  • 1 cup unbleached AP flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 cups yellow cornmeal
  • 1 cup wheat germ
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • 2 cups buttermilk
  • 3/4 cup oil or butter, melted
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh or frozen cranberries

In large bowl, stir together flours, sugar, slat, and soda until thoroughly blended. Mix in cornmeal, wheat germ, and nuts. In a separate bowl, mix buttermilk, oil or butter, and eggs. Stir liquid mixture into dry ingredients just until blended. Fold in the cranberries. Pour into 4 greased 5 1/2 x 3-inch loaf pans. Pre heat oven to 375 F. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until a wooden skewer inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pans for 5 minutes, then remove and cool completely on a wire rack.

Makes 4 mini-loaves

Substitutions: I halved the recipe and made one big loaf. Used only whole-wheat flour. Did not use walnuts. Used dried cranberries. Used applesauce instead of butter/oil.