I bought some new toys last weekend at Crate and Barrel. I can never control myself in that store. They have the same standard stuff all the time, but somehow every time I’m there I find something new I have to have. This most recent time I picked up, among other things, a new citrus zester and a set of four mini loaf pans.
When you buy new toys you, of course, must find cause to use them right away. I knew immediately that I’d be making some mini loaves of bread, but I didn’t know what kind. I browsed through some recipes until I found one for Lemon Blueberry Bread. Perfect! I could use my new loaf pans and my new zester, not to mention those blueberries that had been sitting in my freezer, neglected, for far too long.
Truth be told, I often shy away from lemon-based recipes. I’ve had one too many dishes (and even made some myself) where the lemon zest was overpowering, and I really dislike that flavor. But I’m glad I went with this recipe. This bread is easy and delicious, and the lemon flavor is subtle yet bright. It’s pretty and tasty and makes a perfect light breakfast with a cup of tea.
Besides substituting frozen for fresh blueberries, I didn’t change much about this recipe. I did, however, adjust the baking time to accommodate four mini loaves, and I also decreased the baking temperature a bit because my pans have a dark finish. One other note: You might notice that the tops of the loaves are sort of shiny. That’s because, at the end, they were topped with a lemon-sugar glaze. It’s a tad sticky, but it’s finger-lickin’ good.
Lemon-Blueberry Mini Loaves
Adapted from Lemon Blueberry Bread
makes 4 mini loaves
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (325 degrees for dark-finish pans) and place the oven rack in the center of the oven. Butter (or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray) the bottom and sides of four mini loaf pans (5.75"´3.25"´2.25"). Set aside.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until softened (about 1 minute). Add the sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the vanilla extract and lemon zest. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture (in three additions) and milk (in two additions) alternately, starting and ending with the flour. Mix only until combined. Gently fold in the blueberries.
Scrape the batter into the prepared pans and bake for about 40 to 45 minutes, or until the bread is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, bring the 1/3 cup of sugar and the 3 tablespoons of lemon juice to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
When the bread is done, remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Pierce the hot loaves all over with a wooden skewer or toothpick, and then brush the tops of the loaves with the hot lemon glaze. Cool the loaves in the pans for about 30 minutes, then remove from pan and let cool completely on a wire rack.