Lemon Bread for Easter or Mother’s Day

Spring in the Pacific Northwest: Primroses in bloom, Camano Island, WA
Easter is TODAY, and Mother’s Day is in TWO weeks. Whether you’re planning an Easter or Mother’s Day Brunch or a traditional dinner, the Lemon Bread that follows is a light ending to a great meal.

I learned how to bake at the elbow of my Grandma Kanzler, usually standing on a chair in her kitchen in Linden, NJ. You’ll see throughout this blog how influential she and my mother were in cultivating the passion that I have for all things food. Grandma told me a story about one of my early baking experiences. She was making pie crust for some holiday celebration; I’m guessing it was Thanksgiving. She gave me the scraps of dough, which my sisters and I loved to roll in melted butter and cinnamon and sugar, and then bake. We thought these made delicious cookies. But in this particular case, I went to the baking drawer where she kept all sorts of goodies, and I took out some coffee grinds. She asked me what I was doing, and I told her I was making a coffee cake!

Just writing about my Grandma’s kitchen brings back such powerful memories and emotions. I can actually recall the smell of that baking drawer, and see the counter where she kept a cookie jar filled with cookies, usually chocolate chip. But I digress….

I still love to bake, but I don’t do it nearly enough these days. I’ve learned that people like to contribute in some way to parties and holiday celebrations, and it’s easiest to ask them to bring some type of dessert. It wasn’t easy for me to give up the “control” of even that one portion of the menu, and it still makes me twitch a little, but I’m always grateful that I don’t have to worry about baking when I’m in the throes of sautéing, blending, simmering or roasting the main courses.

I mentioned in my FIRST blog entry that my friend Karen brought a delicious Lemon Bread to one of my soup parties in Summit, NJ. Debbie D’Aquino, who is a great friend here in CA, asked me to share the recipe. As I was going through my old recipe box, I came across so many hand-written recipes, some in my Grandma’s handwriting, others from when my son was little. The ink is faded, and in some cases I’ve had to add more detail to make the recipes more clear. But the memories, oh the memories…. Sweet.

I hope that you enjoy this Lemon Bread. It doesn’t take very long to make from scratch, and the time spent is well worth it!

Lemon Bread
courtesy of Karen Terlizzi

6 Tablespoons butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
½ cup milk
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
pinch salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 lemon
1/3 cup sugar for glaze

Preheat oven to 350°. Grease loaf pan.

Sift Cream together flour, salt and baking powder. Grate rind of one lemon; set aside. Squeeze juice; set aside.

Cream together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time and beat well. Add milk alternately with sifted dry ingredients. Add grated lemon rind.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pan. Bake at 350° for 45-50 minutes. Cool 5-10 minutes in pan.

Mix together juice of 1 lemon and 1/3 cup sugar, and pour over bread. Let stand ½ hour then remove from pan. Cut into thin slices.

Happy Easter! And Bon Appètit!

Lisa

3 thoughts on “Lemon Bread for Easter or Mother’s Day

  1. Lisa, you’re an angel….. Thanks so much for this recipe……my mouth can almost taste it. Question ~ do you think I can substitute with butter-flavored GSO in this recipe? I fear it may change the texture too much ;( What’s your opinion?

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  2. Deb, This is one where I would definitely NOT substitute GSO for butter. The process of “creaming” together the sugar and butter is what gives the bread its smooth texture, and it adds the right amount of “air” to the bread. Using any type of oil for this preparation method would ruin it.

    As a rule of thumb, baking is a “science”, and cooking is an “art”. In baking, specific groupings of ingredients work together. You can substitute things like flavorings (for instance, use orange juice and grated orange peel in this recipe), but when a cake or bread recipe calls for butter, use the butter.

    Hope this helps! Lisa

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