Meyer Lemon Spice Bread


I confess I find the name of this bread somewhat misleading. It’s not really about the lemons; this bread is all about the spice. A little too much spice, I think, which is a very big statement coming from this particular spice lover.

That said, I might take another crack at this, because I love the idea of it, the texture’s just right, soft and fluffy, and a few small changes could make this a really unique and tasty snack. I like snacks.

I started with Meyer lemons. This time I got mine at Whole Foods, and they were larger, which meant I didn’t need to zest any more than I needed for juicing.

Meyer lemon zest

I love the color of these lemons, and the smell. I still have a bunch to work with, plus I picked up some blood oranges too, look for muffins later this week.

In a large bowl, I whisked together the maple syrup, eggs, and milk.

eggs milk maple syrup

eggs milk maple syrup

I mixed the dry ingredients (minus the spices) in with the (whole wheat white) flour, then poured that into whisked mixture. Okay, MOST of the dry ingredients. (More about that later.)

adding flour

I stirred that in, then got out the spices. I was excited to try my new Vietnamese Cinnamon.

Vietnamese cinnamon

The portions required for each spice seemed a little off to me, but I didn’t want to mess with things too much. I used almost a full teaspoon of cinnamon instead of a half, a scant teaspoon of allspice, a quarter teaspoon of nutmeg, a scant half teaspoon of cloves, and a teaspoon of cardamom. Before mixing, I added the zest and lemon juice

all ingredients

And here’s where things got a little dicey.

I mixed all of that together, and poured it into a loaf pan. I was somewhat concerned by the texture, which was pretty much pure liquid, but it turned out that was the least of my baking problems. I did my now-standard check through the list of ingredients to makes sure I didn’t miss anything, and sure enough, I had: the salt. I poured it back into the bowl, added the salt, mixed, then poured it back in. In the confusion of that, I forgot to take a picture of the batter in the pan. So sue me.

The recipe said to bake the bread for 45-55 minutes. I checked it at 40 and it was definitely done.

out of the oven

It smelled great.

I was supposed to give it 15 minutes in the pan, but I felt that it was really cooked through, so I gave it 8 and then popped it out of the pan and onto the rack. Bridget & I spent some time starting at it, waiting for it to cool. Finally we couldn’t wait any longer, and sliced it open.

spice bread, sliced

We had very different takes on it. Bridget likes the flavor a lot. Me? I think the texture is good, it smells lovely, but the spices are off and I can’t really taste the lemon. I think we need less cardamom, cloves, and allspice, more cinnamon, and more lemon, and then I might have something really interesting and delicious. But for now, it just seems like the cardamom lingers too long in your mouth afterwards, the lemon gives the spices a little twang but doesn’t have much of a voice on its own, and the cinnamon and nutmeg don’t really come into play. Bridget also says it’s better with butter, which makes a lot of sense.

So I think I’ll try this again, and see if I can keep what’s unique about it but even the flavors out more.


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