In modest estimation, I have baked close to 1,000 loaves of lemon bread. Most, foil-wrapped and bow-tied, I left on the desks of co-workers a few days before Christmas Eve. (The others I ate when no one was looking.)
Anyway, I'd start baking Thanksgiving weekend. By this time in December, I'd have about 30 loaves in the freezer. But I'm not working at the same place any more, and so I have baked nary a one.
Instead, I'm passing along the recipe. OK OK OK. It's no great secret. It USED to be a secret, but I shared it once before....albeit in a Dallas Morning News blog that nobody read (but me).
So here you go: My version of a recipe I kiped from a Farm Journal cookbook, that I in turn had kiped from the food-section office years ago.
Two things I'll admit about my lemon tea bread: 1. It's delicious. And 2. The notes from co-workers who made it part of their Christmas...became part of mine.
LEMON TEA BREAD
1 1/2 cups sifted flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1 teaspoon lemon extract
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In one bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
In larger bowl, combine one cup sugar, butter, eggs, lemon extract and lemon juice. Beat at medium speed for two minutes.
Add dry ingredients alternately with milk, beating after each addition. Stir in walnuts or pecans. Pour into greased 9-by-5-by-3-inch loaf pan.
Bake for 50 minutes, or till toothpick stuck into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on rack 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix together 1/2 cup sugar and 1/4 cup lemon juice for the topping. Using a fork, prick holes in the bread. Pour lemon-sugar mixture over top.
When cool, remove from pan. Wrap in foil, tie with a bow, and give to a special somebody or two. Yes, they'll probably notice if there's a bite missing. But you may not be able to resist. Besides, once they taste it...they'll understand.