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Lemon Balm Bread

I've been trying to come up with a recipe for lemon balm bread (because with all the rain, the lemon balm has been doing -very- well this year) and I think I've finally got it. The ones I'd found in recipe books or online were using lemon zest and/or lemon juice as well, which, to my mind, is cheating. Therefore...

Lemon Balm Bread without Lemon

3/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup chopped fresh lemon balm leaves
1/4 cup milk
3 eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped non-red pistachios (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a loaf pan (or round cake pan, or square pan). In a large bowl, cream butter and sugar till well blended. Mix in the lemon balm leaves, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Spoon into pan and bake for about 60 minutes for a 8-1/2" by 4-1/2" loaf pan, or more for a smaller loaf pan, or less for a larger loaf pan or flat pan. Check with a toothpick or cake tester to make sure the center is done. Remove from pan, let cool, and enjoy.

It makes for very pretty fine-grained slices well-sprinkled with green leaves and greenish pistachios (should you use pistachios).  The taste is definitely lemony, if mildly so.  The consistency and sweetness is more like a pound cake than like a bread, but that's the intended effect. If you want a dryer, looser, more bread-like texture, talk to me, I've still got the previous attempts written down somewhere.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Sep. 21st, 2008 11:06 am (UTC)

How would you adapt it for a bread machine ?
Sep. 21st, 2008 01:02 pm (UTC)
Hmmmm... well, it's not a yeast bread. So you could use the bread machine to mix the batter, but then you'd have to bake it conventionally?

To do something completely in the bread machine, I'd go find a real bread machine recipe, the sweetest one I could find and that uses at least one egg, then dump in the lemon balm at the beginning and then the pistachios at whatever point the machine's directions say "this is where you add nuts or raisins." I might try extra sugar and shortening and another egg, but I wouldn't necessarily expect that to work.

(fixed typo)
Sep. 22nd, 2008 02:35 pm (UTC)
Oh, thank you - our lemon balm has gone absolutely wild!

(Do you think it's moist enough to freeze as well as most quick breads? Zucchini bread, for example.)
Sep. 22nd, 2008 03:01 pm (UTC)
You're welcome! and I sure hope it freezes well, since I put one in the freezer yesterday. :-)

Seriously, yes, it should freeze fine. I'm planning at least two or three more batches for the freezer. The recipe makes 2 small loaves, or one large, and a 9" round cake pan also seems to work perfectly (bake that for 45 minutes).
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )