I've written before about how much I've enjoyed the book Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito. I've tried many of the recipes in the book and I've loved them all. The recipe that I've made the most is the "Lemon Lemon Loaf" that appears on page 41. It is infused with a lemon syrup and either with or without the glaze, it is heavenly.
Lemon Lemon Loaf (from Baked: New Frontiers in Baking by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito)
Makes 2 loaves
For the cake:
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 1/4 cups sugar
8 large eggs, at room temperature
1/4 cups grated lemon zest, from about 4 lemons
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1/2 cup sour cream, at room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
For the syrup:
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup sugar
For the glaze:
2 cups confectioner's sugar, sifted
4 to 6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray the sides and bottom of two 9x5x3 inch loaf pans with nonstick cooking spray. Line the bottom with parchment and spray the parchment.
Sift both of the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together in a medium bowl using a whisk.
Put the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice in a food processor and pulse until combined. With the motor running, drizzle the butter in through the feed tube. Add the sour cream and vanilla and pulse until combined. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl.
Sprinkle in the flour mixture, one third at a time, folding gently after each addition until just combined. Do not overmix.
Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake in the center of the oven for 20 minutes, rotate the pans, reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F, and bake for another 30-35 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean. Let cool in the pans for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the lemon syrup...
In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the lemon juice and sugar until the sugar is completely dissolved. Once dissolved, continue to cook for 3 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Line a half sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper and invert the loaves onto the pan. Use a toothpick to poke holes in the tops and sides of the loaves.
Brush the tops and sides with lemon syrup. Let the syrup soak into the loaves and brush again. Let the cakes cool completely, about 30 minutes.
The soaked but unglazed loaves will keep, wrapped in two layers of plastic wrap and frozen, for up to 6 weeks.
While the cakes are cooling, make the lemon glaze...
In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioner's sugar and 4 tablespoons of the lemon juice. The mixture should be thick but pourable. If too stiff, add up to another 2 tablespoons of lemon juice, a little at a time until the right consistency is reached. Pour the lemon glaze over the top of each loaf and let it drip down the sides. Let the lemon glaze harden, about 15 minutes. The glazed loaves will keep up to 3 days, wrapped tightly in plastic, at room temperature.