I know this is a controversial statement, but I think I love citrus as much as I love chocolate. I could never choose a favorite because I love them equally. Many years ago, someone asked me what my favorite ingredient was and I answered without hesitation, lemon. This is not the most exciting answer, but I put citrus in just about everything I cook and bake. It brings out flavors and also brightens the dish you are creating. I'm one of those people that squeezes a lemon into a glass of water first thing in the morning. It's part of my ritual even before my cup of coffee.
Citrus season is always a welcome break during the winter months. To me, there is nothing better than the Meyer Lemon. They have a beautiful, deep yellow color that's almost orange and a fragrant floral taste. It's always a treat to use them in baked goods. I baked up a few loaves of bread, so I could freeze them when the season was over. I'm so glad I did because they are bringing a bit of sunshine and tasty goodness right now. I know many of us are baking quite a lot these days and this recipe for Meyer Lemon Yogurt bread is great with any citrus you have on hand. They can be tricky to find, and long after they're gone you can enjoy this recipe with any variety of lemon, orange or grapefruit. Because it's a quick bread, you can mix this up in no time and it doesn't require any special equipment. The yogurt gives this bread a wonderful dense texture and works so well with lemon. It's always a good idea to double the recipe and freeze one loaf. And yes, it's really a cake in bread form but that's OK. A slice of this will brighten your day for sure.
MEYER LEMON YOGURT BREAD
(makes one loaf, 8 slices)
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup canola oil
1 cup whole milk plain yogurt, room temp
zest of 2 Meyer lemons
juice of 2 Meyer lemons
2 eggs, room temp
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon Meyer Lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray and line a 9 x 5 loaf pan with parchment paper, allowing an overhang of 2 inches on either side of the pan. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt and zest. In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the oil, yogurt, juice, eggs and vanilla until thoroughly blended. Add the yogurt mixture to the dry ingredients. Whisk until a smooth batter is formed. Pour into the prepared loaf pan and bake for 50-55 minutes until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the middle. Cool the bread on a cooling rack for 20 minutes, then lift the bread using the parchment overhang. Cool completely on the cooling rack. For the icing, stir the powdered sugar and juice until smooth. Drizzle the top with the icing before slicing into 8 slices or sprinkle the top with powdered sugar.
If you can't find Meyer lemons, use your favorite citrus.
Room temp eggs and yogurt will create a smooth batter and add volume.
Store leftover bread in an airtight container for 3-4 days.
Freeze bread for up to 3 months, defrost overnight on your kitchen counter
Stirring the zest with the dry ingredients, will help release the oils in the zest
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