My favourite baking books are by The Hummingbird Bakery. The cupcake recipes are imaginative, like the popcorn cupcakes or their jam donut creation. There are so many different pies from key lime to Bakewell and the endless brownies and cakes makes you drool simply looking at the beautiful photos.
This week, I attempted the lemon loaf. The recipe was two pages long, which is a good indication that it wasn’t going to be as easy as a victoria sponge! This lemon loaf was an enriched dough. Being an avid fan of the Great British Bake Off, Paul Hollywood’s warnings about their trickiness made me nervous.
Dough is definitely not my strong point. I am never 100% certain if it is kneaded enough or has been proved for the right amount of time. How are you supposed to know if it has doubled in size if you can’t even remember what it looked like in the first place?!
I rolled up my sleeves and got on with it though. First hurdle though, live yeast. Having only ever used the packet kind, I was anxious of accidentally killing it – which I did first time round.
Kneading and the first prove went smoothly. The next step was rather odd though. The dough had to be flattened out, cut into eight strips, and a lemony, sugar paste slathered on to each before assembling the strips into a loaf tin. A LOT of time was spent staring at the finished picture trying to see what I was trying to achieve here. Finally putting it together, it had to be proved for a second time. Being in the tin made it so much harder to see if it had risen enough. After staring at it for a good ten minutes longer than the recipe said was necessary, I bit the bullet and shoved it into the oven, crossing all fingers and hoping for the best.
So, I’m sure you’re dying to know the end result.
Not too bad for a first go. Goes down wonderfully with a cup of tea. And yes, the icing on top is to cover up the more “well done” parts. Please don’t judge…