This is a sweet-tart bread that's perfect for springtime. The bread is easy to make with "on hand" ingredients. The recipe yields two loaves that have a moist crumb--a little like in a cake--with a nice, yeasty flavor, too. The lemon flavor in the loaves complements the sourdough tang, and the strawberry jam adds additional sweetness and flavor. As the bread rises, the jam gets incorporated into the loaves, so don't expect big, red ripples of jam. Do expect great flavor! The recipe is especially nice to make if you need a loaf for you and one for a gift. Try the bread for breakfast as a change of pace and special treat. The bread also makes a great snack and accompaniment for a cup of tea or coffee. Enjoy!
Sourdough Lemon-Strawberry Bread -- Makes 2 Loaves
1 cup of sourdough starter/discard
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of canola oil
1 cup of sugar
2 large eggs
Grated zest and juice (about 1/3 of a cup) from a large lemon
1 cup of white whole-wheat or all-purpose flour
1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
In a large bowl mix together well the starter/discard, milk, oil, sugar, eggs, and lemon zest and juice. Beat in the flours until well combined. Loosely cover the mixture and let it sit for at least an hour (4-6 hours is fine, depending on the temperature of your kitchen). When you're ready, add:
1 cup of all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon of salt
Beat the mixture well. It will be too sticky to knead by hand. Spritz two medium loaf pans with non-stick cooking spray (or line the pans with foil and spritz the foil with spray for easy bread removal later). Scrape half of the batter into the pans, dividing it between the two pans. Stir well and microwave for 15-20 seconds to loosen, if cold:
1/2 cup of strawberry jam or preserves
Dollop half of the jam on top of the batter in each pan (about 2 tablespoons per pan) and with a knife, swirl the jam into the batter a little. Divide the remainder of the batter between the two pans, scraping/pouring it over the jam. Dollop the remainder of the jam on top of the batter (about 2 tablespoons per pan). Swirl the jam into the batter. Spritz the top of the batter in each pan with a little non-stick cooking spray. Loosely cover the pans and let the batter rise until it has increased by about 1/3 in volume. It should just barely come to the rim of each pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Sprinkle a little sugar on top of the batter in each pan, if you'd like. Bake the breads for about 45 minutes or until golden brown and/or the breads reach an internal temperature of about 200 degrees. Let the breads cool completely before slicing them.