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Lemon poppy seed bread is an easy quick bread recipe loaded with citrus flavor and topped with walnut streusel. It’s moist and tender just like muffins!
Today is a day of favorites. We’ve got a quick bread bursting with lemon flavor, a crumbly streusel topping, and a warm, cozy mug of tea. What could be more fitting for a winter day? Or in my world – winter, spring, summer, or fall.
(🎶 all you’ve got to do is caaallllllll 🎶)
But let’s bring it back to winter. Did you know that tea is second only to water as the most widely-consumed beverage worldwide, and that January is Hot Tea Month? And what better way to celebrate than to share a delicious baked good and tea pairing.
When I was younger, my mom always (and I mean always) enjoyed a mug of tea in the afternoon. I’d come home from school, she would pour herself tea, and we’d both enjoy a snack and chit chat about our days. Once I got a little older she’d also pour a mug for me, and thus began my love for all things tea. For me, a warm mug of tea means cozy conversations, special time with family, and an opportunity for a soul-soothing breather from a hectic day.
I’m happy to Tea Proudly with Bigelow Tea, my #1 choice of tea. Bigelow Tea is a three-generation, family-owned company passionate about their tea varieties. Their teas are made from quality ingredients, with the tea bags packaged individually in foil so that air, moisture, etc. won’t impact the flavor.
Plus with over 120 flavors (!), I know I can count on Bigelow to have the perfect tea no matter the mood, time of day, or season. I’ll cheers my mug to that.
The Bigelow Cozy Chamomile variety is an herbal tea with a delicate, refreshing flavor. It features slight notes of citrus, so I wanted to highlight that in my recipe pairing. Lemon poppy seed bread is the perfect complement to this tea! It’s packed with fresh citrus flavor from both lemon juice and lemon zest, and is moist and tender like a muffin.
This bread uses standard quick bread ingredients: flour, sugar, melted butter, milk, eggs, vanilla extract, baking powder, and salt. No big surprises there.
As for the stars of the show, we have a quarter cup of freshly-squeezed lemon juice, two teaspoons of lemon zest, and 1 1/2 tablespoons of poppy seeds. One really large lemon should cover both the juice and the zest.
This streusel takes this quick bread over the top! Chopped walnuts mix with brown sugar, flour, and butter for a rich topping. While you don’t *have* to add it to this bread, it comes very highly recommended. 🙂
One of the things I love about muffin recipes is that they’re easily converted into a quick bread. The “muffin method” of combining the ingredients still applies to this lemon poppy seed bread.
First combine all of the dry ingredients in one bowl, and the wet ingredients in another. Combine the two and gently mix them together. I prefer whisking everything by hand, and then stirring all of the ingredients together until just combined.
You don’t want to overmix, because then you run the risk of the flour’s gluten activating too much, leading to tougher baked goods (when we want tender).
The walnut streusel is really easy, too. Combine the walnuts, flour, and brown sugar in a bowl, then stir in the melted butter. The mixture should form small pieces that can be scattered over top of the bread before baking.
After a 45-ish minute bake time, let this lemon poppy seed bread cool completely in its loaf pan before removing and slicing to prevent it from crumbling too much. And there you have it — a seriously good pairing to a warm and cozy mug of tea.
- To measure the flour, stir and fluff up the flour in its canister or bag and spoon it into a measuring cup. Once the measuring cup is just about overflowing, level off the top of the cup with a knife or a straight edge, taking care not to pack in the flour. This helps prevent too much flour from being added to the recipe (thus risking the bread being dry).
- I recommend allowing the bread to cool completely in the loaf pan before removing and slicing. If the bread is warm, you run the risk of it crumbling too much while handling and slicing.
Lemon Poppy Seed Bread
For the bread:
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter melted (8 tbsp)
- 1/2 cup milk room temperature (I use 2%)
- 2 eggs room temperature
- 1/4 cup lemon juice (from one large lemon)
- 2 tsp lemon zest (from one large lemon)
- 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 tbsp poppy seeds
For the topping:
- 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
- 1/4 cup brown sugar
- 2 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 9" x 5" loaf pan with parchment paper, or spray the bottom and sides of pan with cooking spray and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
- In a separate, large bowl whisk together sugar, melted butter, milk, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.
- Add dry ingredients to the bowl with the wet ingredients and stir until just combined, taking care not to overmix.
- Gently stir in poppy seeds and pour batter into prepared loaf pan.
- In a medium-sized bowl, add walnuts, brown sugar, and flour and stir to combine. Pour in melted butter and stir until the streusel is semi-moist and the consistency is one where it can clump easily. Scatter streusel topping evenly over the bread.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes, or until the top has turned a nice golden brown and a long, thin tester inserted into the center comes out clean. If the top of the bread has browned before the center has finished baking, place an aluminum foil "tent" loosely over top of the loaf and continue baking until done.
- Remove from oven and let cool in pan. Grab either side of the parchment paper and lift out of the pan. Slice once cool completely.
Nutritional information is provided as an estimate. As it can vary due to many factors (brands used, quantities, etc.), we cannot guarantee its accuracy.