Friday, May 12, 2006

Albania: Sweet Walnut Bread

This is from Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant, bless their sugary souls. It was published as a cake, but it's more of a sweet breakfast bread. Sturdy yet tender, with a dense, moist crust of lemon glaze, I'm in love with this bread.

Moosewood said it was from Albania, and I'm inclined to take their word for it.

Makes one 9" x 13" bread/cake. I made a half batch and baked it in a bread pan.

The Bread:
1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1/3 cup yogurt
1/3 cup buttermilk
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp lemon rind, grated
1 cup walnuts, toasted and chopped

The Glaze (the very best):
3/4 cup water
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp ground allspice
dash of ground cloves

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, and beat in the eggs.

In a separate bowl, mix the yogurt with the buttermilk.

In yet another bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and cinnamon.

Add the dry ingredients to the egg mixture in three batches, alternating with the yogurt mixture. Stir in lemon rind and walnuts, then pour the batter into the 9 x 13 pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes.

While the cake bakes, make the glaze. Simmer all the glaze ingredients over low heat, covered, for about 15 minutes.

When the cake is done, pour the glaze over the cake and return it to the oven for 10 minutes.

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