Poppy Seed Bread

Some people say that I care too much about the house I'm living in. And sometimes I think, maybe you're right. Then, John and I move into a crappy rental and I realize, IT MATTERS. You should get to walk through your front door and be able to breathe. You should get to gaze upon some killer artwork. And you should like to have people over. You feel me? Or maybe you think that spending money on interior design is a waste, but then who of you would hesitate to have Nate Berkus come flip your house? Not a one, I bet. Because where you live MATTERS.

That's all semi-irrelevant to this post. It was really all just my lead-in to saying that when we live in a place with a nice, open kitchen, we cook a lot more than when our kitchen is the size of half bathroom. Like it currently is.

Anyway, that beautiful cousin of mine whose wedding video is seen in this post had an idea a few years ago to update our huge family's cookbook (which can be bought here). A few of us cousins got all inspired and made a bunch of phone calls and chattered all about how we were going to make a ridiculously awesome cookbook with PICTURES, people. And I was all like, yeah, I've seen Pioneer Woman's recipe pictures - no biggie, I got this - and I volunteered myself as photographer of our never-actually-happened new cookbook. My thought was to begin photographing whatever I was making that night - as I always cooked from our family's book AND as we were living in a space in New Orleans with an awesome kitchen so I was cooking every night (unlike now - quesadilla, anyone?) 

I happened to be making Poppy Seed Bread that night, thus it was my first go. It took me all of four hours to make a twenty minute recipe. BAM! Project over. Hopes dashed. But atleast we had some great bread to eat as we mourned my lack of quick photography skills. NOPE. Apparently, you can overstir the s@%* out of batter until it tastes like rubber when it's cooked. And that's what I did - take after take - while I blindly adjusted knobs on my camera that I didn't know existed until I got a decent shot. And by the way, does Pioneer Woman have three hands? I mean for reals, or does she have a feather light camera that she can hold in one hand while adjusting settings with one finger, steadying with another and shooting with still another? I nearly dropped my camera in the batter thrice. 

Okay, so these pictures were taken two years ago. And I forgot all about them. Because we all bagged the cookbook idea and did various things like get married, move half way across the country from California, have a baby, etc. Then I came across this picture file last night and thought - this project will be redeemed. If only for one lousy blog post. My blood, sweat and tears will not be for nothing.

So here it is. Perhaps the only recipe post that will ever grace this site. Perhaps. 

Poppy Seed Bread

Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a large bowl. 

Crack some eggs. (Photographed to eliminate any possible confusion. Huh?)
 Pour some sugar on me the eggs in a separate bowl.
 Add in the flour, milk, oil, and extracts.
 Stir it all together.
 Grab a few spoonfuls of poppy seeds.
 Pour into a greased bread pan and pop it in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour.
 While it's baking, whisk vanilla and almond extract with orange juice and powdered sugar to make a glaze.
Brush this glaze over the still hot bread.
And assuming you (unlike me) didn't overstir the batter and transform it into rubber, slice up some goodness.

And because this is how the PROfessional recipes bloggers seem to do it, here's the condensed version of the recipe for ya.

Poppy Seed Bread

3 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/2 cups milk
2 1/4 cups sugar
1 cup plus 2 T. oil
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 tsp almond
1 1/2 tsp butter flavoring
1 1/2 T poppy seeds

1/2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp almond
1/2 tsp butter flavoring
1/4 cup orange juice
3/4 powdered sugar

Preheat oven to 350. Grease bread pan. In large bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder. In separate bowl, combine eggs, milk, sugar, oil and extracts. Add to dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in poppy seeds and spread in prepared pan. Bake 1 hour or until toothpick comes out clean. Whisk together glaze ingredients. Remove bread from pans and brush with glaze while still hot. Cool on rack.

P.S. I know I overemphasized how not awesome this bread tasted due to my inordinately lengthy stirring, etc. but this bread really is good. So make it. Don't make it. Whatever. Just so long as my labored for pictures don't die unceremoniously.

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