I hadn’t spoken with my mom in a while, not because of any malintent, just because of the classic excuse of “busyness.” In our brief, my-life-in-a-nutshell conversation, I realized how much my life has indeed shifted in drastic ways. I have a major collaboration ahead of me, I have the Urban Farmer by my side, and I have a general slew of projects swirling everywhere in between.
I clearly like change and fast-paced changes no less, but describing this momentum to my mom reiterated how I need to be more intentional. I need to step back and realize I actually enjoy this workload and not frame the frenzy as stress. These are exciting times! Fortunately, in the midst of these changes, I have engaged in several conversations about intention, which helps to root these endeavors.
Why do I do what I do? Why do I want to do what lies ahead?
Though you’ll have to stay tuned for the details on my major collaboration and those intentions, I can tell you why I bake. I bake because I love that moment when a friend or acquaintance takes a first bite and reacts with earnest “mmmm” sounds. I bake because I love appeasing sweet teeth with trustworthy ingredients. I bake because I love bringing warm bread to a breakfast meeting with my friends and collaborators.
Why will you bake this delicious quick bread?
Whole-Wheat Lemon-Blueberry Bread
Makes 1 loaf
1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pastry flour, plus 1 teaspoon for blueberries
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 cup organic, unsalted butter, room temperature
3/4 cup turbinado raw cane sugar
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
3 large organic eggs
1/2 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup fresh organic blueberries
For the Syrup
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice (from 2 large lemons)
3 Tablespoons local honey
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and adjust rack to the middle position. Butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan.
In a small bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter, sugar, and lemon zest on medium-high speed until light, about 3 minutes.
Add in the eggs one at a time, until each one is incorporated.
Combine the milk and vanilla.
Alternate adding the milk mixture and flour mixture to the creamed butter, starting and stopping with the flour.
In a small bowl, toss clean blueberries with the 1 teaspoon of whole-wheat pastry flour. Gently fold the blueberries into the batter. Scrape the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
Bake until the top is lightly browned and a toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 50 to 55 minutes. Allow bread to cool in pan for a few minutes then turn onto cooling rack.
While the bread is baking, make the lemon syrup:
In a small saucepan, combine lemon juice and honey, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, until combined, and the syrup has thickened slightly, about 2 minutes.
Using a skewer, poke the top of the bread all over. Brush the bread generously with the lemon syrup.
Allow the bread to cool completely, about 2 to 3 hours.
May you fill all of man’s hunger!