Lavender Bread

by Allison Goodan

LAVENDER BREAD

Lavender BreadHave you noticed the abundance of amythest-colored plants sprinkled in downtown Bowling Green? They bloomingly float throughout the square, lead to the curved alleyway next to the old PNC toward TidBalls, then trail along the historic houses on Chestnut St
Lavender. It’s one of my favorite plants with an aroma that transports me to Paris, France (and I’ve never even been.)
On a late night/early morning walk back from TidBalls, I picked some lavender. Now I know this is probably illegal, but I might as well tell you what happened to the few sprigs I hazily ‘stole’ from our beautiful city.
Lavender can be used in a multitude of hommeade things. You can make your own tea, parfume, home deodorizer, candles, face wash, drinks-all free of preservatives.
On the next sunny Sunday morning, I decided to use the majority of my lavender blooms for a lavender bread. I had made it once before, and remembered it had a pleasant lavender flavor, not overpowering as foods with lavender.imageAs I pulled out the eggs and butter to reach room temperature, I turned on Laura Marling.Such a comfy vibe for my early Sunday morning.

I picked off about 2 tbs of blooms to bruise with a mortar and pestle, just to release more flavor. Adding the lavender blooms with the milk to lightly simmer, I set aside to cool

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While waiting for things to reach room temperature, I made a simple lemon glaze as this bread is not very sweet. Adding a pinch of salt helps balance the often sickingly-sweet confectioners sugar.

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I like to mix butter and sugar the old-school way, by hand, but you can obviously use an electric beater as it cuts time and work in half. (I personally prefer less noise and the rustic feel of taking my time.)

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Adding beaten eggs and the cooled lavender milk to the sugar and butter mixture, I add the dry ingredients which were blended separately. image

I slowly add them together as this prevents a powdery mess and makes for a smoother mixture.

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Pouring in a greased bread pan, I sprinkled with some coarse turbando sugar for a nice look and crust.

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In about an hour, voila! I prefer a tap of butter on warm lavender bread, but some like the extra sweetness from the glaze.
It’s a great breakfast bread, moist inside with a wonderful crust outside, a hint of sweetness, and the lavender does not overpower.image
To show what happened with some leftover ingredients most throw away, I tried to utilize a few things I’d usually toss in the compost and save a few things from being thrown in the dump. I crushed the egg shells with my morning coffee grids to sprinkle on my tomato and red pepper plants. They thrive in this nitrogen-rich compost.

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I also decided to make some tea with looseleaf earl grey, leftover lemon peel and lavender blooms.

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The rest went in the compost, however the leftover lavender is a fragrant bouquet in my kitchen. You can even add some lavender sprigs to homemade lemonade, which would go quite well with the bread.

Enjoy!image

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