This morning was such a bright, beautiful one I wanted to make something summery and light. This Lemon and Thyme Loaf, a Hummingbird Bakery recipe, has been on my to-do list for ages. When I first tasted it a while ago at my friend Ela’s craft morning I wasn’t disappointed. Ela is one of the most artistic and crafty people I know – she goes to the ceramics evening class that I do, as well as hosting craft classes at her home. You can always count on her to have created something amazing in no time at all while making it look like the easiest thing ever. Knitting, crochet, sewing, ceramics, felting, jewellery, baking: she can do it all. Check out her blog, Love to Craft, for some inspiration!
This loaf tastes as good as it looks, with its tiny flecks of lemon and thyme. I have thyme growing in the garden and lemons in the fridge – the second lot of lemons that I have bought with the intention of making limoncello. I still haven’t made any, third time lucky I’m hoping… Ideally you should use lemon thyme but I only had normal thyme and it works just as well.
Zest of two lemons
3 teaspoons finely chopped lemon thyme leaves
25ml crème fraîche or yogurt
190g SR flour
40g caster sugar
Zest and juice of one large lemon, or two small
2 teaspoons lemon thyme leaves
Grease a 2 lb loaf tin and set the oven to 170ºC.
Put the butter, sugar, lemon zest and chopped thyme into a mixing bowl.
Cream until pale and creamy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Add the crème fraîche and mix in.
Sieve in the flour and fold in. Spoon the mixture into the prepared loaf tin.
Bake for around 40-50 minutes, until it is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. If the loaf starts to brown too quickly cover it with aluminium foil.
While the loaf is baking make the syrup.
Put all the syrup ingredients into a small saucepan along with 40ml water and bring to the boil. Allow it to reduce by about half to create a syrup.
Pour over the loaf when it comes out of the oven.
Allow the loaf to cool in the tin for a while and then transfer to a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
Decorate with a few sprigs of lemon zest, thyme and/or icing sugar.