Recipe of the Day: Lavender Tea Bread

Lavender Tea Bread

1lavendergirl

3/4 cup milk
2 T. dried lavender flowers, finely chopped, or 3 T. fresh
2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
6 T. butter, softened
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs

Grease a 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Heat milk with lavender almost to a boil, then let steep until cool. Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in bowl. Cream butter, gradually add sugar, then eggs, one at a time, beating until light and fluffy. Add flour mixture alternately with lavender milk, in 3 different batches. Mix until batter is just blended, do not overbeat. Pour into prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Let cool in pan 5 min., then remove to a wire rack to cool. When completely cool, ice with a powdered sugar glaze made with 3 T. milk and enough powdered sugar to make a thick but still runny paste if desired. Garnish with sprigs of fresh lavender around cake, or sprinkle additional finely chopped lavender on glaze before it hardens.

To me, lavender has a peppery taste. To some, it’s cilantro and takes soapy. But that could be due to using the wrong kind of lavender. You want to make sure you are using a culinary lavender which is commonly  Lavandula angustifolia and there are varieties of those.

According to Sage Creations:

“Popular culinary lavender cultivars include:

  • L. angustifolia ‘Folgate’
  • L. angustifolia ‘Melissa’
  • L. angustifolia ‘Croxton’s Wild’
  • L. angustifolia ‘Wykoff’
  • L. angustifolia ‘Miss Katherine’
  • L. angustifolia ‘Royal Velvet’
  • L. angustifolia ‘Buena Vista’

Notice anything about these cultivars? They’re all L. angustifolias – commonly known as True Lavenders.

Each cultivar has a distinct taste. ‘Melissa’ is slightly peppery. ‘Croxton’s Wild’ has an earthy, cinnamony taste. ‘Miss Katherine’ is sweet and floral. A great go-to culinary lavender cultivar is ‘Buena Vista’ and ‘Folgate’.

There are many, many types of culinary lavender cultivars, but most of them are types of True Lavender, vs. Lavandin, for example.

Lavandins (L. x. intermedia) is edible, as is all lavender, but its flavor can be resinous and pungent. A Lavandin type will make a dish taste bitter.”

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