The first official day of fall is September 22nd—less than three weeks away. Aren’t you looking forward to cable-knit sweaters and orange leaves and cold noses? To ring in the season, Brenda of A Farmgirl’s Dabbles is sharing her recipe for the best almond poppy seed bread, all warm from the oven…

The Best Lemon Poppy Seed Bread You’ll Ever Have
By Brenda Score of A Farmgirl’s Dabbles

Our daughters have a thing for almond bread and a thing for lemon poppy seed bread. All moist and thick-crumbed and incredibly flavorful, these breads are always at the top of their lists. But the sad thing is, I’ve never had reliable recipes for them in my own recipe box. So I set out to change that and combine the goodness of both almond and lemon into one great no-fail recipe.

These little loaves of almond bread are the best you’ll ever find, guaranteed. Perfectly moist, they’re flavored with the comfort of almond and the brightness of lemon. My favorite part, though, is the lemony sugar glaze that soaks into the bread, giving it extra moistness and a sweet lemon tang. Once the glaze cools and sets, it creates a wonderful thin crust over the top of the bread, giving the top of each slice a few bites of crunchy texture—if I could get away with only eating the top half of the entire loaf, I surely would!

Recipe: Almond Poppy Seed Bread with Lemon Glaze
Makes 2 small loaves

You’ll need:
1 1/2 cup flour
1 1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tbsp. poppy seeds
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup + 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1 1/2 tsp. almond extract
2 tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest

For the lemon glaze:
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract
1/2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled

What to do:

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray two 7-1/2″ x 3-1/2″ loaf pans with cooking spray and set aside. (I love this pan size—the smaller loaves make great gifts for hosts, new parents or a grieving family.)

In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine the flour, sugar, salt, baking powder and poppy seeds. Stir on low, until just combined.

In a separate medium bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients—milk, vegetable oil, eggs, vanilla, almond extract and lemon zest.

Slowly add the wet ingredients to the dry. With mixer on low speed, beat until incorporated. Then, raise the mixer speed to medium and beat for one more minute.

Pour batter into prepared loaf pans and bake for 45 to 50 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.

While the bread is baking, prepare the glaze. Combine all glaze ingredients and whisk until incorporated. When the baked loaves are removed from the oven, immediately brush the glaze over the warm bread tops. It will seem like a lot of glaze, but it will soak in and make the bread ultra-moist and flavorful, with a bit of a sugary crust once cooled.

Cool loaves about 20 minutes. Then run a knife around the edges of the pans before removing bread from pans.

Thank you, Brenda!

P.S. More best recipes, including raspberry cake, English lemon cake and olive oil cake.

(Photos and recipe by Brenda Score of A Farmgirl’s Dabbles. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)