Meet the cursing baking mommy! On Friday last, she started a full day of work that included a reenacted regiment backing out of the major event at work, a panic attack during her physical, a camera crisis during the visit of an Ambassador, as well as the full complement of broken things, paperwork, Section 106 reviews, and requests for meetings. So of course she came home with a plan to bake, in addition to packing up a full kit of 18th century camping equipment and finishing buttonholes and hems on overalls and that devil dress.
I did bake, actually. I tried a recipe I found on Let’s Burn Something, lavender tea bread.
The recipe is pretty simple; the cursing part came in when I discovered that baking distracted has its dangers. Yes, I forgot to chop the lavender blossoms before steeping them in the milk. I did it after wards, and then tipped them back into the milk. You’d think the final result would look like, well, a loaf of pound cake with mouse excrement baked in, but it doesn’t. The little flowers look like seeds, so if you’re OK with a Rich Seed Cake, this will be fine, too.
Oh, I also used too much butter. Fortunately, that turned out to be fine, as too much butter usually is. And no, I don’t know my cholesterol levels, but let’s eat some more cake before the test results come back!
Lavender Tea Bread
- 3/4 cup milk
- 2 Tbsp. dried lavender flowers, finely chopped, or 3 Tbsp. fresh chopped flowers
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 6 Tbsp. butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Grease a 9x5x3 inch loaf pan.
- Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
- Heat milk with lavender almost to a boil, then steep until cool.
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt together in bowl.
- In another bowl cream butter and gradually add sugar, then eggs, one at a time, beating until light and fluffy.
- Add flour mixture alternately with lavender milk, in three parts. 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 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool.
- When completely cool, drizzle with a simple sugar glaze or sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar. Garnish with sprigs of fresh lavender.
I skipped both the sugar glaze and the confectioners’ sugar on the basis of sugar being expensive in the 18th century, and because I thought the final result would be less conducive to transport. It seemed fine, though with white linen uniforms, you wouldn’t notice the powdered sugar if it spilled. It’s just be the informal markings of the Second Helping Regiment.