Poppy Seed Bread

January 5, 2008

Poppy Seed Bread is popular at brunches and for good reason. It’s crunchy, beautiful, and totally delicious. This easy version adds the nutty richness of whole wheat and molasses. You can toast it or serve it with butter and/or jam. I even make thin-sliced cream cheese sandwiches out of it. Like so many rich breads, it’s even better the second day. SAM

4 eggs, lightly
1 cup salad oil
1/2 cup dark molasses
1 3/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 (13-ounce) can evaporated milk
6 tablespoons plus 2 tablespoons poppy seeds, divided
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease and flour two 9 x 5 x 3-inch loaf pans and set aside. With an electric mixer on medium speed or a pastry fork, beat together the eggs, oil, molasses, and sugar until smooth. Combine the all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour, and baking soda and add to the egg mixture alternately with the milk, beating well after each addition. Add 6 tablespoons poppy seeds and the vanilla extract. Pour into the prepared pans and sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons poppy seeds. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, or until a tester inserted in the middle comes out clean. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out onto the rack to cool completely.
Makes 2 loaves or 24 servings.