10.27.11 Sweet Bread

Sliced loaf 790 xxx
photos by gluttonforlife
Don't get your knickers in a twist, I'm not giving you a recipe to prepare strange and frightening innards. Not that I wouldn't! But no, this is considerably more tame. Although I hope it make take you out of your comfort zone as far as baked goods go. Why? Because it's made with a lot of buckwheat flour and that can have scary health-food store connotations. Trust me, you don't need to be wearing Birkenstocks to go for this delicious cake. It's actually inspired by an incredible muffin from Peels that I've enjoyed on several occasions. The pastry chef there, Shuna Fish Lydon, really rocks, as you can see by her blog, not to mention her addictive graham crackers, brown butter rice krispie cubes and other tweaked-homestyle treats. I've lauded her skills before.
Rosemary lemon rind 790 xxx
pungent rosemary, candied lemon peel and lemon marmalade infuse this cake with flavor
At Peels, the muffin from which this cake concept derives sits in the glass case looking like a bit of a wallflower compared to the gooey monkeybreads and glamorous graham crackers. But be forewarned: she's got flava! Billed as a "buckwheat muffin with rosemary and lemon marmalade," this unassuming little brown wren of a snack has a lot going on. I've put together a recipe that replicates it pretty well, though baking it as a loaf creates some fundamental differences. I recently acquired some silicone muffin cups (great space-savers if you have a small kitchen), so I may try it again in this format.
Browned butter 790 xxx
browned butter adds another nutty note
Buckwheat is not a grain, and not even a grass, it's actually a pseudocereal. Not entirely sure what that means, but I do know it's highly nutritious. It's very rich in flavanoids, which are phytnutrients that contain lots of antioxidant power. It's also high in magnesium which is great for cardiovascular health. It won't spike your blood sugar like other carbs, so it makes an especially good breakfast food. It tastes quite earthy and dark and pairs well with sharp flavors like lemon and rosemary. Browned butter—see the foam turning color, above?—adds subtle hints of caramel and hazelnut.
Batterdough 790 xxx
a rich, firm dough
Is it a dough if it doesn't rise? This feels thicker than a batter, but avoid overmixing so it stays tender.
Before the oven 790 xxx
into the oven
In addition to stirring marmalade into the mix, you also glaze the top of the loaf with a thick layer of it. This helps the rosemary stick and creates a pleasingly chewy crust. The turbinado sugar sprinkled on top only adds to the textural delight.
After baking 790 xxx
after baking: nirvana
I can't really describe to you the joy I felt in recreating this brilliant cake. I think it's a fitting tribute to the original.
Slice 790 xxx
slice of life
I enjoyed mine unadorned, straight from the oven; dunked into tea; toasted with a little butter; and spread with apple butter. You can't go wrong, no matter how you slice it.

Buckwheat Marmalade Cake

makes one loaf
  • — 3/4 cup buckwheat flour
  • — 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (gluten-free mix is fine)
  • — 1/2 cup organic cane sugar
  • — 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • — 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • — 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • — 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • — 1 large egg
  • — 1/4 cup lemon marmalade
  • — 2 tablespoons grapeseed or other neutral oil
  • — 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • — 1/4 cup candied lemon rind, minced
  • — 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, minced
  • — 2 tablespoons salted butter, browned
  • — 2 tablespoons lemon marmalade
  • — 6 fresh rosemary sprigs
  • — 2 tablespoons turbinado sugar

Preheat oven to 350º.

Lightly grease a loaf pan.

Combine first 6 (dry) ingredients. In a separate bowl, mix together next 5 (wet) ingredients until well combined. Gradually fold dry mixture into wet mixture, stirring minimally. Stir in lemon rind, minced rosemary and brown butter. Pour into prepared loaf pan.

Brush remaining 2 tablespoons marmalade over surface. Arrange rosemary sprigs on top and sprinkle with turbinado sugar.

Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

Download recipe  Download Recipe


Laura, i have a 'tea folder'- it is full of recipes i print out or cut out from magazines and newspapers and tuck into the folder for inspiration when i am planning an afternoon tea. to be honest, i havent had a tea party outside of my mum's home- she has such beautiful china and serving platters, it seems the only place right to host an afternoon tea. i am going there for Xmas- this recipe shall be printed out- and used for our 'do'. i am a huge fan of using different flours and particularly love buckwheat (read: soba noodles!). x s
s on October 27, 2011 at 6:09 am —
Shayma, I love the though of this recipe making its way into your special folder, and then into your mother's kitchen! I hope you enjoy it! xo
laura on October 27, 2011 at 10:04 pm —
This looks just delicious!! You got me curious about buckwheat, so I looked it up in "The Splendid Grain" and it says it comes from the seed of a weedlike plant related to rhubarb, of all things. And you're right, it's a powerhouse for nutrition! I've not cooked with it yet, and this looks like a great recipe for me to start with. Thanks!
The Wimpy Vegetarian on October 28, 2011 at 12:51 pm —
Oops, that'll teach me to post a comment without spell checking it. I meant WEEDLIKE, not weeklike :-)
The Wimpy Vegetarian on October 28, 2011 at 12:55 pm —
You're in for a treat! Buckwheat flour also makes great pancakes. It can be a little leaden on its own, so best to mix with a little all-purpose or rice flour. And you have to explore buckwheat in some savory incarnations as well—soba noodles and kasha (buckwheat groats) could be next for you, Susan.
laura on October 28, 2011 at 12:56 pm —
Ever the copywriter, I can't help myself from correcting typos before posting readers' comments!
laura on October 28, 2011 at 1:36 pm —
Small world. Shuna is a friend of mine from SF.
Mily on October 29, 2011 at 7:39 am —
Figures! She is great.
laura on October 29, 2011 at 8:08 am —
Hi Laura, So I indulged in Sunday baking with the teff, orange marmalade and ginger version of your loaf... I used coconut crystals instead of sugar and lightly dusted the top with sea salt instead of sugar... I'm posting a photo on Instagram for you to see... It didn't last long, admittedly not alone. Too delicious! Thank you... Btw I'm a dear friend of the wonderful James Spindler who got me into your blog; I'm truly loving it... Thank you again!! Sandra
Sandra on January 4, 2015 at 8:32 pm —
So glad it worked out for you, Sandra, and your tweaks sound delicious! I'll thanks James for connecting us...
laura on January 4, 2015 at 9:31 pm —