The sweet, tangy lemon verbena glaze soaks into the bread, enhancing the subtle herb flavor in the bread. Make a little extra glaze to drizzle over slices of the tea bread just before serving.
Yield: 1 (8-inch) loaf
- 1/2 cup milk
- 10 lemon verbena leaves plus stems
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon rind
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped lemon verbena leaves (about 20 leaves)
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- Lemon verbena leaves
Combine milk and lemon verbena leaves and stems in a small saucepan. Heat on low just until milk is hot (do not boil). Set aside to cool to room temperature. Pour mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a glass measuring cup, discarding lemon verbena. Add additional milk to measuring cup to equal 1/2 cup, if needed, and set aside.
Beat butter at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy. Gradually add granulated sugar, beating until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
Stir together flour, baking powder and salt; add to butter mixture alternately with reserved milk, beating at low speed just until blended, beginning and ending with flour mixture. Stir in lemon rind. Spoon batter into greased and floured 8-x 4-inch loafpan.
Bake at 350˚ F for 1 hour or until a wooden pick inserted in center of bread comes out clean. Let cook in pan 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan, and cool completely on a wire rack.
Combine chopped verbena leaves and lemon juice in a small bowl. Cover and set aside. After bread has cooled completely, pour herb-lemon juice mixture through a wire-mesh strainer into a small bowl, discarding lemon verbena. Add powdered sugar and stir with a small whisk until smooth, adding additional lemon juice, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, if needed, until desired consistency. Spoon glaze over top of bread, letting excess drip down sides. Garnish with lemon verbena leaves.