Make Ahead

Put Some Spring in Your Bread

May 11, 2011
3 Ratings
  • Makes 1 large or 2 small beautifully browned round loaf
Author Notes

I first conceived of this bread when I was teaching a culinary arts job training program. We often received donations of food in such quantities that we really had to stretch to find ways to use it up. Odd abundance is a great teaching tool. While I'm back to being a workaday chef, I still make this bread both at work and at home every spring for the sweet memories it evokes.

This quick bread can be mixed, in the oven, and cool enough to slice but still melt butter by the time dinner is ready for the table.

Fresh peas lightly blanched - I used fresh little English peas - , snips of tender young chives just poking through the soil, and bright lemon zest will be perfectly happy to find themselves served alongside a colorful spring soup, a brilliant salad, or any fish you can name.

And a note of reality: if can't find or don't have bright, fresh peas, please feel free to use frozen (but please promise me you won't try to use canned). Just be sure to thaw them first and drain them well ; ) - boulangere —boulangere

Test Kitchen Notes

When I make a bread like this, I wonder why I ever buy bread in the store when it can be so easy to throw together a loaf of quick bread with such satisfying results. This bread came together so quickly and easily and tasted oh-so-good! I wasn't sure how I'd like peas in bread but they were perfect little surprises in the mouth and added a little moisture to the bread. The lemon brightens everything with the result being a very spring-like fresh bread. The only thing I might try differently next time, an idea of my husband's who also loved this bread, is to add a little chopped mint -- mainly because we love the flavor combo of peas, lemon and mint. One thing for sure, I'll be making this bread many more times!

One side note: I made half the recipe which amounted to a small boule just perfect for a dinner. The only adjustment I made was the baking time, which was perfect at 25 minutes. - ChezSuzanne —TheWimpyVegetarian

What You'll Need
  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon sea or kosher salt
  • 1 cup fresh peas, blanched, cooled in ice water, drained
  • 2 tablespoons snips of tender new chives
  • Zest of 1 lemon, microplaned
  • 2 ounces fragrant olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 8 ounces buttermilk or sour milk
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment. Anchor the corners if using a convection oven so that the parchment doesn't fly loose and cover the bread.
  2. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large mixing bowl. Add the peas, chives (snip them in with some scissors), and lemon zest. Toss to blend.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together the olive oil and eggs. Whisk in the buttermilk or sour milk (basically milk with a teaspoon of vinegar - not balsamic, turns it a frightening color - microwaved for 30 seconds; alternatively, use truly sour milk) and honey. Add to dry ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula until just blended.
  4. The dough will be very sticky. That's okay. Turn out onto a generously floured surface. Pat your palms in the flour. Shape the dough into a dome, or divide in half and shape into 2 domes (they'll bake faster this way). Don't worry about flour on its surface; it will look nicely rustic. Carefully transfer to your baking sheet.
  5. Bake for about 45 minutes (about 25 if 2 smaller loaves), until risen, crackled open, deeply golden brown, and your kitchen is oh so fragrant. If you must, insert a long skewer into the dead center. If it's gummy, add 5 minute increments until it isn't.
  6. Let cool enough to be able to handle and slice easily. Light some candles, pour some wine, and toast yet another fine day.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • walrusgumbo
  • boulangere
  • TheWimpyVegetarian
  • lmayb6

55 Reviews

walrusgumbo May 30, 2013
love this! i used edamame instead of peas and sprinkled the crust with these gorgeous midnight blue poppy seeds and french grey salt. this was perfect toasted with butter... i also smeared it with roasted red pepper hummus and loaded her up with fresh veggies for lunch the next day! thank you.
boulangere May 30, 2013
I am dreadfully allergic to soy, yet still, your edamame sub sounds brilliant! Edamame look so fat and crunchy and crisp, and so wish I could eat them. And I imagine your toppings were gorgeous as well as delicious. Thank you deeply for posting your personalized version!
boulangere May 26, 2011
Thank you ChezSuzanne for your sweet review. I love your husband's idea!
Made this delicious bread today! I just loved it!! It's really so fresh and Spring-like. I can't wait to experiment with other veggies and herbs. Great job!
boulangere May 22, 2011
Oh I'm so glad you enjoyed it. By all means experiment with vegetables, herbs, flavors, and please let us know the results!
RIPNGUITAR May 22, 2011
Great Bread, Thanks for the milk & vinegar = sour milk trick.
boulangere May 22, 2011
Always handy to know.
lmayb6 May 21, 2011
This bread was not only fun to make but absolutely yummy...first time i have ever made bread;)
boulangere May 21, 2011
HOORAY for you!!
ChefJune May 19, 2011
I am just seeing this recipe now! I am going to adapt it and put all those great springtime veggies into a Challah. What do you think? ;)
boulangere May 19, 2011
Please let us know how that works for you.
PsychoChef May 16, 2011
I had the privilege of trying this bread. I never would have thought of putting peas in a bread. It was very delicious.
healthierkitchen May 16, 2011
Just beautiful, simple and so creative!
boulangere May 16, 2011
Simple is right. Thank you so much!
Midge May 13, 2011
Just brilliant, boulangere.
boulangere May 13, 2011
You are too kind!
Sagegreen May 15, 2011
Brilliant, indeed! I can almost smell this off the screen!
boulangere May 15, 2011
cookinginvictoria May 13, 2011
I am a big fan of quick breads. Looks delicious and so inventive. I think that I have all of the ingredients to make this, so long as there is no frozen pea stigma. :) And I am with wssmom -- hooray, no kneading! Love the pics too -- especially the photo with all your students.
boulangere May 13, 2011
Consider yourself absolved! I surprised them - they didn't know I was going to post it.
lapadia May 13, 2011
There is something about quick breads (& soda breads) that doesn't like me...regardless of that, I must add, this recipe sounds wonderful!
boulangere May 13, 2011
I hear you; I'm allergic to chocolate.
What a wonderful-sounding bread!!! I can't wait to try it! Thanks so much for posting this, boulangere. And you studied under Peter Reinhart??? How absolutely wonderful! Love the photos too!! Thanks for sharing with us.
boulangere May 13, 2011
Oh, please do try it, and let us know how you like it!
lorigoldsby May 12, 2011
Oh Yumm! Reminds me of a bread I had at "Eatly" when we were in NYC this spring. Never thought I'd be able to make it. I kept thinking it was some sort of pizza but I think it was a quick bread like your recipe. Quick breads I can do, yeast just dies a drawn out futile death.
boulangere May 12, 2011
Wait just a minute here. This from the gorgeous woman with her spectacular tart on Martha's show? We need to have a serious yeast conversation. But not here. This bread is for easy fun.
mrslarkin May 12, 2011
Love this! And love that group picture!!!
boulangere May 12, 2011
My current class of students. We made this to serve with lunch today. They're all saying, "food52!" Thank you kindly, MrsL.
Burnt O. May 12, 2011
Boulangere - you may make a baker and candy maker out of me yet! This looks stupendous!
boulangere May 12, 2011
YAY! It's seriously as easy as it looks. And don't be a bit afraid to use frozen peas. That them first, though ; )
aargersi May 12, 2011
I am eating this right now. Before dinner. With honey. During dinner I will have it with chicken soup and salad (no honey). YUM! Won't be losing the Food52 10 this week!!!! SO delicious.
boulangere May 12, 2011
I love the food52 10. I've got 10 of my own. With honey - oooh, sounds wonderful! Thank you so much; flattered to be sharing hors d'oeuvres and dinner with you.
Burnt O. May 12, 2011
OMG - the Food52 10. Is THAT what happened to me??? We need a support group.
boulangere May 12, 2011
It's called food5210. Its mission is to support us in embracing our inner - and outer - 10.
fiveandspice May 13, 2011
The food52-10! Is that what seems to be settling in around my waist!? Haha! Well, we learn to love it! :) My husband is in danger of a food52-affiliate-10, I think!
hardlikearmour May 12, 2011
Wow! Another lovely creation from the talented boulangere!
boulangere May 12, 2011
You are too sweet!
hardlikearmour May 12, 2011
It's an act ;) Deep down I'm dreadful!
boulangere May 12, 2011
I suspect you have a lot of people fooled.
hardlikearmour May 12, 2011
Is that your class? Did you get my message about Gibassier?
boulangere May 12, 2011
Yes, this is my current class of students. They're holding loaves of this that we made to serve with lunch today and shouting, "food52!" No, I've not made Gibassier, but it is very like many holiday breads we made in culinary school. Peter Reinhart (aka the bread god) was my breads instructor, and we made many specialty and holiday breads, but not Gibassier. The method is no different, nonetheless. If you try it, let me know what you think. If you need help, let me know.
boulangere May 12, 2011
I've done recipe testing for him, and I'm moderately good at channeling him, so let me know what we can work out. I mean you and I ; )
fiveandspice May 13, 2011
You learned bread baking from Peter Reinhart??!! So jealous!
boulangere May 13, 2011
He was the reason I chose the school I went to. Very generous, very smart man.
boulangere May 12, 2011
Thank you so much.
aargersi May 12, 2011
You win! I am going to have to make this tonight! How much trouble am I in if I use frozen peas? Organic baby ones of COURSE :-)
boulangere May 12, 2011
Lucky you! You get to proceed directly to Go, collect $200, and skip the blanching step!
inpatskitchen May 12, 2011
Wow! This is amazing!
boulangere May 12, 2011
Thank you so much!