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Author Notes: This is the type of bread I love to have ready for breakfast, especially on a holiday or festive week-end. The lemon poppy seed filling is delicate and fragrant, and allows the bread to be slathered with cream cheese, clotted cream or jam. —bonheurcuisine
Makes 2 loaves
For the bread:
- 3/4 cup milk, warm
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
- 2 1/2 teaspoons granulated active dry yeast
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- 1/4 teaspoon fine salt
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 1/2 cups all- purpose flour
For the filling:
- 5 tablespoons poppy seeds
- 4 tablespoons light brown sugar
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 egg white, beaten until fluffy
- 2 tablespoons milk
- icing sugar
- In a large bowl combine the warm milk, melted butter and granulated sugar. Stir in the yeast and let it sit until it is foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in the beaten eggs, the salt and vanilla extract and mix
- Add the flour to the wet mixture and work till you obtain a sticky dough but not to the fingers. Add the 1/2 cup flour to knead the dough over a floured work surface for about 5 minutes. Allow to prove for 2 hours in a warm place
- For the filling: In a medium bowl combine the ingredients and set aside Place the dough on a floured work surface and degas with your fingers. Shape it into a 9 x 13-inch rectangle. Fold the dough lengthwise into thirds. Roll the dough into a 9 x 13-inch rectangle, and then fold into thirds again. Repeat this process twice more, until you’ve done the rolling and folding a total of 3 times. Cut the dough in half, wrap one piece in plastic wrap, and place in the fridge to use later. Allow the other half to prove for 1 1/2 hour
- Preheat the oven to 180º C /350º F Roll out the dough into a 9 x 13-inch rectangle. Spread the filling in the middle of the dough.With the dough laid in front of you and the shorter side facing you, make 1-inch diagonal cuts down the left and right sides of the dough. Once you have reached the bottom, cut away two triangle pieces, so that the dough now forms a rectangle in the middle . Fold the rectangle flap over the filling, then go back to the top and fold each strip over the filling, alternating from left to right and moving towards the bottom. With the dough laid in front of you and the shorter side facing you, make 1-inch diagonal cuts down the left and right sides of the dough (imagine you are drawing a Christmas tree). Once you have reached the bottom, cut away two triangle pieces, so that the dough now has a tree trunk. Fold the tree trunk flap over the filling, then go back to the top and fold each strip over the filling, alternating from left to right and moving towards the bottom.
- Carefully place the braid onto a greased and lined baking sheet. Brush the top of the pastry with an egg wash of one egg white and a teaspoon of water. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown
- In a small bowl, whisk the icing sugar and milk. Add an additional tablespoon of milk if the icing is too thick, it should be pourable. Allow the braid to cool on a rack and drizzle the icing on top
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Breakfast Baked Good