This sweet, yeast bread is a real treat. It’s more labor intensive than some other breads I make, so I don’t make it often. When I do, it is gobbled up that same day. No leftovers. It’s that good. Make. Enjoy. Double the recipe and make two, so you have one to gift to someone who needs some cheering.
[recipe title=”Lemon Cheese Braid” servings=12-14 difficulty=”moderate”]
- 1 package (¼ oz or 2½ tsp) active dry yeast
- 3 T warm water (110° to 115°F)
- ¼ cup sugar
- ⅓ cup milk
- ¼ cup butter or margarine, melted
- 2 eggs
- ½ tsp salt
- 3 – 3½ cups all-purpose flour
- 2 packages (one 8 oz, one 3 oz) cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp grated lemon peel
- ½ cup confectioners’ sugar
- 2-3 tsp milk
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract
In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. Add sugar, milk, butter, eggs, salt and 2 cups flour; beat on low speed for 3 minutes.
Stir in enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Knead on a floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes.
Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, beat filling ingredients in a mixing bowl until fluffy; set aside. Punch dough down.
On a floured surface, roll into a 14″ x 12″ rectangle. Place on a greased baking sheet.
Spread filling down center third of rectangle. On each long side, cut 1″ wide strips, 3″ into center.
Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling. Seal end.
Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
Bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool.
Combine icing ingredients; drizzle over bread. Yield 12-14 servings
Here’s a video that shows the process of rolling out the dough, spreading the filling, cutting the strips, and braiding.