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"The only real stumbling block is fear of failure.

In cooking you've got to have a what-the-hell attitude."

~ Julia Child

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Braided Lemon Bread and Making Your Own Lemon Curd

Ahhhhh Lemon Curd.  I find it amazing that it costs as much as it does when it is so simple to make.  I have found it online and in gourmet sores for up to 10 bucks for a half pint!  Let me show you just how easy it is to make! 

Gather up your citrus reamer and your zester it's time to make lemon curd!
1 Cup Sugar
1 Tablespoon finely shredded lemon peel
1 Cup lemon juice (about 5 lemons)
3 Table spoons firm butter or margarine cut up
3 large eggs lightly beaten
In a 1 1/2 quart sauce pan mix sugar lemon peel and lemon juice. Stir in butter and eggs. Cook over medium heat for about 8 minutes, stirring constantly (if you don't you will have lemon flavored scrambled eggs!) until mixture thickens and goats the back of a spoon.   Do not boil pour it into a pint jar or 2 half pint jars.

(Little not from Becky Sue, Okay so I used a fine mesh strainer to strain the curd.  I found that no matter how much I stirred the curd I still had little pieces of cooked egg and I wanted a nice smooth curd. Strain it and you are good to go.)

Now let's move onto the bread Mmmmm Lemony yumminess that is truly worthy of your Sunday brunch

Braided Lemon Bread
(Adapted from King Arthur Flour)


3/4 cup warm water.
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon instant yeast 
1/2 cup unbleached all purpose flour

In a small bowl, combine ingredients. Stir well to combine, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to proof for 10 to 15 minutes. 

all of the sponge
3/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup ( 1 stick) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons salt
2 teaspoons vanilla
5 cups unbleached all purpose flour
egg wash (one egg and t tablespoons water)

Combine everything, including the sponge, in the bowl of your stand mixer reserving 1/2 cup of your flour
mix until you have a shaggy mass. switch to your dough hook and knead for 5 to 6 minutes adding more flour as needed to create a soft  smooth dough
place the dough in a greased bowl, turning once to coat the dough. 
let rise for 60 to 90 min until almost doubled.

meanwhile make your cheese filling
2/3 cup cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup unbleached all purpose flour
1/2 cup prepared lemon curd

in a bowl combine everything but the lemon curd and mix until smooth
reserve the lemon curd until ready to assemble the bread
Gently deflate the dough and divide it in half. Cover half with plastic wrap and set it aside as you roll out the first piece into a 10" x 15" rectangle. Rolling on parchment paper makes moving the bread to the baking sheet much, much easier.
Spread half the cream cheese filling down the center section, and top with half the lemon curd, leaving 1" free on all sides of the filling.
Cut strips down either side of the filling so you can make your mock braid.
(I am not good at this part either, you may want to look this next part up on youtube to get a better idea)
fold the up the ends of the dough and crisscross the dough over the filling like this  (or I am sure you can do much better than i did) repeat the process with the other dough ball

Preheat the oven to 375
place the loaves onto a cookie sheet
bake 25 to 30 min. or until the bread is a nice golden brown.
allow to cool for 15 to 20 min before serving
 Now it's time to get your yum on!


  1. Now can I come over to your house for Easter brunch? These braids look DELICIOUS! I wish I had one to munch on right now. Thank you for sharing, sweet friend. A lovely way to begin my Easter Sunday. I hope you have a happy day!