Our Avid Bakers Challenge project for August, Braided Lemon Bread from the King Arthur Flour website, promised two things, a creamy lemony filling – I love lemons – and an interesting new shaping technique: a mock braid. 
One bread is enough for us two, therefore I used only half of the recipe.
Since the best of all husband doesn’t care for lemon curd, I mixed it into the filling, instead of spreading it as a discernible layer it on top. 
The more lemony the better
Also, I added some lemon zest to the dough, and substituted half of the all-purpose flour with white whole wheat.  
Made with a sponge as preferment, the dough is easy to mix, but somewhat challenging to handle. A little sticky, it requires a very gentle approach, try rolling it out a bit more forceful, and it will cling to your hands and the rolling pin.
Dusting the top of the dough prevents sticking
It is a good idea to roll out the dough on the same piece of parchment paper it will be baked on – to avoid sticky transport problems. And you can fold the paper to mark the desired length and width. 
I enjoyed learning how to make the divisions and cuts for the mock braid, and King Arthur’s blog was a great help.
With 4 corners cut off, the left over end pieces are folded over the filling
Folding the strips over the filling to make the mock braid is easy, but they are quite soft, so be gentle, and don’t pull, they still might stick.
Mock braiding in progress
When all stripes are folded, and the mock braid is done it looks like a real mummy braid.
Since my new oven tends to need a little more baking time, I stuck with the recipe’s temperature of 375ºF, in spite of some reviewers warnings. I didn’t mind the darker color, though 360ºF probably would have been enough.

Fresh from the oven
This recipe has a five-star rating, and obviously my fellow ABC bakers loved it, too. Much as I enjoyed the making of it, I was somewhat disappointed with the result. 
I am no great fan of sweet, soft breads, “Kuchenbrot” (cake bread) as they are called in German, but had hoped the lemony filling would make up for that. The lemon cream does taste really good, but, alas, it is only a thin layer.
This is just my taste, many people love these kinds of breads. And other ABC bakers tried other, interesting fillings, so check those out, too.

18 thoughts on “BRAIDED LEMON BREAD

  1. Your braid is really looking so professional, very pretty. I wish they sold white whole wheat here too, great idea to subsitute part with it.


  2. If you have white whole wheat you can substitute 25-50% of the all-purpose flour. I also often use some whole wheat pastry flour (exchanging 25-33% white flour with it), I like it a bit healthier, too.
    And the pastry keeps longer fresh.


  3. Thanks, Lien!
    This white whole wheat is an albino variety, maybe they will export that to Europe, too. To my surprise I just found Emmer in our natural food store, imported from Italy. So there is hope.


  4. Your bread bakes up lovely! I did not measure the filling, just spread the filling over until I feel that it is enough, and I have really used much more than what the recipe calls for.
    I had fun braiding this one!


  5. Your loaf turned out beautiful! I always like that you sub some of the white flour with WW flour. I didn't this time because I only had an open bag of traditional WW flour open, not the White WW flour. Too bad you didn't like the bread too much. You could certainly increase the filling amount. I didn't measure the fruit filling but it was definitely more than 1/4 cup per loaf, probably closer to 1/2 cup per loaf.


  6. Yes, it was very nice to learn a new technique.
    Was it more difficult to close the braid over a larger amount of filling? I was wondering whether I could do that next time.


  7. Hanaâ, I think that was just it, I really liked the filling, but it kind of got lost in the bread. Interesting that you and Joyce used more filling and could braid the loaf nevertheless.


  8. your Braided Lemon Curd Bread is very nic looking and it looks very fluffy too and the color is nice and golden…P.S. I love lemon curd too..


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