Saturday, January 5, 2013

Poppy Seed Braided Bread

Adapted from Love n' Bake

4 teaspoons quick rise yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup warm water (110°F)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup butter
2 egg yolks (reserve egg whites)
1 teaspoon lemon zest
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 to 4 cups flour
1 can Love n' Bake Poppy Seed Filling
1 tablespoon milk or cream
1 teaspoon corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 1/4 cups icing sugar

1. In a small bowl mix together yeast, sugar, and warm water. Stir and let stand until foamy, 5-10 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat up milk until just scalded but not boiling. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted. Set aside.
3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, mix together egg yolks, lemon zest, and salt. Mix in milk mixture and yeast mixture. Switch to a dough hook and gradually mix in flour until a soft sticky dough forms.
4. Knead dough for 8 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic, adding more flour as needed. Place into a greased bowl and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes. (I put mine in the oven with just the oven light on).
5. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface and roll into a 10x20" rectangle. Spread filling evenly over the dough leaving a 1" border. Brush edges with reserved egg whites. Starting from short end, roll up dough like a jelly roll forming a log. Carefully cut the log lengthwise in half and then braid them together.
6. Place braid into a greased 9x5" loaf pan. Let loaf rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes to an hour. Brush with reserved egg whites.
7. Bake loaf at 325°F for 40-45 minutes until browned and hollow sounding when lightly tapped on the bottom. Let cool 10 minutes in the pan before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
8. For the glaze, in a small saucepan over medium heat, heat cream and corn syrup until just bubbling. Whisk in zest and icing sugar until smooth. Brush over hot loaf and let cool completely. Slice & enjoy!

Perfect with a cup of tea or coffee!