Lemon -- not my favorite. It's not that I dislike lemon, it's just that I can't figure out what to do with it aside from lemonade. Everything it goes in seems better without or with a different flavor. I was sorely tempted to use a different fruit, or chocolate, or plain cream cheese -- anything but lemon -- but 1) I have a Meyer lemon tree with an abundance of ripe fruit from which I can make delicious lemon curd, and 2) I had the remains of a jar of very unsatisfactory purchased lemon curd already in the refrigerator, waiting to be used. So, lemon it was, but that didn't mean I had to leave it at that.
I wanted some texture and more complex flavors, so I added shredded coconut and a little ginger to the cream filling. I substituted Greek-style yogurt for the sour cream, as I had it on hand. Feeling lazy, I opted to use the purchased lemon curd, thinking the poor flavor would be compensated for with the other quality ingredients. I was wrong. There's no salvaging cheap lemon curd.
I didn't realize when I started that the recipe made two loaves. I cut the recipe in half thinking I was making only a half loaf (always tricky with a false braid.) Oh well. More for me!
This dough was extremely soft -- the instructions should insist you form the dough on parchment so you can transfer the whole easily to the baking sheet. I can't imagine being able to pick up the raw loaf! Again, due to laziness, I dispensed with any decoration. I need to come up with something besides sugar or sliced almonds anyway.
The bread part of this loaf was delicious, and smelled heavenly while baking. Very buttery! Some people commented that they lowered the temperature and baked it for less time. I baked at 350 for about 42 minutes, and I think it still could have used less time. Lightly golden is probably the right color. Otherwise, the only disappointment was the lemon. (And I still haven't finished that jar.)
Recipe: Braided Lemon Bread via King Arthur Flour