Trump countdown

Saturday, August 3, 2013

August challenge: Lemon Braided Loaf

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.)  



Conclusion:  While I loved the bread, I would use a different filling next time, closer to my liking.

Recipe:  Braided Lemon Bread via King Arthur Flour

13 comments:

  1. Your braiding technique is flawless. Did you add whole wheat to your loaf? I added blackberries to my lemon curd and was really happy with the combination.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! I did add about 1/2 white whole wheat -- after I posted this, I realized I had forgotten to mention that.

      Delete
  2. Your loaf looks perfect. It's too bad you didn't care for the filling; the addition of ginger and coconut sounds wonderful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ha! Didn't stop me from eating the whole thing in just a few days! :)

      Delete
  3. So funny that you're not so fond of lemons and have a lemon tree in your backyard full with fruit.. so jealous :) You made a wonderful loaf, just perfect.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know, Lien. And the previous owners cut down the fig tree that was here, which I would have loved to have had. That and an apricot tree. But the lemons do come in handy, since so many recipes use the zest. And I put the juice in a lot of beverages. It's nice to have it right there where I can always use them.

      Delete
  4. How funny, with me it was just the other way round - I liked the filling but found the bread dryish. Like you I substituted half the flour with white whole wheat.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your bread might have been a little dry, since you followed the recipe directions for baking. Even at 350 and about 22 minutes (not 42, like I said in my post -- typo), mine could have been a bit more moist. But also, I had more filling than in the recipe, so that helped. The curd I used was just so sweet and not very lemony. If I'm going to have lemon flavor, I like it tangy!

      Delete
  5. Beautiful braid indeed, Paula. I had a bag of "traditional whole wheat flour" open and didn't want to both opening a bag of white WW, so I went with 100% bread flour (it's that laziness again). Btw, the KAF blog post did mention assembling the loaf on parchment paper but I heard it from you first :o) I too would love to have a lemon tree in my backyard, but for now, I'm fine with having 2 apple trees and a nice-sized concord grape vine (makes the best grape jelly ever!). Come to think of it, I didn't measure the filling I put in my breads. If I had to guess I'd say there's about 1/2 cup of fruity filling in each of my loaves, in addition to the cream cheese. Maybe that's why I didn't find the amount of filling too little. The bread part was amazing though. So soft! What do you think of adding lemon zest to the bread part next time? :o)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm glad I read that tip, because I don't typically bake on parchment so I wouldn't have thought to use it. (I've never had too much trouble wrestling my loaf to the baking sheet. ;) ) I was really surprised at how little filling was in the recipe. I didn't measure the curd -- just spread on what I thought looked right -- but I'm sure I put on more than was called for. (I had to do curd first because it was so thick and sticky.) One half cup of filling sounds like a good amount. As for zest in the bread, I don't know. It wouldn't hurt, but you're sort of asking the wrong person! :D If I make this again, it will be with a different filling entirely. (I think it would be really good savory, with a goat cheese and herb filling, and walnuts on top. Although, I have to say, lemon zest would be a nice addition to that combination!)

      Delete
  6. Hi Paula,
    Your braid looks beautiful, nicely braided. Mine had opened a little on one end, but luckily the filling did not leak out! This is one delicious bread and one that I would make again! Your addition of ginger and coconut sounds delicious!
    I'm so envious of your lemon tree!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Your braid is perfect! Mine was a hot mess...but it sure did taste good!

    ReplyDelete
  8. very nice with some whole wheat , I love bread with whole wheat too and it's just wonderful..

    ReplyDelete