Braided Lemon Bread with Blackberries

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Braided Lemon Bread with Blackberries

This Braided Lemon Bread is the August Avid Bakers Challenge, hosted by Hanaa of Hanaa’s Kitchen. For 2013, each month we are baking a recipe from the King Arthur Flour website.

The dough in this bread is enriched with butter, egg, some sugar, and vanilla yogurt. While it seems sticky, be careful about adding too much flour. During the first rise, the dough will become cohesive, and will become easy to work with.

Braided Lemon Bread with Blackberries

The dough is rolled out into a rectangle,

Braided Lemon Bread with Blackberries

Cut into strips and spread with a cream cheese filling,

Braided Lemon Bread with Blackberries

which is topped with lemon curd and optional fruit pieces,

Braided Lemon Bread with Blackberries

And then shaped into braid.

Braided Lemon Bread with Blackberries

I added some blackberries that we had in the refrigerator. I thought they’d work nicely with the lemon and cream cheese. They did.

Braided Lemon Bread with Blackberries

Braided Lemon Bread with Blackberries Recipe


3 ounces warm water (95 to 105 degrees F)

1 tsp sugar

1 1/2 t instant yeast

1 ounce unbleached all purpose flour


All of the sponge

3 ounces vanilla yogurt

2 ounces softened unsalted butter

1 large egg, beaten

1 3/4 ounces sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

10.6 ounces unbleached all purpose flour

one beaten egg for the egg wash

pearl or sparkling sugar (I used pearl) optional


2 1/2 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature

.9 ounces sugar

1 ounce sour cream

1 tsp lemon juice

1/2 ounce all purpose flour

1/4 C lemon curd

Handful of blackberries (optional) cut in half. 


  1. Combine the sponge ingredients in a small bowl, stir, and cover with plastic wrap. Let it sit for 15 minutes. 
  2. In your stand mixer bowl, combine the sponge, yogurt, butter, egg, sugar, salt, vanilla, and flour. Mix with the dough hook for about 8 minutes. If the weather is really dry, don’t add all of the flour immediately. Start with 10 ounces, and add more if needed. 
  3. Place the dough in an oiled dough rising bucket or bowl, cover, and allow to rise for one to two hours, until doubled. 
  4. Mix the cream cheese, sugar, sour cream, lemon juice, and flour until smooth. Cover and set aside. 
  5. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
  6. Dump the dough out onto the parchment, and press it into a 10 inch by 15 inch rectangle. Mark the dough lengthwise into thirds by pressing a ruler into the dough. Cut the outer sides into strips, as illustrated in the photos above. 
  7. Spread the cream cheese mixture onto the middle third. Spread the lemon curd on top of the cream cheese mixture. Top with the optional berry halves. 
  8. Fold the strips over the filling alternating in a braid pattern. Cover loosely with oiled plastic wrap. 
  9. Preheat the oven to 360 degrees F.
  10. Let the dough rise for about 45 minutes. When the dough is ready, brush it with the egg wash and sprinkle it with the sugar. 
  11. Bake for 30 minutes until a deep golden brown. 
  12. Cool on a cooling rack for at least 20 minutes. 
  13. Slice and serve. 

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