Lemon Cheese Braid
|Active dry yeast||1 Tablespoon (1 Package)|
|Warm water||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Flour||4 Cup (64 tbs)|
|Milk||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs), scalded and slightly cooled|
|Butter||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs), softened|
|Cream cheese||12 Ounce, softened|
|Granulated sugar||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Grated lemon zest||1 Teaspoon|
|Raisins||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Powdered sugar||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Freshly squeezed lemon juice||2 Tablespoon|
|Butter||1 Tablespoon, melted|
STIR THE YEAST into the warm water in a small bowl and let sit until frothy, 3 to 4 minutes.
IN THE LARGE BOWL of an electric mixer, combine 2 cups of the flour with the yeast mixture, milk, eggs, sugar, butter, and salt and mix well.
Add enough of the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, to form a soft dough.
Knead the dough until very smooth and elastic, 5 to 10 minutes.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
PREPARE THE FILLING while the dough is rising.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth, gradually adding the sugar.
Add the egg and lemon zest and continue beating until well mixed.
Stir in the raisins and set aside.
PUNCH DOWN THE DOUGH, place it on a lightly floured work surface, and roll it into a rectangle about 12 inches by 14 inches.
Set the dough on a lightly greased baking sheet.
Spread the filling lengthwise down the center third of the dough.
Using a small, sharp knife or kitchen shears, cut the uncovered outer thirds of the dough in 1-inch strips from the outer edge toward the filling.
Beginning at one end, fold the strips over the filling, alternating from side to side, creating a braided effect.
Cover and let rise again until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.
PREHEAT THE OVEN to 375°F.BAKE THE BReaD until nicely browned, about 25 minutes.
Transfer it to a wire rack to cool.
FOR THE ICING, stir together the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and melted butter until smooth; drizzle over the bread.
Cut into slices and serve.