Photo: Aaron Kirk; Prop Styling: Christina Daley; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall
Active Time
45 Mins
Total Time
3 Hours 15 Mins
Yield
Serves 16 (serving size: 2 slices)

The perfect recipe for spring. This slightly sweet, lemony, and tender braided bread lands somewhere between brioche and challah. Serve the impressive poppy seed-studded loaf with dinner, use it to for sandwiches, or make an unconventional French toast. 

How to Make It

Step 1

Combine yeast, 1/4 cup of the warm water, and 1 teaspoon of the sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes. Add milk, butter, lemon zest, juice, 2 cups of the flour, and 3 of the eggs; beat on low speed with a paddle attachment just until combined and smooth, about 1 minute. Replace paddle with a dough hook, and with mixer on medium speed, gradually add remaining flour. Mix on medium-low until dough pulls away from the sides but still tacky, about 3 minutes. 

Step 2

Turn dough out onto a clean work surface lightly dusted with flour. Sprinkle poppy seeds over dough. Knead until dough is smooth and only the slightest amount of tack remains, about 4 minutes. Transfer dough to a bowl coated with cooking spray, turning to coat all sides of dough. Cover with plastic wrap; let rest at room temperature until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour and 30 minutes. 

Step 3

Turn dough out onto work surface and separate into 2 equal portions. Working with 1 piece at a time, cut into 3 equal portions and shape each into a 15-inch long rope. Place ropes about 1-inch apart and braid together, finishing by pinching ends of braid together and tucking under. Transfer to a baking pan lined with parchment paper. Repeat process with remaining portion of dough. Cover loosely with plastic wrap; let stand at room temperature until almost doubled in bulk, 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 minutes.

Step 4

Preheat oven to 375ºF. Whisk together remaining egg and 1 teaspoon water in a small bowl. Brush evenly over bread, and bake in preheated oven until golden brown, about 22 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely, about 45 minutes.

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Ratings & Reviews

Sugar?

Triciab3
March 28, 2019
When do you add the rest of the sugar?

Nice recipe!

Ziggers
March 30, 2019
This recipe was fairly easy to make and the bread had a light texture and a nice delicate flavor.  The recipe didn't specify when to add the remaining sugar so I added it with the milk, butter, eggs, etc.  I wasn't sure what type of pan to use so I used a jelly roll pan.  Everything worked out fine and the bread looked impressive when it came out of the oven.  It was a big hit with my family.  Next time, I might try to cut back on the sugar a bit...just a personal preference...I don't use much sugar and really noticed the sweetness.  I will definitely make this recipe again.