I have posted about King Arthur Flour before, but given the fact that National Flour Month is this month and this recipe is absolutely perfect for Easter, I thought a little update/repost was in order.
Have you ever tried King Arthur Flour? It really can step your baking ability up a notch. It is in my opinion, the absolute best flour you can buy, every bag is exactly the same as the last. I don’t use anything else unless I am stranded on a desert island or in a strange kitchen with nothing but ordinary flour….
You can buy it in most grocery stores, but for a real treat, check out their website http://kingarthurflour.com/ . Not only do they have all kinds of cool things to buy, there are amazing tips and recipes, like this one:
3/4 cup warm water
2 t sugar
1 T instant yeast
1/2 cup flour
all of the sponge
3/4 cup plain or vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs, beaten
1/2 cup sugar
2 t salt
2 t vanilla
5 cups flour
Cream Cheese Filling:
2/3 cup cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 t fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup prepared lemon curd
In a small bowl, combine the sponge ingredients, stir well to combine, cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 15 minutes
When the sponge gets all bubbly and happy
place it in a bowl with the yogurt, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, vanilla and 4 1/2 cups of the flour. Mix until it is a rough shaggy mess
Switch to a dough hook, or turn it out on the counter and knead it until the dough comes together nicely and springs back when you poke it. If using the dough hook (which is sooooo much easier), knead about six minutes on speed 2, adding flour in both cases if needed to make a soft smooth dough
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl
cover with plastic wrap and let sit in a warm place for about an hour or hour and half or until the dough has nearly doubled
when it has nearly finished rising make the cream cheese mixture by combining all the filling ingredients (except the lemon curd) in a small bowl
when the dough has finished rising, gently deflate it and cut it in half, roll 1/2 of the dough on parchment paper into roughly a 10″ x 15″ rectangle. Cut into three lengthwise strips and spread half the cream cheese mixture on the center strip, followed by half of the lemon curd.
then braid it just like you would a hair braid, tucking and adjusting where necessary. It doesn’t have to perfect, mine certainly wasn’t and it turned out beautifully…
repeat with the other half of the dough, then wash both loaves with an egg wash made of one lightly beaten egg with 2 t water and a pinch of salt, and sprinkle with coarse, sparkling sugar
bake at 375 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes until golden brown.
I ate one right out of the oven and then carefully wrapped the other and froze it. About two weeks later, a neighbor dropped by and I reheated the other loaf. It was wonderful!