Lemon Cheese Braid Bread
1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
3 tablespoons warm water (110° to 115°)
1/3 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 to 3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 packages (one 8 ounces, one 3 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 to 3 teaspoons milk
In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water. Add the milk, sugar, butter, eggs, salt and 2 cups flour; beat on low speed for 3 minutes. Stir in enough of remaining flour to form a soft dough.
Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a small mixing bowl, beat all the filling ingredients until fluffy; set aside.
Punch dough down. Turn onto a lightly floured surface; roll into a 14-in. x 12-in. rectangle. Place on a greased baking sheet. Spread filling down center third of rectangle. On each long side, cut 1-in.-wide strips, 3-in. into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling. Seal end. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
Bake at 375° for 25-30 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack. Combine confectioners' sugar, vanilla and enough milk to achieve drizzling consistency; drizzle over bread. Yield: 12-14 servings.