This Lemon Poppy Seed Braid is the first loaf of bread I was ever taught to make. I was 12 years old at that time and was living in a small town with little else to do after school. My mentor was a Canadian lady who made the most wonderful baked goodies. My mom is a great cook but she is not a baker. She was more than happy to allow me to go over to Mrs. D’s house for my lesson in bread making.
Mrs. D made all kinds of breads and cakes but I was most captivated by her poppy seed braid. I asked if she could teach me how to make it and she kindly obliged. I went over to her house one day after school and was treated to some delicious cake before the lesson started. I remember having had to stand on a step stool to do the kneading. It was hard work for my then small hands and skinny arms but I thoroughly enjoyed the lesson. Mrs. D even gave me some fresh yeast so that I could make my own loaf at home, which I did the very next day.
I do not have Mrs. D’s recipe with me any more as it was such a long time ago. I wrote it on a scrap of paper that got lost while I was busy growing up and forgot about bread making. All I remember was that it was a beautiful braided loaf with poppy seeds sprinkled on the top. The recipe below is my own creation made using Meyer lemons. The bread turned out beautifully with a golden crust and a moist and tender inside. Ro-Ri San and the boys loved it so much that I had to make another loaf two days later. Adding lemon to the low-fat milk is like using buttermilk. I guess that was what made the bread so tender and flavorful. I am sure this Lemon Poppy Seed Braid will make Mrs. D proud.
This bread is delicious served warm spread with some butter or lemon curd.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day! 😎