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Lemon Currant Loaves

My grandmother made this bread often when I was growing up. I can still close my eyes and remember the tantalizing aroma of lemon as it came out of the oven.
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 50 min. + cooling
  • Makes
    2 loaves (16 slices each)


  • 1 package (10 ounces) dried currants
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • DOUGH:
  • 2 packages (1/4 ounce each) active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup sugar, divided
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
  • 2 cups warm 2% milk (110° to 115°)
  • 3/4 cup butter, softened, divided
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten, room temperature
  • 5 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 8 to 9 cups all-purpose flour
  • ICING:
  • 1 cup confectioners' sugar
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  • For filling, in a small bowl, combine the currants, sugar and lemon zest; set aside. In a large bowl, dissolve yeast and 1 tablespoon sugar in warm water; let stand for 5 minutes. Add the milk, 1/2 cup butter, eggs, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, remaining sugar and enough 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 the top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  • Punch dough down. Divide into six portions; roll each portion into a 10x4-in. rectangle. Melt remaining butter; brush over dough. Sprinkle filling to within 1/2 in. of edges. Roll up jelly-roll style, starting with a long side, to form a rope; pinch seams to seal.
  • Place three ropes on a floured surface and braid; pinch ends to seal and tuck under. Transfer to a greased 9x5-in. loaf pan. Repeat with remaining ropes. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.
  • Bake at 375° for 50-55 minutes or until golden brown, covering loosely with foil during the last 15 minutes. Cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks to cool completely.
  • Combine icing ingredients; drizzle over loaves.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice: 233 calories, 6g fat (3g saturated fat), 33mg cholesterol, 169mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (17g sugars, 2g fiber), 5g protein.

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