The weather is warming up and making a nice, light lemony pastry seemed like a great idea! As it turns out, it was! The only downside is how many of these we have eaten in the last couple of days!
We had a really good time playing with the dough and figuring out how we wanted to shape it. The first batch we made, we had 8 or 10 different shapes and sizes. Once we baked those, we started making decisions. The shape and size we decided on was a 3-ounce rolled up braid. These have been great the last couple of morning with a cup of coffee. And, it turns out, they freeze really well! I would freeze them unglazed. We froze a couple with glaze on them; and when we heated them up, the glaze sank into the roll.
What are lemon knots?
Lemon knots are simply a sweet dough flavored with lemon, braided, and rolled up. It's not a difficult dough to make, but you do need to make sure you have everything you need measured out and ready to go.
It's best to add the salt and yeast at different stages because the salt can kill the yeast if they are added together. I prefer using a yeast specifically recommended for sweet doughs. It's listed at the bottom of the page.
How do I braid dough?
It's a lot easier than you think! The most important part is to not over think it. All you need to do is measure out three 1 ounce balls of sweet dough.
Next, you need to roll them out to about 12 inches long. If they tear, it's okay! Ball it back up and set it aside to work later (it needs to rest!). Just measure out another one ounce piece and roll it out.
Take your three strands and line them up like the photo above. You are going to pinch the top ends together to ensure your braid does not come apart as you are working with it.
Now, you're going to take the far left strand (let's call it #1, the one in the middle #2, and one on the far right #3) and place it over #2. Then, You need to tuck it under #3. You are going to repeat this process always starting from the far left and placing over #2 and tucking under #3.
Now that you have gotten to the end of your braid, pinch the ends together and flip it over. The end you started with should be closest to you now.
Roll your braid. It should form a wheel like shape. Tuck the end under the bottom and place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet!
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- 2 cups milk
- 1 cup butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 Tablespoons yeast
- 1 ½ Tablespoons lemon zest
- 7 ½ cups all purpose flour
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon lemon extract
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 ¼ cups powdered sugar, sifted
- Combine sugar, yeast, lemon zest, and 2 cups flour in mixer bowl.
- Fit mixer with flat beater.
- Heat butter and milk over low heat until thermometer registers between 120 and 130 degrees.
- With mixer running at lowest speed, slowly pour milk mixture into flour mixture.
- Increase speed to medium and beat for 2 minutes.
- Scrape bowl.
- Add eggs, lemon extract, 2 more cups flour, and salt.
- Increase speed to medium and beat 2 more minutes.
- Scrape bowl.
- Change to dough hook.
- Add last 3-½ cups flour and mix with dough hook until smooth and elastic, about 8-10 minutes.
- Place in a large lidded container that has been oiled or sprayed with cooking spray.
- Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour.
- Divide dough into 1-ounce portions.
- Roll each portion into a 12-inch rope.
- Lay out 3 ropes at a time.
- Pinch together at top and braid. (See photos above.)
- When done, pinch bottom together. Flip over, and roll up.
- Tuck edge under the bottom and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Let rise until nearly doubled, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- While dough is rising, preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Place rolls in oven and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
- Remove to cooling racks.
- When cool, drizzle with lemon glaze.
- Combine lemon juice and powdered sugar in a small bowl.
- Mix until smooth.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 24 Serving Size: 1 roll
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 849Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 6gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 4gCholesterol: 37mgSodium: 176mgCarbohydrates: 165gFiber: 6gSugar: 23gProtein: 21g