This lemon bread machine recipe is a sweet yeast breakfast bread flavored with lemon and orange zest. It’s ridiculously easy to make with a bread machine and a bundt pan.
No worries if you don’t have a bread machine. You can make it by hand or with a stand mixer. Directions here.
However, I procrastinated because the original instructions for assembling the bread seemed rather complicated. Surely there was an easier way than cutting long strips, stacking them, slicing the stacks, etc.
Then I remembered the bread my mom always made for us on Christmas morning.
She used a biscuit cutter to cut rolled-out yeast dough into many circles. Each piece was dipped in butter and coated with cinnamon-y goodness. Finally, the circles of dough were positioned vertically, like little toy soldiers lined up at attention, inside a faux-bundt pan. (I think it was actually a metal jello mold.)
My Mom’s cinnamon pull-a-part bread provided the inspiration I needed to make this recipe faster and simpler without sacrificing taste or appearance. Check out the process pictures below to see how I did it.
Can I prepare this recipe ahead of time?
I can’t wait to serve this delicious bread to my family on Christmas morning but you can be sure I won’t be getting up early to put it together.
I plan to mix, knead and assemble it the day before. See the notes at the end of the recipe for how to prepare this recipe a day ahead and then bake the next morning.
How to assemble and bake this Lemon Bread Machine Recipe:
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- 5/8 cup milk
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup butter
- 2 eggs
- 3 1/4 cup unbleached flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoon bread machine yeast
- 1/4 cup melted butter
- Lemon zest from 3 medium lemons and 1 orange mixed with 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons whipping cream, milk or coffee
- Dump first 7 ingredients into bread machine pan in order listed. Select dough cycle. After 5 minutes, lift lid and check dough. It should stick to the side, then pull away. If dough is too dry, add milk one tablespoon at a time. If too wet, add flour one tablespoon at a time.
- When dough cycle completes (dough should be doubled in size), remove dough to a floured surface and roll into a rectangle roughly 8 x 10 inches in size.
- Use a pizza cutter or knife to cut the dough into large diamonds.
- Dip each diamond into melted butter, then into sugary lemon/orange zest mixture.
- Place first piece on its side in bundt pan. Lay second piece upright against first piece and repeat until all pieces have been lined up around the pan. You may have to push them together to squeeze in the final pieces. Perfection is not required.
- Cover with shower cap, plastic wrap or a tea towel and allow to rise in warm place until almost double.
- Uncover and bake in oven preheated to 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F. Lay a piece of foil loosely on top to prevent over-browning about halfway through baking time.
- Allow to cool for 5 minutes before turning out of pan. Flip upside down so crusty top is visible.
- While bread is still warm, mix powdered sugar with liquid of choice and drizzle over the top.
To prepare a day ahead, follow instructions above through step 5. Cover dough that has already been arranged in a pan with plastic wrap or shower cap. Chill overnight. About 2 hours before you want to serve bread, remove bundt pan from fridge and set aside in a warm, cozy place until the dough has almost doubled in size. Bake as directed above. You can control the rising process somewhat by moving the pan to a warmer or cooler location, depending on when you want it to be ready to bake.
Directions for making bread with a stand mixer or by hand:
- To make this recipe in a heavy-duty stand mixer, add ingredients to the bowl in the same order. Turn on low to mix until all ingredients are moistened. Using dough hook, turn speed to 2 or 3 and continue kneading until dough becomes smooth and elastic--about 5-10 minutes. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
- If making by hand, combine all ingredients into a shaggy ball in a large bowl. Turn dough out on a floured surface and knead with your hands until dough becomes smooth and elastic, a process that will likely take 10-20 minutes depending on your experience. Place the dough ball into a greased bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double. Deflate dough gently and shape as indicated in the recipe.
- Please note: If you substitute regular yeast for instant or bread machine yeast, you must dissolve it first before adding to the dry ingredients. Stir it into about 1/4 cup of the lukewarm liquid called for in the recipe. Let sit for about 10 minutes. Add to other wet ingredients and then add dry ingredients. Proceed as directed to knead and shape the dough.
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