1. In a large bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, egg and egg yolk, yeast, lemon zest, and sugar.
  2. Stir to combine, then add the salt, flour, and butter. Mix and knead until a soft, smooth dough forms, about 8 to 10 minutes. Cover and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
  3. Gently deflate the dough and roll it into a rectangle 30" long and 6" wide. Measure out 1 cup of the poppy seed filling and stir in 2 teaspoons of lemon juice (this will make the filling easier to spread; add the extra teaspoon if needed).
  4. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving 1/2" of one long edge uncovered. Roll the dough toward the uncovered edge and pinch the seam to seal it.
  5. Line a large baking sheet (e.g., a half sheet pan) with parchment. Grease the outside of a 2" to 2 1/2" metal biscuit cutter and place in the center of the pan. Mark the dough in 1" increments.
  6. Using unflavored dental floss, slice the dough by placing it under the log, crossing the ends over your mark, and pulling until the floss slices through the dough.
  7. Place the dough slices around the greased cutter, just barely touching, in two concentric circles. Depending on the exact size of the slices and the size of your pan, you'll probably have some slices left over. Layer them on top of the circles for a two-tier loaf; or simply bake them separately, in a round cake pan.
  8. Cover with greased plastic and let rise for 40 minutes, until puffy looking. While the dough is rising, preheat the oven to 350°F.
  9. When the dough is ready, uncover it and brush the top lightly with the egg white/water topping.
  10. Bake the bread for 28 to 32 minutes, until golden brown all over. Remove from the oven and cool on a rack.
  11. To make the glaze, combine all of the ingredients until smooth; drizzle over the cooled bread.
  12. Store the bread, well wrapped, at room temperature for a couple of days; freeze for longer storage.

Tips from our Bakers

  • Lemon-scented icing is a tasty final touch. Combine 1 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted; 1 tablespoon milk or heavy cream; 1 tablespoon lemon juice, and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla, stirring until smooth. Drizzle over the baked/cooled bread.