Cute, fragrant, and slightly sweet, these mini braided sweet bread loaves are just right for breakfast and snacking. Perfect for sharing and gifting!
In a large bowl, whisk together water, sugar and yeast. Allow to sit for 5 minutes so yeast can proof. Once mixture begins to foam, add salt, butter, half and half, lemon zest, cinnamon and 4 cups flour to the bowl. Stir until a soft dough forms. Turn dough onto a lightly floured board, knead for 5 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl. Cover and allow to rise until double in bulk, about 1 hour. Once dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured cutting board. Flatten into a long rectangle, then slice the rectangle into 3 long strips. Roll each strip into a long thin rope, braid the three ropes together, slice into 6 equal pieces. Gently place each piece into a Sweet Creations mini loaf liner which has been sprayed with nonstick baking spray. Brush loaves with egg. Allow loaves to rise on top of warm oven, for about 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 22-27 minutes, or until loaves are golden brown. Allow loaves to cool slightly before removing from pan. Dust with powdered sugar or drizzle with lemon icing, if desired. FOR LEMON ICING: Whisk together 2 cups powdered sugar, 1 tsp clear vanilla, juice and zest from 2 lemons. Drizzle over loaves.