As I’m typing in this recipe, I’m thinking of chilly winter mornings. Those days where we don’t have anywhere to be and can just hang out in our PJs all morning. Nothing is better on those mornings than to have a loaf of this bread in the freezer ready to pop into the oven for a sweet treat. Trust me, your family will love you for it! And it you are really nice, you can even give one of your extra loaves to a neighbor or family friend. The loaves are just the right size that you won’t have many (if any) leftovers. Enjoy!
Cream Cheese Braid
Recipe Type: Bread
Serves: 4 loaves
This is one my favorite holiday breads. I bake several and freeze them for gifts. The bread can easily be reheated in a 325 degree oven for 15 minutes as a quick holiday breakfast. This recipe is written for the Bosch Universal, but it can be easily adapted for other mixers. If you are using a Bosch, you can double the recipe.
- 1/2 c granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1/2 t salt
- 8 oz sour cream
- 4 t instant yeast
- 1/2 c warm water (100-110 degrees)
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 t apple cider vinegar
- 2 t vital wheat gluten
- 4 cups whole wheat flour (I use freshly milled)
- 2/3 c of your favorite jam or preserves (blueberry, apple or raspberry are my favorites)
- 1/4 c granulated sugar
- 1 t vanilla extract
- 12 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 1/2 c sifted powdered sugar
- 2 T milk
- 1 t vanilla extract
- To prepare dough, combine first four ingredients (sugar through sour cream) in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat, cool. Combine sour cream mixture, yeast, water, eggs, cider vinegar, and vital wheat gluten into bowl of mixer (I use my Bosch Universal with the dough hook extender). Add about half of the flour and pulse to just combine. Turn the mixer to speed one and add remaining flour in half cup increments – stopping when the dough is just cleaning the edge of the bowl. You may use slightly more or less than 4 cups of flour. Turn the speed to 2 and let it knead for 6 minutes. Dough will be soft and sticky. Transfer dough to an oiled bowl, cover and chill in the fridge for 8 hours or overnight.
- To prepare filling, combine preserves, 1/4 c sugar, vanilla, cream cheese and 1/2 beaten egg in a mixer bowl. Beat at medium speed until well blended (I use the wire whisks and scraper on my Universal for this.)
- Remove dough from fridge and divide into four equal portions. Turn each portion out onto a lightly oiled surface and knead lightly four or five times to warm up. Roll each portion into a 12 x 8 inch rectangle. Spread about 1/2 – 1 cup of filling over each portion. Don’t use too much filling – you’ll regret it because it will ooze everywhere. If you have any extra filling, it will keep in the fridge and is great on a bagel or toast. Starting at a long side of the dough, carefully roll up each portion jelly-roll fashion, pinch seam and ends to seal.
- Place two loaves on each of 2 baking sheets coated with oil. Cut 4 (1/4 inch deep) “X”‘s on the top of each loaf with scissors or a sharp knife. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85 degrees), free from drafts, 25 minutes or until doubled in size.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place 1 baking sheet in over (keep remaining sheet covered). Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining loaves. Cool loaves slightly.
- At this point, you can cool loaves completely (3 hours), bag and freeze until needed. Warm in a 325 degree oven for approximately 15 minutes.
- To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla, stirring with a whisk. The glaze can be transferred to baggies and frozen with loaves. Drizzle warm loaves with glaze.
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