I’ve recently been reading a lot of food blogs from the northern hemisphere, welcoming in the new Spring weather with fresh new recipes. However, in Australia, we’re now moving into Autumn weather, and wouldn’t it be nice to wake up in the morning to a warm slice of Braided Bread with Blueberry and Cream Cheese Filling?
This recipe is not too difficult: rolling out a yeast dough into a rectangle shape, placing the filling in the middle, and then ‘braiding’ the side tabs into the middle of the dough.
But wait! Does this sound too complicated? Not at all! I’ve never braided bread before, and if a klutz like me can do it, so you can you!
First, make the yeast dough and then let it rise double in size. Roll the dough out into a rectangle shape and then place the cream cheese and blueberry fillings in the center of the dough.
Next, on a diagonal, cut the sides of the dough into tabs about one inch wide.
Now, fold one tab at a time into the center of the dough, alternating sides and making sure the tabs overlap. Press the end of each tab gently into the dough after folding.
Let the dough rise again, brush with egg wash and bake for 25 – 30 minutes. And it doesn’t matter weather you live in the northern or southern hemisphere, this bread tastes good wherever you live!
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- 1 tbsp. instant yeast
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 cup warm milk
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) softened butter
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 eggs
- 4 - 4 1/2 cups all purpose flour
- 1 cup milk
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup corn flour
- 2 tbsp. lemon juice
- 3/4 cup cream cheese
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 egg mixed with about 1 tsp water.
- Add the yeast and sugar to the warm milk- lightly stir and let rest for 10 minutes while the yeast dissolves.
- In a separate bowl, beat together the softened butter and sugar until smooth (either by hand or use electric beaters). Add the eggs, salt and yeast mixture and stir until smooth.
- Add the milk and 1 cup of the flour and mix. Gradually add the remaining flour, beating until you have a soft, but kneadable dough (beat either using wooden spoon or using dough attachment with electric mixer). If your dough is still too moist, add a little more flour.
- Remove dough from bowl and knead by hand for about 3 - 4 minutes. Place dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until double in size (1 - 2 hours).
- While the dough is rising, prepare the blueberry and cream cheese fillings. In a saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, corn flour and lemon juice. Heat the mixture over medium heat for several minutes until it thickens and the fruit softens.
- In a separate bowl, soften the cream cheese in the microwave for about 20 seconds. Add the sugar and vanilla extract and mix thoroughly. Set the fillings aside while you finish preparing the dough.
- After the dough has risen, punch it down and place on a lightly floured surface.
- Cut the dough in half and roll out one section at a time into a thin rectangle about 1/8 inch thick (my rectangle wound up being 13 " wide and 9" long).
- Place the cream cheese and blueberry fillings in the center of the dough. On an angle, slice the sides of the dough into tabs about 1 inch wide.
- Alternating from side to side, fold the tabs one at a time over the filling, over-lapping the tabs. Gently press on the tabs to seal the folds. When finished 'braiding' the tabs, cover the dough loosely with plastic wrap and let rise again for about 45 minutes. While dough is rising, pre-heat oven at 350 F.
- After rising, brush the dough with egg wash and bake in the oven at 350 F for about 25 - 30 minutes until the dough is golden in color.
- Halve the recipe if you only wish to make 1 loaf of the braided bread. You can substitute other fruit fillings for the blueberries, such as apples and cinnamon.