Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas Cream Cheese Bread

This is a Cream Cheese Homemade bread I make every year for Christmas which always disappears rapidly. This year I just sprinkled it with decorative sugar but you can glaze it or decorate it in any number of ways.


I find it almost impossible to keep the braid 100% intact during rising and baking so I use toothpicks to at least keep it as "together" as possible. I once made one where I painstakingly made the overlapping slices long enough that I could bind them with warm water and it held together. But I found to do that, you use much less filling and I like a lot of filling in my bread.

I say, "Let the filling be free!"


I recently moved and couldn't locate the recipe, and although I'm sure I could have made it from memory, I found a similar one at King Arthur flour, just to be certain of measurements. It worked like a charm.



Ingredients:

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 cup lukewarm water
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoons vanilla
1 egg, lightly beaten
3 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour

Filling:

8 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons vanilla
Dough: Combine sugar, milk water and yeast and let rest until it becomes bubbly. (Proofed) add the balance of the ingredients and mix and knead them together until you've made a soft, smooth dough. Place dough in a greased bowl, turn over, and cover with a moist towel. Allow the dough to rise, covered, for 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until it's puffy (though not necessarily doubled in bulk).

Filling: While the dough is rising, prepare the filling by mixing all of the ingredients together until smooth. Chill untill ready to use.
Assembly: Transfer the dough to a lightly floured board, punch down and let it rest for 5 minutes. Divide it in half. Roll each half into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Transfer rolled dough to baking pan spread with parchment paper. Spread half of the filling lengthwise down the center third of each rectangle. Cut 1-inch-wide strips from each side of the filling out to the edges of the dough. Fold about an inch of dough at each end over the filling to contain it, then fold the strips, at an angle, across the filling, alternating from side to side. Secure with toothpicks.


Baking: Allow the braids to rise, covered, for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, till almost doubled in size. Brush with a glaze made from 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water, and sprinkle with sparkling white sugar, if desired; then bake the braids in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven, and cool on a wire rack. Yield: 2 braids.


Enjoy!

17 comments:

Amber said...

This looks amazing! I will have to try it for this Christmas (otherwise I would probably eat it all myself).

pat said...

Sounds great! I'm absolutely making this over the weekend. Thanks!

Joy the Baker said...

Oh wow! I'm a sucker for cream cheese fillings. Amazing! And I love that you hold the whole yeasted bread together with toothpicks. Whatever works! Ha! That's great!

lisaiscooking said...

This looks amazing. I want that for Christmas breakfast!

Jerzee Tomato said...

Reminds me of the cheesebread at Mastoris in NJ. Thanks for the great recipe.

g said...

I made this recipe yesterday and it turned out fabulous! Thanks! I did, however, make the mistake of using cream cheese spread instead of cream cheese, making the filling very goopey, but the end result was aesthetically and flavorfully satisfactory.

P-Dot said...

Read through the whole blog and I definitely think we must have identical twin taste buds, just born so separate mothers.
Your recipes look so good and I am going to try quite a few of them.
I am a former Seattle-ite, now a retired old lady living in a Seniors only building in California.
I lived on Capitol Hill near where the two buses almost went onto the freeway.
I wondered if the soup recipe you were searching for, that you loved so much, from the Herbfarm is actually the base for their pumpkin soup with the shrimp. Often Chefs use basic bases and just go different ways with them.
I will let you know how I do with your recipes...
Pdot

Peabody said...

That looks like the breakfast of champions!

Patsyk said...

Looks wonderful! I'd love a piece right now!

Minja said...

This looks wonderful :))

bakingblonde said...

What an awesome idea, i love the presentation. Great pics

Kristin said...

This bread reminds of home. I missed mastoris cheese bread soooo much, but no more! Sweet, cheesy, perfect. I'm eating a piece that just came from the oven (I couldn't wait even 5 minutes) and it's delicious!
I used neufchatel, which doesn't seem to be firm enough. Next time I will use regular cream cheese.

Anonymous said...

I've never made bread before, but this definitely looks worth trying! Should ingredients be added in a certain sequence? Any advice would be much appreciatd.

The Merlin Menu said...

Actually, the sequence is stated in the recipe. You do the yeast, sugar, milk and water, and after it's mixed and bubbly you add the rest of the ingredients. Don't be shy, go try it, I bet you'll knock it out of the park.

lilmizlynn said...

Hi Ron, I finally made this cream cheese bread and it turned out great! Check out my blog. Thanks for sharing. :)

The Merlin Menu said...

Wow, looks like it came out perfectly for you. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

And your thought of making it with savory fillings is intriguing.

Anonymous said...

I saw a similar recipe with sour cream in the dough. Have you ever tried that?

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