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Blueberry Cream Cheese Braided Breads

(Makes 2 large braids)
Author: Cristen

Ingredients

  • ½ C warm water
  • 4 ½ tsp instant yeast
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 1/2 cup warm milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/3 C sugar 5 C all-purpose flour 1/2 C 1 stick butter

Blueberry Filling:

  • 2 C blueberries
  • 1/4 C sugar
  • 1/4 C cornstarch
  • Zest and Juice of 1 lemon
  • Cream Cheese Filling
  • 8 oz 1 block cream cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • 1 TBSP lemon juice

Icing:

  • 2 C powdered sugar
  • 2 TBSP milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tsp citrus zest *if desired
  • 1 TBSP citrus juice *if desired

Instructions

  • Mix warm water, yeast and sugar together in a small bowl.  Set aside until foamy.
  • Add the eggs, salt, sugar, and butter, whisk well. Add flour and mix in until a soft but kneadable dough is achieved and the butter thoroughly incorporated.
  • Knead the dough by hand or with a mixer until it is smooth and satiny, about 10 minutes by hand 6-8 in a mixer.
  • Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise and room temperature until doubled in size, 1 – 1 ½ hours. Deflate the dough, recover the bowl, and refrigerate overnight, or for at least 4 hours.

The next day, make the fillings before shaping the loaves.

  • Blueberry Filling: combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.
  • Egg Glaze: combine the egg and milk in a bowl and beat until combined.
  • Cream Cheese Filling: combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined
  • Icing: combine all ingredients until a smooth icing forms.  Set aside until coffee cake is baked and cooled for 15 minutes.
  • Once your filling has cooled off, take the dough out of the refrigerator and gently deflate it. Divide it into two pieces. Use a rolling pin to shape each piece into a 10x15 rectangle.
  • *Spread your fillings in the center of the length of the dough, leaving 3 inches on each side open.
  • *At an angle, slice the unfilled sides of the dough into tabs approximately 1 inch wide.
  • *Alternating from side to side, fold the pieces in over the filling.
  • *Brush with egg wash, cover. Rise until double.  1 hour.  While it is rising, preheat the oven to 350.
  • *Just before placing the braid in the oven, glaze it again with any remaining egg wash.
  • *Bake on the center rack of the oven for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, rotating it once after 20 minutes so that it bakes evenly.
  • *Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool to warm.  Drizzle icing and serve warm.  Makes 2 braids.

Notes

You can substitute a thick canned pie filling in place of the blueberry filling in this recipe.  You can also omit the cream cheese, no problem!