1/3Csugar 5 C all-purpose flour 1/2 C1 stick butter
Zest and Juice of 1 lemon
Cream Cheese Filling
8oz1 block cream cheese
2tablespoonssugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1tspvanilla bean paste
1tspcitrus zest *if desired
1TBSPcitrus juice *if desired
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.
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!