Cream Cheese Bread

Cream Cheese Bread

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This is a great bread to serve on the holidays!

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Time needed

45-60 min preparation + 1-1.5 hour cooking

Serving Size / Yield

8 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 1/4 tsp. instant yeast
  • 1/4 C. lukewarm water
  • 1/2 C. lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 C. (1/2 stick) butter
  • 1 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 C. sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 3 C. King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • Filling:
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 1/2 C. sugar
  • 3 Tbs. King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 tsp. vanilla

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Directions

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 until ready to use.

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.

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.

Submitted by: Ron Merlin

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