I’m giddy to be able to say “last year” and put all of 2013 in the past. It was a rough year and being able to officially put it in the past makes me much happier.
During 2013 I don’t think I really accomplished much other than making copious amounts of caramel corn, drank way too much moonshine, mourned my sad and dead computer, and spent way too much time playing on my new iPhone.
Those darn iPhones are far too addictive.
Normally I don’t get out much, I tend to just stay in my house and not go anywhere fun or entertaining. So this year it was a real treat that we actually got invited to TWO potlucks in the same weekend!
The only bad part about having two in the same weekend is needing to make two different dishes. I knew I was going to want to make a dessert or something baked, but trying to think of two things to make and not screw them up was really starting to stress me out.
Then I remembered this bread! It’s not really quite a dessert, it’s more like something you would have for breakfast or at a brunch, but I figured why not? It’s delicious and I get both parties taken care of at the same time!
I didn’t realize how much I missed baking bread until I started making these loaves. The smell of the yeast, the kneading of the dough, and just the homey-ness that fresh bread smell creates.
I haven’t really baked bread in several years, or even really baked anything beyond a box mix.
Though at the time I was rather regretting making this recipe, not because it’s a bad bread but because it was torture smelling it bake and not being allowed to have any. By the time we got to the first party the anticipation was killing us.
I originally got this recipe off of The Fresh Loaf, but Floyd made it originally with blueberries but since I’m not a huge fan of the blue, I went for the raspberries instead.
I really want to try this recipe with apples as well. Can you imagine that? Warm and spicy cream cheese bread with apples in the morning, or even pumpkin would be delicious!
I think the reason that the recipe turned out so delicious and had such a great flavor is because of how many times I had to let the dough rise. First it was the sponge that needs to rise, then add the rest of the dough ingredients and rise, deflate and rise over night, then rise again just before baking.
I don’t think people realize how much work I put into my baked goods. This one actually does take two days and a lot of planning to make! Just make sure you aren’t like me and forget how much rising it has to do and start to make it at 9pm the night before your big party.
Then you’re up late at night, grumbling about the stupid bread and cursing yourself for not making sure to manage your time wisely. You’re telling yourself that you’re going to try to remember to do it at a better time next time, but in reality you’re going to forget again.
Because that’s what happens.
There is no better compliment than going to an event like a potluck with people that you’ve never met before, and having your dish disappear quicker than any of the others.
Saturday was at my coworkers house, and he made sure to hide the last piece for breakfast the next day.
On Sunday, my bread was the first thing gone.
I wasn’t really surprised at this since the husband and I can tear through most a loaf on our own. You really won’t regret making this bread.
Cream Cheese Raspberry Bread
Makes: Makes 2 braids
Originally found on The Fresh Loaf by Floyd
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1 1/2 cup warm milk
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup butter
2 cups berries (I used frozen raspberries)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
Cream Cheese Filling
1 cup cream cheese
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon egg glaze
- Make the sponge: mix the sugar, yeast, and flour together in bowl. Pour in the warm milk. Beat until smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1/2 hour.
- Add the eggs, salt, sugar, and one cup of the flour to the sponge. Beat until smooth. Add the butter in small chunks and beat well. Add the remaining flour a little at a time and mix in until a soft dough is achieved and the butter thoroughly incorporated.
- Knead the dough until it is smooth and satiny, about 5 minutes. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Deflate the dough, recover the bowl, and refrigerate overnight.
- The next day, make the fillings before shaping the loaves.
- Berry Filling: combine all of the ingredients except for the corn starch in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the corn starch, 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
- 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 thin (1/4 inch) rectangle on top of a large piece of lightly floured parchment paper.
- Spread the fillings in the center of the dough with the cream cheese mixture on the bottom, then covered with the berry mixture.
- At an angle, slice the sides of the dough into tabs approximately 1 inch wide. Alternating from side to side, fold the pieces in over the filling. When possible, gentle press on the tabs to seal the folds.
- Using the excess parchment paper, lift the braids onto your baking sheet (you will need a big one!). Trim the sides down a little bit but keep them big enough to help you remove them from the pan later.
- Glaze the braid with the egg wash. Cover loosely with plastic and set aside to rise until doubled in size, approximately 45 minutes. While it is rising, preheat the oven to 350ºF.
- Glaze the braids again with any remaining egg wash. Bake on the center rack of the oven for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, rotating once after 15 minutes. You can go one step further by lifting one braid off the pan and moving it to the opposite outside of the pan so that the inside that was close to the other braid is now facing outward. This is a completely obsessive compulsive step that is totally optional.
- Continue baking until golden brown and delicious. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for at least half an hour before slicing.