I am over the moon to say this Strawberry Cream Cheese Braided Bread is a winner! The best part is you can make it with fresh strawberries or with jam. You choose!
It’s no secret to anyone that I love strawberries. It’s also no secret that I love baking. But baking with strawberries? That’s another deal!
Baking with strawberries is a challenge for me. The water content is so high, often they can be soggy & chewy if not baked correctly. I’ve made muffins & other bread recipes & none are winners.
A Few Tips
We pick so many fresh strawberries so I wanted to try a braided bread with fresh berries. The trick is to muddle the berries / mash them. You can even mix them directly with the cream cheese. It works!
No doubt, this is the perfect recipe for SAF Instant Yeast. This yeast is my go-to for all yeast doughs. It’s no-fail! Also, if you have a measuring tape, it makes a lot of difference when making a braided bread. I use one like this.
I will say, my family loves both the fresh berries & the jam versions of this Strawberry Cream Cheese Braided Bread recipe. The strawberry jam version is definitely sweeter, but both are really tasty. I prefer using Bonne Maman strawberry jam. It is SO good!
Ready for More?
If you’re in the mood for a savory braided bread, check out this Everything Braided Bread. If you’ve got loads of strawberries on hand, we’ve got you covered with strawberry recipes!
If you make this Strawberry Cream Cheese Braided Bread, please let me know! I also have a strawberry coconut rum drink coming soon! Finally, I am getting back into my baking groove. As we close down summer, I’m ready for all the fall recipes & all the fall things.
Strawberry Cream Cheese Braided Bread
A delicious braided bread filled with strawberries & cream cheese
- 3/4 cup 170g warm water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon instant active yeast
- 1/2 cup 57g All Purpose Flour
- 3/4 cup 170g plain or vanilla yogurt, at
- room temperature
- 8 tablespoons 113g unsalted butter (softened)
- 2 large eggs at room temperature, beaten
- 1/2 cup 99g sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 5 cups 602g All Purpose Flour
- egg wash for brushing braid
- Cream cheese filling
- 2/3 cup 142g cream cheese, softened
- 1/4 cup 50g sugar
- 1/4 cup 57g sour cream, at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 cup 28g All Purpose Flour
- 1/2 cup 135g strawberry jelly or muddled strawberries
In a small bowl, combine the dough ingredients. Stir well to combine, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to proof for 10 to 15 minutes.
In the bowl of your stand mixer combine the sponge, yogurt, butter, eggs, sugar, salt, and flavoring. Add 4 1/2 cups of flour and mix with the paddle attachment until the dough is a rough, shaggy mass.
Switch to the dough hook and knead on speed 2 until a soft, smooth dough forms, about 5 to 6 minutes, adding more flour if needed to achieve the correct consistency.
If working by hand or stand mixer, place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until quite puffy and nearly doubled.
While the dough is rising, prepare the filling. Combine all the filling ingredients (except the strawberry jam in a small bowl, mixing until smooth and lump-free. Reserve the filling and strawberry jam until ready to fill the braids.
Gently deflate the dough and divide it in half. Cover half with plastic wrap and set it aside as you roll out the first piece into a 10"x 15" rectangle. Rolling on parchment paper makes moving the bread to the baking sheet much, much easier.
Lightly press two lines down the dough lengthwise, to divide it into 3 equal sections.
Spread half the cream cheese filling down the center section, and top with half the strawberry jam leaving 1" free on all sides of the filling.
To form the mock braid, cut 1" crosswise strips down the length of the outside sections, making sure you have the same number of strips down each side. Beginning on the left, lift the top dough strip and gently bring it across the filling diagonally.
Repeat on the other side with the top dough strip, so that the two strips crisscross each other. Continue down the entire braid, alternating strips to form the loaf.
Repeat the rolling, filling, and braiding steps for the second piece of dough, using the remaining cream cheese filling and strawberry jam.
Set both loaves aside, lightly covered, to rise for 45 to 50 minutes, or until quite puffy
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Brush the loaves with egg wash (one lightly beaten egg, 2 teaspoons water and a pinch of salt). Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the loaves are golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Adapted from King Arthur Flour.