Monthly Archives: August 2014

Apple Cream Cheese Braid

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Apple Cream Cheese Braid

For Thanksgiving and Christmas we like to do pastry breakfasts that will hold us over until it’s time for the feast. Sometimes it would be cinnamon rolls or if one of us had been selling butter braids for a school fundraiser it would make an appearance.  My favorites were always the ones that combined fruit and cream cheese.  I’m a sucker for cream cheese, a fruit and sweet bread.  How could you not be, right?

I was having a class held on Friday nights and all day Saturday.  We provided breakfast for the class so we could bond and make it through the day until the lunch break.  So when it came to my turn, I wanted my classmates to be well fed and decided to hunt up a cream cheese danish.  IMG_20131207_232115_811

This recipe is a bit time consuming.  The dough needs to rise twice – so be sure you have at least 3 hours on hand to pull this one together.  It is delicious and well worth the effort.  Since it is a yeast recipe, temperature is important. You don’t want to accidentally kill your yeast by making the milk bath too warm.  If you don’t have a thermometer to get an exact temperature, use your finger.  It should be the same as a warm bath.

Recipe from Carmel Moments

Apple Cream Cheese Braid

Sweet Dough

6 Tbsp Butter, softened IMG_20131208_092647_221
1/4 cup Water
1/2 cup Milk
3 Tbsp Sugar
2 & 1/4 – 2 & 3/4 cup Flour
2 tsp Active dry yeast
1/2 tsp Salt
1 Egg, lightly beaten

Apple Filling:

2-3 Medium-large apples, peeled and chopped
1 Tbsp Butter
3 Tbsp Granulated sugar
1 tsp Ground cinnamonIMG_20131207_215441_132
1 Tbsp Cornstarch

Cream Cheese Filling:

8 oz Cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup Granulated sugar
1 tsp Vanilla extract
1 tsp Lemon juice

Vanilla Drizzle:

1 & 1/2 cup Powdered sugarIMG_20131207_215035_479
5 & 1/2 tsp Milk
1/4 tsp Vanilla extract

Directions:

Heat butter, sugar, water and milk to 120F.

Combine 2 cups flour, salt and yeast in a medium bowl.  Make a well in the center.  Add butter mixture.  Mix in additional 1/2 cup flour.  Knead on low speed for about 7-8 minutes scraping down the bowl as needed.  (If you don’t have a stand mixer, use a spoon to combine – sculpt those arms!).  Add egg and additional 1/2 cup of flour while kneading, if necessary.  Dough should be smooth after the 8 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap.  Let it rise for about an hour or until dough has doubled.

Meanwhile, over low heat combine apples, butter, sugar, cinnamon, and cornstarch. Heat until apples are softened, about 5-7 minutes.  Set aside to cool.

In small bowl combine cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice.  Mix until smooth.

Back to the dough!  After the dough has doubled in size, roll out the dough on a floured surface into a large rectangle about 12×10.IMG_20131207_215831_100

Spread cream cheese filling down the center.  Arrange apple mixture on top.  Using a pizza cutter, cut diagonally from end of dough towards center in 1 inch strips.  Do on both sides.

Braid the dough by pulling strips across alternating sides. Continue until braid is complete.  Cover loosely with plastic wrap.  Let rise for 30-40 minutes.

Preheat over to 350F.  Bake braid for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.IMG_20131207_220414_104

Combine powdered sugar, milk and vanilla.  Drizzle over braid. Serve warm or allow to cool and then serve.

Enjoy!

 

Tomato Basil Bread

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Tomato Basil Bread

I don’t go to Panera very often — and honestly most of the time it doesn’t matter what I order I get the same bread. Which is frustrating.  Luckily though very industrious kitchen mavens fix these problems by figuring out how to make these delicious breads at home.  H/T wondrous kitchen mavens!

I enjoy baking bread.  It’s crazy relaxing and honestly makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something.  As it happens I came across a tomato basil bread recipe.  Two of the most delicious savory tastes in one delicious bread.  It tastes like tomato soup.  No jokes.  Tomato soup.  It has a slight kick and a Parmesan undertone.  You can’t go wrong. The bread makes for great sandwiches, a light snack, or an accompaniment with dinner.

I found the recipe at the Keenan CookbookIMG_20140112_192506_674

Tomato Basil Bread

Ingredients:

1/4 oz package Active dry yeast

3/4 c Warm water (110-115 F)

1/4 cup Fresh basil, minced (or 2 TBSP dried basil)

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

3 TBSP Tomato paste

1 TBSP Granulated sugar IMG_20140112_192239_197

1 TBSP Olive oil

1 tsp Salt

1/8-1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes

2 & 1/2 to 2 & 3/4 cup Flour

Directions:

In a large mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in warm water.  Stir in basil, Parmesan cheese, tomato paste, sugar, oil, salt, pepper flakes, and 2 cups flour.  Add additional flour until it forms a stiff dough.

Turn dough onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 3-5 minutes.  Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease the top of the dough.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until dough has doubled, about an hour.

Punch dough down; knead for 1 minute.  Shape into a round load.  Place on a greased baking sheet.  Cover and let rise again until doubled, about an hour.

Preheat over to 375 F.

With a sharp knife, cut an “X” in the top of the loaf.  Bake for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from baking sheet and cool.