As you saw in the original Cream Cheese Braid post, I was able to take a challah dough and turn it into a cream cheese braid. There were several things about this recipe I did not like:
- the lemon zest ended up being slightly bitter in the finished product.
- the taste was cloyingly lemony.
- the original cheese filling formula had way too much vanilla extract.
- the glaze was not well received.
This time, I set out to improve the recipe. First, to add a latin flair, I decided to make a cheese & guava braid. My recipe for the cheese filling is:
- 1 package (8 oz.) cream cheese
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 drops vanilla extract
- 1 egg
- 1 tbsp. flour
Beat the cream cheese and sugar until well mixed and creamy. Blend in the 2 drops of vanilla. Add the egg and continue beating for 1 minute. Add the flour and continue beating another minute. Refrigerate.
For the guava part, I simply purchased a tin of Goya Guava Paste. I cut the paste into thin strips.
To assemble the braid:
- Line a half sheet pan with parchment paper.
- Roll the dough out such that it is rectangular and will fit in the half sheet pan.
- Place the dough in the half sheet pan.
- Spread the cheese filling down the center third of the dough.
- Place strips of the guava paste horizontally over the cheese spread until all the cheese is covered by strips of guava paste.
- Braid the loaf as you normally would (I used 1″ strips).
- Let it rise until doubled.
- Prior to baking, Brush with a standard egg wash (1 egg, beaten and 1 tbsp water)
Bake at 350F for 32 minutes or until golden brown. The guava won’t melt all that much, and a little guava goes a long way, so don’t get generous with the guava!
For the other half of the challah dough, I made hamburger buns! Challah makes excellent buns…they toast well and are perfect for a char-grilled burger!