Improving the cheese braid

Standard

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:

  1. the lemon zest ended up being slightly bitter in the finished product.
  2. the taste was cloyingly lemony.
  3. the original cheese filling formula had way too much vanilla extract.
  4. 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!

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