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strawberry Cheese Cake Braid

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Strawberry Cheese Cake Braid is a bright taste sensation. It reminds your taste buds of spring. It is a wonderful addition to Sunday brunch. The whole family will love it.

This recipe makes two braids. This dough freezes well so bake one braid and freeze the other for later use. Remember to fully thaw before baking as directed below.

Ingredients:

Makes 2 braids

Sponge:

 1 tablespoon instant yeast

 1 tablespoon sugar

 1 1/2 cup warm milk

 2 cups all-purpose flour

 

Dough:

 2 eggs

 1 1/2 teaspoons salt

 1/3 cup sugar

 2 ½ - 3 cups all-purpose flour

 1/2 cup soft butter

 

Strawberry Filling:

 2 1/2 cups fresh strawberries

 1/4 cup sugar

 1/4 cup cornstarch

 2 tablespoons lemon juice

 

Egg Glaze:

 1 egg

 1 tablespoon milk

 

Cream Cheese Filling:

 3/4 cup cream cheese

 2 tablespoons sugar

 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

 1 tablespoon egg glaze

 

Glaze:

3/4 cup confectioners' sugar

1 1/4 teaspoons milk

Pinch of salt

1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract

 1/2 teaspoon butter

 

Instructions:

Sponge:

In a medium mixing bowl mix the sugar, yeast, and flour together in bowl. Pour in the warm milk. Beat until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm draft free area for 1/2 hour.

Dough:

To the sponge add the eggs, salt, sugar, and one cup of the flour. Beat the mixture until it is smooth.

Then add the butter in small chunks and beat well .

Add the remaining flour a 1/4 cup at a time. Mix in until soft dough ball is achieved and the butter is thoroughly incorporated.

Knead the dough by hand or with a mixer until it is smooth and satiny, about 7 minutes.

Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise in a warm draft free place until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

Punch down the dough, return the dough to the bowl, and refrigerate overnight.

The next day, make the fillings prior to shaping the loaves.

Strawberry Filling:

Combine all of the ingredients for the filling in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring constantly.

Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Remove the filling from stove and let cool.

Egg Glaze:

Combine the egg and milk in a bowl and beat until combined.

Cream Cheese Filling:

Combine all the ingredients for the cream cheese filling in a bowl and mix until combined.

Once the filling has cooled, remove the dough out of the refrigerator and gently knead it.

Divide the dough into two pieces.

Using a rolling pin shape each piece into a 15 inch X 9 inch rectangle. The rectangle should be thin.

Now spread your cream cheese filling in the center of the dough  You do this down the long center. Spread it about 3 inches wide. Next spread the strawberry filling on top of the cream cheese filling.

At an angle, slice the sides of the dough that do not have filling on into slabs approximately 1 inch wide.  Cut them all the way to within 1/2 inch of the filling.

Alternating from side to side, fold the slabs of dough in over the filling. Gently press on the tabs to seal the folds.

Place the braid onto a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover loosely with a warm damp clean cloth. Place in a warm draft free area to rise until doubled in size. This should take 45 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Place the Strawberry Cheese Cake Braid in the oven and bake on the center rack of the oven for approximately 35 to 40 minutes.

Rotate the baking pan once after 20 minutes so that it bakes evenly.

Remove the Strawberry Cheese Cake Braid from the oven.

Remove the Strawberry Cheese Cake Braid  from the pan onto a cooling rack and brush with the glaze.

Allow it to cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy

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