Blueberry Cream Cheese Bread: Twelve Loaves August

When summer’s fruits start to arrive at the local markets, I get the urge to bake pies and cakes every day filled with their juicy goodness. I see recipes in magazines and online featuring ripe and glorious fruit and I want to bake every single one of them!

I have recipes marked and pages torn out piling up by my desk. It’s become a slight baking conundrum as I don’t have enough time in the day to try each recipe that has me smitten.

It’s been a joy these past few months baking a different bread here each month with my fellow baking friends in Breaking Bread Society group I created this year. The baking group has a new name: Twelve Loaves, but we still have the same original idea: we want you to Break Bread and Get Baking with us!
            TWELVE LOAVES
I am excited to announce that I have some very talented friends joining us this month!Barb, from Creative Culinary Jamie, from Life’s a Feast and Lisa, from Parsley, Sage and Line Drives,! My mom was sweet as always(love you mom!)and wanted to show support and be a hostess with us. Thanks for joining us, Lizzie! Be sure to check out their delicious blogs and see what they are all about. Barb, Jamie, Lisa, and Lizzie’s recipes may inspire your idea!

Twelve Loaves was created to inspire you to bake more from scratch at home, in your kitchen. Bake along with us every month and discover and rediscover the joys of home baking for your family and friends. We know it’s not an easy task and we are here to inspire you along the way. A Baking Revolution!

What unites Twelve Loaves and all of you? We love baking from scratch because people love eating real bread, real cakes, delectable treats right out of the oven. Together we will discover new recipes and learn and master new techniques, discover flavors, textures, new ways to experience bread at the table with family and friends. 12 months, 12 baked goods, 12 challenges… so get baking!   I will  post the new challenge on my blog the first of every month with our own choice of recipe; feel free to use one of our recipes or choose your own. Just adhere to the theme.

Our very first Twelve Loaves theme for the month of August is:

Bread with Summer Fruit
Bake a bread, yeast or quick bread, loaf or individual, filled, stuffed, studded or topped with your favorite fresh summer fruit or berries. It’s your bread…we want you to have fun with the idea!Lisa baked a gorgeous Chocolate Chunk Strawberry Malted Bread and Jamie made a delightful Cherry Chocolate Chip Maple Challah. Lizzy baked a beautiful Blueberry-Peach Bread with a Limoncello Glaze.

Just follow the rules, it’s as easy as pie:

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your post and mention and  link back to this blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your Bread is inspired by the theme! This is obligatory if you would like your link to be included!
2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this August, 2012 posted on your blog by August 31, 2012.

Do you tweet? We sure do!

Follow @TwelveLoaves on Twitter

Chat with the bakers! Barb @creativculinary Jamie @lifesafeast Lisa @parsleynsage

Have a specific question about #TwelveLoaves ? Contact the founder Lora @cakeduchess  
or cakeduchess @ :)

What are you waiting for?!? Let’s bake some bread!

I am sharing this lovely bread at the weekly  Yeastspotting run by the lovely Susan  Wild Yeast .:)

Lora’s baking notes: I had at least six different ideas I was contemplating on baking for the Summer Fruits theme. The decision was settled when I had a massive craving for a blueberry bread made with yeast. My craving was to have  something  like a Danish. But I decided I didn’t want to make individual serving sizes. I wanted a large bread to cut; I thought it would be easier and less fussy. This bread is not too fussy, but it is time consuming.  You certainly don’t have to use this recipe for this month’s challenge.

I will tell you, this bread is amazing. Truly fantastic!  It was very similar to my guti recipe I showed you at Easter time. If you have a nice amount of time on a lazy afternoon, try this dough. You have to leave it in the fridge over night after it has risen the first time. I did see on the link where I found this recipe that some people commented that they baked it after the first rise and the photos looked nice. I didn’t bake it that same day so I can’t honestly tell you it would be fine. I did bake it the next day and it was incredible. It’s a good workout rolling out the chilled dough. Try to keep hold of the parchment paper on the edge of the counter so it won’t wiggle around too much. You may also want to prep the blueberry and cream cheese filling the day before to get it out of the way.

The day I baked the loaf, I had a dental appointment. I actually rescheduled the appointment early so I could finish this bread. As the bread was getting close to being finished, I called to see if maybe they still had the spot open for me. They did have time to see me! I snapped some quick photos of the bread still on the baking sheet. I arrived with some of this delightful bread still warm. They whisked it into their kitchen area with promises of sharing it with all the staff.

The dough recipe is from Beth Hensperger’s The Bread Bible. An incredible bread book that every bread
baker should have. The braid idea I found on the inspiring bread site I could get lost on for hours: The Fresh Loaf. I used my own blueberry and cream cheese filling recipe. I attempted the blueberry filling I found on The Fresh Loaf and it did not work out for me. I preferred my blueberry filling and it is also what I use for pies and crostatas. 


Blueberry Cream Cheese Braid
Makes 2 braids


1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cup warm milk
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2-3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut up in tablespoon portion at room temperature

For the Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients:
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling Directions:
With a hand mixture on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract; mix together until smooth and creamy. If making the day before, chill until next day when ready to prepare your braid.

For the blueberry filling:
1 pound blueberries, picked over, washed, dried
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Bluberry Filling Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk a tablespoon of water with the cornstarch and set it aside. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 lb. blueberries, sugar and 1 tablespoon water.  Bring to a boil.

When blueberries reach a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until blueberries pop and mixture begins to thicken – about 3 minutes.

Add cornstarch mixture and lemon juice to thickened blueberries, stirring constantly.  Simmer 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Fold in remaining blueberries.   Let sit at room temperature until set. If making the day before, leave in the refrigerator until the next day when ready to assemble the braid.  

now what about that DOUGH! let’s get it started! (don’t be afraid)

For the sponge: 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 for 1/2 hour.
after 1/2 hour…so spongey!
Add the eggs, salt, sugar, and one cup of the flour to the sponge. Beat until smooth. Then add the butter in small chunks and beat well. Add the remaining flour a handful at a time and mix in until a soft but kneadable dough is achieved and the butter thoroughly incorporated. If dough is still too sticky, add a flour a tablespoon at a time to achieve the right consistency. Do not add too much flour.
Knead the dough by hand or with a mixer until it is smooth and satiny. Add a touch of flour if dough is too sticky. Knead about 5 minutes.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise and room temperature until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Deflate the dough, recover the bowl, and refrigerate overnight.
Deflate the dough, recover the bowl, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, make the fillings before shaping the loaves (or make the fillings the day before and leave in fridge until you’re ready to shape the loaves).

If you made the fillings that day, wait until your blueberry filling has cooled off. Remove the dough out of the refrigerator and gently deflate it. Divide it into two pieces. Use a rolling pin to shape each piece into a thin (1 cm.) rectangle.

Place the first portion of dough in between two sheets of parchment paper (or waxed paper) and roll the dough into a rectangle (approximately 8×12 inches). With a sharp knife, mark the dough in thirds with a line (don’t cut dough all the way through). It’s just a marker to show 3 portions of the dough. Next,
Alternating from side to side, fold the pieces in over the filling. When possible, gentle press on the tabs to seal the folds.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise until doubled in size; approximately 45 minutes. Repeat process with the second dough. While it is rising, preheat the oven to 350 F.
Make 1 1/2 inch diagonal cuts on the sides of the dough. (These cuts do go all the way through as you are forming the flaps of the braids. Make sure the cuts are even on the other side as you will be matching up the pieces in a criss-cross way.) Alternating from side to side, fold the pieces in over the filling. When you fold a piece over, gently press on the tabs to seal the folds.

Spread cream cheese in the middle of the dough leaving a little space from the edge of the middle marker line.  (about 1/2 inch). Spread the blueberry filling carefully over the cream cheese. Keep it in the middle of the cream cheese and don’t over stuff it. DSCN1869

Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise until doubled in size; approximately 45 minutes. Repeat process with the second dough. While it is rising, preheat the oven to 350 F.

When loaves are ready to bake and doubled in size, glaze the braids with egg wash. Bake on the center rack of the oven for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, rotating it once after 20 minutes so that it bakes evenly. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for at least half an hour before slicing.

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