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What You’ll Find
- Directions for stuffing and braiding bread
- How to make cherry bread with cream cheese frosting
- A recipe for chocolate braided bread
- Today’s coupon deal: A set of three free proofing bags
- In Case You Missed It
You can braid nearly any bread—including your favorite recipe. We often grab a mix—that makes it even easier. And you can stuff your bread with either a sweet or a savory filling.
For this project, we made a cherry bread with a cream cheese frosting. We used a Buttermilk White Bread Mix but you can use any mix or recipe you like. We used a cherry pastry filling but a pie filling or Chubby Cherry would have worked well.
Here’s how to do it:
Follow the package directions or a recipe if you are using one. You can set your bread machine to the dough cycle and mix the bread in the machine or you can use your stand-type mixer.
Place the bread dough in a greased bowl, place the bowl in a proofing bag or otherwise cover, and let rise until doubled—about 1 1/2 hours. Prepare a large baking sheet by greasing and sprinkling with cornmeal.
Once raised, use a knife to divide the dough into three equal pieces if you are using a one-loaf mix or recipe.
With a rolling pin, roll the pieces into rectangles about 12 inches by 7 inches. Spread the filing to within 1/2 inch of the edges. Roll each rectangle long ways, pinwheel fashion, as if you were making miniature cinnamon rolls. Pinch the edges and ends to seal in the filling.
Braid the three ropes, as shown, in a common three strand braid just as if you were braiding pigtails. (Some people find it easier to create a symmetrical shape if they start braiding from the center.) When you get to the ends, wet them, pinch them together, and tuck them under. You should have a neat, symmetrical loaf when you are through. You can shape the loaf somewhat with your hands. If you don’t like how the loaf looks, simply pull the braids apart and start again.
Place the finished loaf on the prepared sheet. The formed loaf will be about 12-inches long but after rising and baking, it will be much longer so be sure to allow room on your sheet for expansion. Place the bread in a proofing bag and let rise until doubled, about one hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Bake the bread for 20 minutes then cover the bread with a large sheet of aluminum foil to protect the top. Continue baking for another 15 to 20 minutes or until the bread crust is a deep golden brown. The interior of the loaf should register 190 degrees with an insta-read thermometer.
Free Proofing Bags
What’s a proofing bag and why do you need it?
Proofing bags are large, heavy-duty plastic bags suitable for proofing your yeasted breads, rolls, and pastries. Instead of stretching plastic wrap across the top of the mixing bowl and letting the bread rise against the plastic, stick the bowl inside the bag and let the bread rise in the “greenhouse” you created unencumbered by the plastic wrap. It’s more convenient and your bread will rise higher.
The bags are large enough that you can put multiple bowls or baking pans in a single bag. (We put 50-pound bags of flour in ours once the bags are opened so that the flour doesn’t dry out.)
You’ll love baking with proofing bags.
You can get very creative with your stuffed bread. For savory breads, try cooked sausage, pesto, cheese, and sautéed vegetables. For a glaze on your bread, use an egg wash before baking.
There are a thousand different sweet breads that you can make. Use spices, pastry fillings, dried fruit, purées, and cream cheese fillings. The next recipe is a good example.
Chocolate Stuffed and Braided Bread
This is one of my all-time favorite stuffed bread recipes. It’s loaded with chocolate, a dessert bread.
In Case You Missed It
In our last article we shared more ways to make delicious desserts with fancy whipped cream. We also shared all of our September deals with you for another chance at great savings. Read the article here!
About the Author
Dennis Weaver has burned food from Point Barrow, Alaska, to Miami, Florida. He is the founder of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho and the author of How to Bake: The Art and Science of Baking available as an E-book or as a Kindle book on Amazon.
Dennis lives in Rigby, Idaho, with his wife, Merri Ann. They have five wonderful children and six beautiful granddaughters.