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Plaited Easter Bread with Cream Cheese Filling

Bread recipe from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day by Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois

Ingredients

Dough:

Filling:

Icing:

Instructions

  1. Mix the yeast, salt, eggs, honey, and melted butter with the water the bowl of your stand mixer.
  2. Mix in the flour and with dough hook attachment, mix till flour is all incorporated.
  3. Cover dough with a cloth and allow to rest at room temperature approximately 2 hours.
  4. The dough can be used immediately or stored in the refrigerator up to 5 days (after that, freeze).
  5. When ready to bake, line baking sheet with parchment and dust dough with flour. Roll half of the dough into a rectangle 8 inches by approximately 12 inches. Return other half of dough to a covered container in the refrigerator for later use.
  6. Cut slits along both longer sides towards the middle at about 1 1/2 inch increments…leaving a strip of uncut dough about 3 inches wide, down the middle of the rectangle. See photo. I cut out and removed a little extra dough on both ends for easier braiding, but that’s totally optional.
  7. Mix cream cheese, sugar, butter and lemon juice till smooth. Spread down the middle of the dough, then plait (braid) the strips by crossing one over the other at a slight angle, to cover the filling. Cover with a dish cloth and let rest for 1 hour and 20 minutes. Add more time if your dough is cold.
  8. Preheat oven to 350º. Brush loaf with egg wash.
  9. Bake on the center rack of the oven for about 30 minutes. Cool and ice as desired with a mixture of powdered sugar, butter, milk and vanilla.

Notes

Yield: 1 loaf plus 1 pound bread dough for a second loaf.
Total time does not include proofing times.