I don’t consider myself very adept at baking. Some pastry recipes are too time and labor intensive and I tend to “stray” from the recipe. Improvisation and baking don’t well together– you think I would’ve learned that by now . . . But during the holidays, I love spending my days off work taking on a baking project with my family. There’s nothing better than lounging around in pajamas all day with the smell of buttery sweets baking in the oven. I had never made braided sour cream coffee bread before but this one turned out so incredible I think I’ll keep it in heavy rotation even after the holidays! The bread itself is inspired by the traditional Swedish coffee bread, which has no coffee in it but has cardamom in the dough and is filled with sugar and cinnamon. This yeast bread has Daisy sour cream, which gives the dough added moisture and I used the Daisy squeeze bottle, making measuring ingredients easier. The braided part sounds tricky but is really a simple faux braid of overlapping thick strands of dough. I absolutely adore the fragrance of cardamom so I not only added it to the sour cream dough but also added it to the blackberry jam filling. The blackberry and cardamom jam alone is good enough to eat on its own. This recipe is definitely going to become a holiday tradition in our family!
Ingredients for the bread:
- 3 cups of all purpose flour
- 1/2 cup of Daisy sour cream
- 3 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 teaspoon of salt
- 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom seeds
- 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
- 1 large egg yolk (reserve the white)
- 1/3 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon of active yeast
- grapeseed oil or other neutral oil
Ingredients for the filling and topping:
- 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
- 1 tablespoons of Daisy sour cream
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
- 1 large egg
- 1 cup of blackberry jam
- 2 teaspoons of ground cardamom
- 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
- handful of sliced almonds
- 1 tablespoon of heavy cream (or water)
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook, dissolve the yeast in the 1/3 cup of water and 3 tablespoons of sugar until the mixture is frothy. While the mixer is running on low-medium speed, add the salt, cardamom, egg yolk and sour cream and mix until combined. Begin adding the flour about half a cup at a time. Between adding the flour, add the butter a tablespoon at a time until incorporated. The flour should pull away from the bowl, but should not be too dry.
- After the dough comes together, knead the dough in the mixer by running the mixer on low-medium speed for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the dough and form into a round shape. Rub the inside of a bowl with some grape seed oil and place the bread into the bowl and cover with a towel. Allow the dough to rise for 90 minutes.
- Divide the dough into two pieces and on a lightly floured surface roll each piece into a roughly 10 x 15 inch oval or rectangle.
- To make the filling, in the bowl of the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, salt, 2 tablespoons of flour and egg until combined.
- In a separate bowl, mix the blackberry jam, ground cardamom and 2 tablespoons of flour.
- Using a bench scraper, pizza wheel or knife, cut 1/2 inch thick stripes at a slight angle on each side of the rolled out dough, about 1/3 of the width of the entire piece of dough so that 1/3 on both sides are cut into strips.
- Slather half of the cream cheese mixture down the middle of the dough and then pour half the jam over the cream cheese.
- Starting from the top (with the strips pointing downward), fold each strip across the cream cheese and jam, alternating left-side and right-side so that each strip overlaps the next. For the ends, just tuck one piece under the other. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
- Carefully and quickly, transfer the logs of braided dough to a lined baking sheet.
- Cover with a towel and allow to rise for another 90 minutes. The breads won’t look that much bigger.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Mix the remaining egg white and cream and brush it over the breads. Sprinkle the tops with sliced almonds.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown, turning the pan around halfway through the baking.
(images by HonestlyYUM)