Walnut Cream Braid
I've baked this pretty plaited bread each December for years, and it's become a tasty tradition family and friends look forward to. The nutty cheese filling is so good! —Jean Erickson, North Pole, Alaska
Total TimePrep: 30 min. + rising Bake: 15 min. + cooling
- 1 package (1/4 ounce) active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water (110° to 115°)
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 to 2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts
- Confectioners' sugar, optional
- In a large bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Add butter, sugar, salt, egg and 1-1/2 cups flour; beat on low for 3 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally. Add enough remaining flour to form a soft dough.
- Turn onto a floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, 6-8 minutes. Place in a greased bowl, turning once to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar; set aside.
- Punch dough down; divide in half. On a floured surface, roll each portion into a 12x8-in. rectangle and place on greased baking sheets. Spread half of the filling down the center third of each rectangle. Sprinkle with walnuts.
- On each long side, cut 1-in.-wide strips about 2-1/2 in. into center. Starting at one end, fold alternating strips at an angle across filling. Seal ends. Cover and let rise for 30 minutes.
- Bake at 375° for 15-20 minutes or until browned. Cool on wire racks. Dust with confectioners' sugar if desired. Store for refrigerator.
Nutrition Facts1 slice: 74 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 10mg cholesterol, 47mg sodium, 12g carbohydrate (5g sugars, 0 fiber), 2g protein.
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Originally published as Walnut Cream Braid in Country Woman November/December 1999