Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Strawberry Cheesecake Sweet Bread for #TwelveLoaves

Think brioche with a little extra sugar and cream cheese added to the sweet dough instead of butter and you get the idea of how this is going to taste. Add in some good quality strawberry jam, fresh strawberries and even more cream cheese for the perfect snack or breakfast loaf. It’s great straight out of the oven and fabulous toasted. 

This month Twelve Loaves is baking up bread with strawberries. The whole time I was away in Uganda, I was mulling this over in my mind. I have the ability to work on and work out a recipe with one section of my mind, even while the rest of me is reading a book or shopping or bouncing along dusty trails or even cooking something else. Perhaps it’s my super power. Anyway, this came to me between wild animals and waterfalls. Would it be possible to bake a yeast bread using cream cheese instead of butter for the fat? I couldn’t wait to get home to start testing.

I am delighted to report that not only is it possible, it’s delicious.

For the dough:
1 packet (1/4 oz or 7g) dried yeast (I use Fleischmann’s Rapid Rise.)
3/4 cup or 90ml whole milk
3 cups or 375g flour
1/2 cup or 100g sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup or 60g full fat (not whipped) cream cheese
1 egg yolk

For the filling:
1/2 cup or 120g cream cheese, chilled
3 1/2 oz or 100g fresh strawberries (about six medium-sized)
1/4 cup or 80g good quality strawberry jam

Egg white to glaze
Optional topping– about 1 oz or 25g pearl sugar

Warm your milk slightly (I use a quick zap in the microwave.) and then add in one tablespoon of the sugar. Sprinkle on the yeast, stir and set aside for a few minutes. Your yeast should get foamy.

Add your three cups of flour into the mixing bowl of your stand mixer with the rest of the sugar and the salt.

Add in milk/yeast mixture along with the egg yolk and mix with the bread hook.

It’s going to look dry and like it won’t come together.

You may need to stop the mixer and scrape the dough off the hook and put it back in the bowl and then keep mixing but soon, you will have homogeneous soft dough.

Now add in half of the cream cheese and mix until fully incorporated. (It’s like adding butter to brioche.)

Now add the second half of the cream cheese and mix until it is incorporated. Form the dough into a ball with your spatula and leave to rise for about an hour in a warm place. I usually put the bowl in my kitchen sink which has been partially filled with hot water.

Meanwhile, prepare your bread pan by greasing it with butter or non-stick spray or lining it with baking parchment. I am a huge fan of lining with parchment.

Right before your hour rising time is up, hull and chop the strawberries. Don’t do this too far ahead or they will get wet and mushy.

The dough after an hour rising time
On a well-floured surface, push your dough out into a rectangle of about 14” x 12” or 34cm x 30cm.

You can use a rolling pin if you really want to but this is a soft dough and I just pressed it out easily with my hands.

Spread it with the strawberry jam and sprinkle on the chopped strawberries. Cut your chilled cream cheese into small cubes and scatter them out on the jam as well.

Start rolling up the dough on the long side.

When you have a tight roll, seam side up, fold each half into the middle.

Gently turn the dough over and lay it fold side down in your prepared loaf pan.

Allow to rise in a warm place for another hour, but set your timer for 45 minutes.  When it rings, preheat your oven to 350°F or 180°C.  Don’t forget to set the timer again for the last 15 minutes of rising time.

After one hour rising time

When your full hour is up, beat your egg white and brush it on the loaf with a soft pastry brush.

Sprinkle with pearl sugar, if desired.

Bake 45 minutes or until done in your preheated oven. Ever since making the peanut butter and chocolate braid http://www.foodlustpeoplelove.com/2014/02/chocolate-peanut-butter-braid.html  last month, I’ve been using David Lebovitz’s tip of measuring the internal temperature of a loaf to determine doneness. A properly baked loaf is 180°F or 82°C or in the middle.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes before slicing. If you can wait that long.


February was a delicious month of Chocolate breads! Now we are ready for spring and chose Strawberries for our March theme!

Would you like to join us this month? Choose a recipe featuring strawberries. (It could be a bread accented with fresh or dried strawberries or even strawberry preserves!) Whatever you bake (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, grissini, braids, flatbreads, etc.) have fun and let's have a delicious month of bread with strawberries. Let's get baking!

If you’d like to add your recipe to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your 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!

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 March, 2014, posted on your blog by March 31, 2014.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess.  #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the lovely Renee from Magnolia Days and this month the fabulous Alice of Hip Foodie Mom


  1. That is an amazing super power! I would be so happy wiht a loaf (or even a big 'ol slice) of this today. I love the fat pearl sugar on top (...of which I have a canister in the cupboard but NEVER remember to use).

  2. "Think brioche..." not a problem! You have my full attention. Oh, and the strawberries! I need to find some of that pearl sugar. Now I am daydreaming of this bread and wishing that I had time to make some of it today!

  3. The pearl sugar topping make the loaf extra special. I'm glad your experiment was a success...great job!

  4. I was wondering what the sugar on top was-- pearled sugar? I've not seen that before. LOVE this idea of strawberries and creamcheese. What a success!

  5. Stacy, that is totally a super power! :) I feel like most women can multi-task well but being able to come up with this fabulous recipe while reading a book or shopping or bouncing along dusty trails or even cooking something else is brilliant! I recently baked cookies using cream cheese, still with butter but just a tad. The fact that you used no butter is amazing. I bet this sweet bread is absolutely delicious!!

  6. This bread looks absolutely out of this world. King of like a strawberry babka in a way. Another use for my pearl sugar! =)

  7. Pearl sugar is one of my favorite things - looks great on top of this bread, I'll bet that cream cheese was amazing in that bread, too.

  8. Spectacular! This sweet bread has me very happy. Actually, I would be happier with a slice or two and a hot cup of coffee. Such a perfect bread, Stacy. love pearl sugar. In Italy it's added onto so many sweets. Here, not so much (and it should be!):)

  9. A friend brought me several small bags from the UK because I can't get it here, Heather, so I have been trying to remember to use it!

  10. Thanks, Liz! I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.

  11. Except for the rising time, it really doesn't take that long, Dionne! You can do this!

  12. Thanks, Deepti! I am always happy when things turn out like I hope they will.

  13. It's actually kind of scary in a fun way, Felice. :) I attribute it to the female ability to multitask.

  14. Thank you, Holly. That sugar is what the French bakers use on brioche, so I thought, why not?!

  15. This is SO my taste. Just hand me a cup of tea and I'm all set!

  16. This sounds unbelievably delicious, Stacy!

  17. This looks fantastic. I used to go to New Orleans on business once a month and BBQ was one of my favorite dishes there. Totally making this!!

  18. The shrimp, the sauce, the seasonings, all that butter = I'm in heaven!!


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