Apricot-Cream Cheese Braid

Apricot-Cream Cheese Braid Recipe
Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Lydia DeGaris-Pursell
All the good stuff from a cream cheese Danish is rolled into this bread, which was a favorite in our Test Kitchens. The finished braids can be covered and refrigerated for a couple of days or frozen for up to a month. The extra loaves are great gifts; wrap in plastic and cinch with a bow. Feel free to substitute any kind of fruit preserves.

Yield:

4 loaves, 10 slices per loaf (serving size: 1 slice)

Recipe from

Cooking Light

Nutritional Information

Calories 145
Caloriesfromfat 31 %
Fat 5 g
Satfat 3 g
Monofat 1.5 g
Polyfat 0.3 g
Protein 3.3 g
Carbohydrate 21.6 g
Fiber 0.5 g
Cholesterol 30 mg
Iron 0.8 mg
Sodium 102 mg
Calcium 26 mg

Ingredients

Dough:
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) carton light sour cream
2 packages dry yeast (about 4 1/2 teaspoons)
1/2 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
4 cups all-purpose flour
Filling:
2/3 cup apricot preserves
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cooking spray
Glaze:
1 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar
2 tablespoons fat-free milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation

To prepare dough, combine first 4 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until sugar dissolves. Remove from heat; cool. Dissolve yeast in warm water in a large bowl; let stand 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream mixture and 2 eggs. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife. Gradually stir flour into sour cream mixture (dough will be soft and sticky). Cover dough; chill 8 hours or overnight.

To prepare filling, combine preserves and next 4 ingredients (preserves through 1 egg) in a medium bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended.

Divide dough into 4 equal portions. Turn each portion out onto a lightly floured surface; knead lightly 4 or 5 times. Roll each portion into a 12 x 8-inch rectangle. Spread one-fourth of filling over each portion, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Starting at a long side, carefully roll up each portion jelly roll fashion; pinch seam and ends to seal.

Place 2 loaves on each of 2 baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Cut 4 (1/4-inch-deep) "X"s in top of each loaf with scissors. Cover and let rise in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 25 minutes or until doubled in size.

Preheat oven to 375°.

Place 1 baking sheet in oven (cover remaining loaves to keep from drying). Bake at 375° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned. Repeat procedure with remaining loaves. Cool loaves slightly.

To prepare glaze, combine powdered sugar, milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla, stirring with a whisk. Drizzle warm loaves with glaze.