If you’ve never had a braided bread, you’re probably in the majority. There are quite a few recipes for breads filled with lemon curd out on the internet and it’s probably the most popular. One of my favorite appetizers is a crostini with goat cheese, prosciutto, honey, arugula and grapes. It was kind of the inspiration for this blackberry & goat cheese braided bread. It’s quite different but it’s sort of a sweet baked take on it.
This dough is a lightly sweetened bread. It’s not sweet like eating a donut but it’s not a savory bread. The filling is a mixture of goat cheese and honey, layered with fresh blackberries. Blackberries are one of my favorite summer fruits so I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy them. If you’ve never had goat cheese, I would say this is really a great way to try it. I promise, goat cheese is more like a cream cheese than cheddar. It’s mild and tangy and creamy. When you add the honey and sweet and tart blackberries it’s a winning flavor palette.
- Blackberries – You could easily swap this for another berry, or probably even something like peaches but I recommend blackberries.
- Goat Cheese – Goat cheese is mild but a little buttery and earthy but adds warmth
- Honey – Adding the little bit of sweetness is perfect blending for the berries and cheese.
- 300 g AP Flour 2½ cups
- 2¼ tsp Instant yeast
- 50 g Granulated sugar ¼ cup
- 1 tsp Salt
- 1 large Egg room temperature
- 1 tsp Vanilla
- ⅓ cup Water + 1tbsp warm
- 4 tbsp Unsalted butter softened
- 4 oz Goat cheese room temperature
- 1-2 tbsp Honey
- 1 pint Blackberries
- 1 large Egg beaten
- 1 tbsp Water or milk
- Pearl sugar optional
- Combine flour, sugar, yeast, salt, egg, vanilla and water in bowl of stand mixer with dough hook attached. Mix into a rough, shaggy dough.
- Add in 1 tbsp of softened butter, letting it fully incorporate into the dough before adding the next. Repeat with remaining butter.
- Knead dough until soft and smooth.
- Cover bowl and let dough rise for 1-2 hours, or until doubled in size.
- While your dough is rising, mix together your softened goat cheese with honey. The honey will help sweeten the dough as well as make it a nice smooth and spreadable texture.
- Place a piece of parchment or silicone baking mat on counter and place dough onto it. Roll dough out into an approximately 10'x15" rectangle.
- Lightly mark the dough lengthwise into three equal sections. The middle section is where the filling will go and the edges will become the braid.
- Use a knife or bench scraper and cutting from the edge to the middle of the dough where you have lightly marked the center section creating about 1" strips. Repeat on the other side.
- Cut first and last strips completely off, creating a notch in the center section that is longer than the rest of the dough. This will make your dough easier to close up nicely.
- Spread your goat cheese and honey mixture over the center section of the dough, leaving the notch without. Place blackberries all over the goat cheese. Depending on the size of your berries, you may want to cut them in half lengthwise and place the flat side down against the goat cheese.
- Once your center is filled, fold the notches of dough over onto the filling, and then alternate pulling strips across and slightly down across the filling, creating the braid.
- Once your braid is complete, place dough on parchment or silicone baking mat on a baking sheet and cover dough and let rise in a warm spot for another 45 minutes.
- Preheat your oven to 375°F.
- Add the tbsp/splash of water or milk to your beaten egg. After 45 minutes, lightly brush your dough with the egg wash.
- Sprinkle pearl sugar over the braid, and place baking sheet in oven on middle rack.
- Bake for 22-25 minutes, bread will be golden to deep brown. Remove from oven and transfer to a wire cooling rack.
- Wait at least 30 min before cutting into bread.