Braided Fruit Cinnamon Swirl Bread



Braided breads – I feel a new obsession coming on! I had some time on my hands over the long weekend and a ton of fruit in the fridge, so when I saw this coffeecake version of a braided bread over at Joy the Baker‘s, I knew I had to make it. Layers of a slightly sweetened dough, spread with sugar and cinnamon, and studded with fresh fruit. It’s perfect with coffee for breakfast or a not too sweet dessert – unless of course you serve it with whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream. The beauty of braided breads is that even if your execution is less than perfect, it still looks great! 

The Dough:

  • 2 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup milk, warmed
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 2 1/4 cups flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

The Filling:

  • 1/4 cup butter, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 cups berries (I used strawberries, blueberries, and cherries)
  • 1 large egg, for egg wash

1. In a medium sized bowl, stir the yeast and sugar together, and whisk in the milk. Add the egg yolk and melted butter and stir. Set aside for 5 to 10 minutes to foam.

2. In a large bowl, mix the flour and salt. Add the milk mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until it begins to come together. On a lightly floured counter, knead dough for about 10 minutes, and shape into a ball. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil or shortening, place dough in the bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Let rest until the dough doubles in size (about 45 minutes to an hour).

3. While the dough rises, make the filling. In a small bowl, combine the room temperature butter, sugar, and cinnamon. Use a fork to work the cinnamon and sugar into the butter. Set aside.

4. Preheat oven to 375º, and grease a 10″ cast iron skillet.

5. When the dough has doubled in size, take it out of the bowl and knead a few times. On a lightly floured surface, roll into a 12″ x 18″ rectangle. Spoon the cinnamon filling over the dough, leaving a 1″ border around the edges. Sprinkle the fruit over the cinnamon mixture.

6. Starting at the long end, roll up the dough, pinching the ends together to seal. With a sharp knife, slice the log in half length wise, leaving an inch at the top uncut. Then braid the dough by lifting one strand over the over until you get to the end. Pinch the ends together to seal, then create a circle, and join the ends.

7. Carefully lift the dough into the greased skillet, and lightly brush with the egg wash. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until golden brown. Remove from pan and let cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioner’s sugar if desired.

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