The other day it dawned on me- why don't I bake coffee cakes for the weekend mornings ? Special, tasty, make ahead and will not weigh you down so much that you choose to pass over lunch. Good thing is that these can be made sweet ( fruit, fruit and cheese, nuts) or savory as you desire. They look very impressive as well as tasting great.
Blueberry Cream Cheese Braid
Makes 2 braids
1 tablespoon instant yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 cup warm milk
2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2-3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
2 cups blueberries( fresh or frozen),1/4 cup sugar,1/4 cup cornstarch,1/2 cup water,2tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon milk
Cream Cheese FillingFor the sponge: mix the sugar, yeast, and flour together in bowl. Pour in the warm milk. Beat until smooth, then cover with plastic wrap and set aside for 1/2 hour.
3/4 cup cream cheese
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon egg glaze
Then place the sponge in a mixer and add the eggs, salt, sugar, and one cup of the flour . Beat until smooth. Then add the butter in small chunks and beat well. Add the remaining flour a handful at a time and mix in until a soft but kneadable dough is achieved and the butter thoroughly incorporated. You want something that feels like old lady skin or a baby's butt.Knead about 5 minutes, transfer to a greased bowl, cover and let rise till double in bulk.
Meanwhile, make the following :
Blueberry Filling: combine all of the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil over medium heat while stirring constantly. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and let cool.
Egg Glaze: combine the egg and milk in a bowl and beat until combined.
Cream Cheese Filling: combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix until combined
Once your dough has risen, turn out onto a greased surface ( baking spray or a silpat is better than a floured surface as it does not make your dough dry)
Repeat with the second ball of dough and let them rise for about an hour. Meanwhile, as you wait, contemplate the universe, read a book or read a goose a collection of poetry. Whatever trips your fancy.
In about an hour the dough will rise and plump. Turn your oven to 350 and give th cakes an egg wash with a pastry brush. Or as I call them my cooking carpentry tools
After a breakfast like this, trips to the home improvement store or the little league practice seem a little brighter.