Blueberry-Lemon Cream Cheese Bread

This elegant pull-apart star has a particularly elastic and forgiving dough.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Blueberry-Lemon Cream Cheese Bread
 
Makes 8 to 10 servings
Ingredients
  • 3¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons (422 grams) all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 (0.25-ounce) package (7 grams) instant yeast
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 cup (240 grams) whole milk
  • ¼ cup (57 grams) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs (100 grams), room temperature and divided
  • 2 teaspoons (12 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 4 ounces (113 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • ¼ cup (30 grams) confectioners’ sugar
  • ¼ cup (9 grams) freeze-dried blueberries, finely crushed*
  • 1 tablespoon (3 grams) lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) lightly beaten egg white
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water
  • Sparkling sugar, for sprinkling
  • Cream Cheese Glaze (recipe follows)
Instructions
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat 1 cup (125 grams) flour, granulated sugar, yeast, and salt at medium-low speed until well combined, stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  2. In a medium saucepan, heat milk and butter over medium heat until an instant-read thermometer registers 120°F (49°C) to 130°F (54°C). Add milk mixture to flour mixture; beat at medium speed for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add 1 egg (50 grams) and vanilla bean paste; beat at medium-high speed for 2 minutes. With mixer on low speed, gradually add remaining 2¼ cups plus 2 tablespoons (297 grams) flour, beating just until combined and stopping to scrape sides of bowl.
  3. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at medium speed until a soft, somewhat sticky dough forms, 6 to 8 minutes, stopping to scrape dough hook and sides of bowl. (Dough should pass the windowpane test (see Note) but may still stick slightly to sides of bowl.)
  4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until doubled in size, 40 minutes to 1 hour.
  5. Line a 17½×12½-inch light-colored rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese, confectioners’ sugar, blueberries, lemon zest, egg white, and cardamom until well combined.
  7. Lightly punch down dough; cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Turn out dough, and divide into 4 portions (about 200 grams each); gently shape each into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand for 15 minutes. Keeping other portions covered with plastic wrap, roll and pat 1 portion into an 11-inch circle; gently place on prepared pan. (Dough may shrink slightly.) Spread one-third of cream cheese mixture (about 3½ tablespoons [55 grams]) onto dough circle, leaving a ½-inch border. Repeat procedure twice. Roll remaining dough portion into an 11-inch circle, and place on top of previous layers.
  8. Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C).
  9. Place a 1½-inch round cutter in center of dough; gently press down just to leave a mark. Using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, make 16 evenly spaced cuts working from center mark to edge of dough. Grasping 1 cut piece in each hand, twist portions outward and away from each other twice; pinch ends firmly together to adhere. Repeat with remaining cut portions. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until nearly doubled in size, 30 to 45 minutes. Pinch ends together again, if necessary.
  10. In a small bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water and remaining 1 egg (50 grams). Brush top of dough with egg wash; sprinkle with sparkling sugar.
  11. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers at least 190°F (88°C), 16 to 22 minutes, lightly covering with foil to prevent excess browning, if necessary. Let cool completely on pan.
  12. Just before serving, spoon Cream Cheese Glaze into a small piping bag; cut a ¼-inch opening in tip. Pipe over bread as desired.
Notes
*To finely crush whole freeze-dried blueberries, place in a large resealable plastic bag and pound with a rolling pin.

Test the dough for proper gluten development using the windowpane test. Pinch of (don’t tear) a small piece of dough. Slowly pull the dough out from the center. If the dough is ready, you will be able to stretch it until it’s thin and translucent like a windowpane. If the dough tears, it’s not quite ready; beat for 1 minute, and test again.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Cream Cheese Glaze
 
Ingredients
  • ¼ cup (30 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
  • 2 ounces (57 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • 1½ tablespoons (22.5 grams) whole milk
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher salt
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, whisk together all ingredients until smooth. Use immediately.

 

 

Shaping

  1. Roll and pat 1 dough portion into an 11-inch circle; gently place on prepared pan. Spread one-third of cream cheese mixture onto dough circle, leaving a ½-inch border. Repeat procedure twice.
  2. Roll remaining dough portion into an 11-inch circle, and place on top of previous layers.
  3. Place a 1½-inch round cutter in center of dough; gently press down just to leave a mark. Using a sharp knife or a pizza wheel, make evenly spaced cuts from center mark to edge of dough. Continue until you have 16 evenly spaced cuts around dough.
  4. Grasping 1 cut piece in each hand, twist portions outward and away from each other twice; pinch ends firmly together to adhere. Repeat with remaining cut pieces.
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16 COMMENTS

      • Hi Arleen,

        Thank you for your question!

        Unfortunately, we haven’t tested this recipe using fresh blueberries, so can’t be sure how it’ll work with that specific substitution. Adding fresh blueberries in place of freeze-dried blueberries adds moisture to the filling that might make it too loose to hold together when baking. If you decide to experiment with fresh blueberries, you may need to add more confectioner’s sugar or another dry element to the mixture to balance out the added moisture. If you decide to try this recipe with fresh blueberries, please let us know how it goes.

        Happy baking!

  1. An update….this loaf was a HUGE hit. It’s not only beautiful to look at but the flavours are top notch. Everyone raved about it. Thank you!

  2. Second update…Second time making this beautiful recipe and I don’t know what I did wrong the first time but this time the flour to water ration listed in the recipe worked perfectly! So clearly it was user error the first time around. I sure wish I could delete my first comment so as not to confuse anyone. Sorry for my error and I could not leave it without owning up to my mistake. Thanks again for such a delicious and equally beautiful recipe.

  3. Was absolutely amazing. Easy to follow along, just takes a little bit of time, but so worth it! Just wondering if I’d be able to freeze the left overs ?

    • Hi Aimee,

      Thank you for the wonderful comment! The leftovers should freeze well. Just make sure that you wrap them tightly and place them in an airtight container. When you are ready for a slice, place in the microwave at 10 second intervals, until heated through as desired.

    • Hi January,

      Thank you for your question! We haven’t tested this recipe in a bread machine, but if you try it, please let us know how it goes.

      Happy Baking!

    • Hi Vicky,

      Thank you for your question!

      I’ve just updated the post with shaping images. Please let us know if you have any further questions.

      Happy baking!

    • Hi Marianne,

      Thank you for your question!

      Although we haven’t tested this recipe with an overnight refrigeration, it would likely work well to refrigerate your dough for its first rise (refrigerating dough in step 4 instead of allowing to rise at room temp). In the morning, you can then fill and shape the dough, allow it a second rise, then bake. The dough may take a little longer to rise in its second rise because it’ll be cold, but once it’s nearly doubled in size, it’ll be ready to bake.

      Hope this helps, and happy baking!

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