Double Vanilla Cream Cheese Braid
Makes 1 loaf
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) warm whole milk (105°F/41°C to 110°F/43°C)
  • 2¼ teaspoons (7 grams) active dry yeast
  • 1 large egg (50 grams), room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons (42 grams) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon (18 grams) vanilla bean paste
  • 2 teaspoons (8 grams) vanilla extract
  • 3 cups (381 grams) bread flour
  • 3 tablespoons (36 grams) granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) kosher salt
  • Vanilla Cream Cheese Filling (recipe follows)
  • 1 large egg white (30 grams)
  • 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water
  • 3 tablespoons (36 grams) vanilla sugar
  • Vanilla Glaze (recipe follows)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, stir together warm milk and yeast by hand. Let stand until mixture is foamy, about 5 minutes. Add egg, melted butter, vanilla bean paste, and vanilla extract, stirring to combine.
  2. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, granulated sugar, and salt. Add half of flour mixture to milk mixture, and beat at low speed until combined, about 30 seconds. Add remaining flour mixture, and beat until combined, about 30 seconds. Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat at low speed until dough is smooth and elastic and pulls away from sides and bottom of bowl, about 4 minutes.
  3. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface, and shape into a smooth round. Spray a medium 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, about 1 hour.
  4. Punch down dough, and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 15x10-inch oval, and place on parchment paper.
  5. Leaving 2 inches at top and bottom of dough, spread Vanilla Cream Cheese Filling down center third of dough. Cut 1-inch-wide strips along each side of filling. At top and bottom, trim ends to width of filling, and fold over filling. Starting on left side, fold one strip over filling, ending just below opposite strip. Repeat with one strip on right side. Continue pattern, alternating left and right, until you reach end of strips. Tuck and pinch last strip.Transfer parchment and dough to a baking sheet. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until puffed, about 45 minutes.
  6. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
  7. In a small bowl, whisk together egg white and 1 tablespoon (15 grams) water. Brush top and sides of braided loaf with egg wash. Sprinkle with vanilla sugar.
  8. Bake until golden brown and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 190°F (88°C), 20 to 25 minutes. Drizzle with Vanilla Glaze. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe by Bake from Scratch at