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Blueberry Cream Cheese Bread: Twelve Loaves August

When summer’s fruits start to arrive at the local markets, I get the urge to bake pies and cakes every day filled with their juicy goodness. I see recipes in magazines and online featuring ripe and glorious fruit and I want to bake every single one of them!

I have recipes marked and pages torn out piling up by my desk. It’s become a slight baking conundrum as I don’t have enough time in the day to try each recipe that has me smitten.

It’s been a joy these past few months baking a different bread here each month with my fellow baking friends in Breaking Bread Society group I created this year. The baking group has a new name: Twelve Loaves, but we still have the same original idea: we want you to Break Bread and Get Baking with us!
            TWELVE LOAVES
I am excited to announce that I have some very talented friends joining us this month!Barb, from Creative Culinary Jamie, from Life’s a Feast and Lisa, from Parsley, Sage and Line Drives,! My mom was sweet as always(love you mom!)and wanted to show support and be a hostess with us. Thanks for joining us, Lizzie! Be sure to check out their delicious blogs and see what they are all about. Barb, Jamie, Lisa, and Lizzie's recipes may inspire your idea!

Twelve Loaves was created to inspire you to bake more from scratch at home, in your kitchen. Bake along with us every month and discover and rediscover the joys of home baking for your family and friends. We know it’s not an easy task and we are here to inspire you along the way. A Baking Revolution!

What unites Twelve Loaves and all of you? We love baking from scratch because people love eating real bread, real cakes, delectable treats right out of the oven. Together we will discover new recipes and learn and master new techniques, discover flavors, textures, new ways to experience bread at the table with family and friends. 12 months, 12 baked goods, 12 challenges... so get baking!   I will  post the new challenge on my blog the first of every month with our own choice of recipe; feel free to use one of our recipes or choose your own. Just adhere to the theme.

Our very first Twelve Loaves theme for the month of August is:

Bread with Summer Fruit
Bake a bread, yeast or quick bread, loaf or individual, filled, stuffed, studded or topped with your favorite fresh summer fruit or berries. It’s your bread…we want you to have fun with the idea!Lisa baked a gorgeous Chocolate Chunk Strawberry Malted Bread and Jamie made a delightful Cherry Chocolate Chip Maple Challah. Lizzy baked a beautiful Blueberry-Peach Bread with a Limoncello Glaze.

Just follow the rules, it’s as easy as pie:

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your post and mention and  link back to this blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your Bread is inspired by the theme! This is obligatory if you would like your link to be included!
2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this August, 2012 posted on your blog by August 31, 2012.

Do you tweet? We sure do!

Follow @TwelveLoaves on Twitter

Chat with the bakers! Barb @creativculinary Jamie @lifesafeast Lisa @parsleynsage

Have a specific question about #TwelveLoaves ? Contact the founder Lora @cakeduchess  
or cakeduchess @ :)

What are you waiting for?!? Let's bake some bread!

I am sharing this lovely bread at the weekly  Yeastspotting run by the lovely Susan  Wild Yeast .:)
Lora’s baking notes: I had at least six different ideas I was contemplating on baking for the Summer Fruits theme. The decision was settled when I had a massive craving for a blueberry bread made with yeast. My craving was to have  something  like a Danish. But I decided I didn’t want to make individual serving sizes. I wanted a large bread to cut; I thought it would be easier and less fussy. This bread is not too fussy, but it is time consuming.  You certainly don’t have to use this recipe for this month’s challenge.

I will tell you, this bread is amazing. Truly fantastic!  It was very similar to my guti recipe I showed you at Easter time. If you have a nice amount of time on a lazy afternoon, try this dough. You have to leave it in the fridge over night after it has risen the first time. I did see on the link where I found this recipe that some people commented that they baked it after the first rise and the photos looked nice. I didn’t bake it that same day so I can’t honestly tell you it would be fine. I did bake it the next day and it was incredible. It’s a good workout rolling out the chilled dough. Try to keep hold of the parchment paper on the edge of the counter so it won’t wiggle around too much. You may also want to prep the blueberry and cream cheese filling the day before to get it out of the way.

The day I baked the loaf, I had a dental appointment. I actually rescheduled the appointment early so I could finish this bread. As the bread was getting close to being finished, I called to see if maybe they still had the spot open for me. They did have time to see me! I snapped some quick photos of the bread still on the baking sheet. I arrived with some of this delightful bread still warm. They whisked it into their kitchen area with promises of sharing it with all the staff.

The dough recipe is from Beth Hensperger's The Bread Bible. An incredible bread book that every bread
baker should have. The braid idea I found on the inspiring bread site I could get lost on for hours: The Fresh Loaf. I used my own blueberry and cream cheese filling recipe. I attempted the blueberry filling I found on The Fresh Loaf and it did not work out for me. I preferred my blueberry filling and it is also what I use for pies and crostatas. 

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

2 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/3 cup sugar
2 1/2-3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, cut up in tablespoon portion at room temperature

For the Cream Cheese Filling Ingredients:
8 ounces (227 grams) cream cheese, room temperature
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1 large egg, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Cream Cheese Filling Directions:
With a hand mixture on medium speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Mix in the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract; mix together until smooth and creamy. If making the day before, chill until next day when ready to prepare your braid.

For the blueberry filling:
1 pound blueberries, picked over, washed, dried
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Bluberry Filling Directions:
In a small bowl, whisk a tablespoon of water with the cornstarch and set it aside. In a medium saucepan, combine 1/2 lb. blueberries, sugar and 1 tablespoon water.  Bring to a boil.

When blueberries reach a boil, reduce heat and simmer, stirring, until blueberries pop and mixture begins to thicken – about 3 minutes.

Add cornstarch mixture and lemon juice to thickened blueberries, stirring constantly.  Simmer 30 seconds, stirring constantly.  Fold in remaining blueberries.   Let sit at room temperature until set. If making the day before, leave in the refrigerator until the next day when ready to assemble the braid.  

now what about that DOUGH! let’s get it started! (don’t be afraid)

For 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.
after 1/2 hour…so spongey!
Add the eggs, salt, sugar, and one cup of the flour to the sponge. 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. If dough is still too sticky, add a flour a tablespoon at a time to achieve the right consistency. Do not add too much flour.
Knead the dough by hand or with a mixer until it is smooth and satiny. Add a touch of flour if dough is too sticky. Knead about 5 minutes.
Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise and room temperature until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
Let dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Deflate the dough, recover the bowl, and refrigerate overnight.
Deflate the dough, recover the bowl, and refrigerate overnight.
The next day, make the fillings before shaping the loaves (or make the fillings the day before and leave in fridge until you’re ready to shape the loaves).

If you made the fillings that day, wait until your blueberry filling has cooled off. Remove the dough out of the refrigerator and gently deflate it. Divide it into two pieces. Use a rolling pin to shape each piece into a thin (1 cm.) rectangle.

Place the first portion of dough in between two sheets of parchment paper (or waxed paper) and roll the dough into a rectangle (approximately 8x12 inches). With a sharp knife, mark the dough in thirds with a line (don’t cut dough all the way through). It’s just a marker to show 3 portions of the dough. Next,
Alternating from side to side, fold the pieces in over the filling. When possible, gentle press on the tabs to seal the folds.

Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise until doubled in size; approximately 45 minutes. Repeat process with the second dough. While it is rising, preheat the oven to 350 F.
Make 1 1/2 inch diagonal cuts on the sides of the dough. (These cuts do go all the way through as you are forming the flaps of the braids. Make sure the cuts are even on the other side as you will be matching up the pieces in a criss-cross way.) Alternating from side to side, fold the pieces in over the filling. When you fold a piece over, gently press on the tabs to seal the folds.

Spread cream cheese in the middle of the dough leaving a little space from the edge of the middle marker line.  (about 1/2 inch). Spread the blueberry filling carefully over the cream cheese. Keep it in the middle of the cream cheese and don’t over stuff it. DSCN1869

Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Set aside to rise until doubled in size; approximately 45 minutes. Repeat process with the second dough. While it is rising, preheat the oven to 350 F.

When loaves are ready to bake and doubled in size, glaze the braids with egg wash. Bake on the center rack of the oven for approximately 35 to 40 minutes, rotating it once after 20 minutes so that it bakes evenly. Remove it from the oven and allow it to cool for at least half an hour before slicing.


  1. Gorgeous, Lora! I am traveling to Colorado this evening for the birth of Susanne's baby, but if I was staying in Austin...this would be my plan! Thank you for sharing and inspiring me!

  2. Ha ha ha you actually cancelled a dentist appointment to finish this? Hysterical! But WOWOWOW is it gorgeous!!! I love the filling and what's great is that we can switch out the fruit for any we love. But I love yours. The bread and the braiding are perfect! Perfect! I must try yours now!

  3. This looks incredible, Lora! I'd love a slice right now for breakfast :).

  4. Beautiful and thank you for the "How in the World to Do That!" photos :") Trouble is... I just want to sneak a bite and I'm thinking I'm just going to have to make some. Have a wonderful day.

  5. Lora this bread is BEAUTIFUL!

    ...and bringing bread to the dentist - they must have been thrilled that day! reminds me of my first job after college - I'd wake up early to make bagels, and bring them still warm to my staff :)

  6. This looks so delicious! I'm going to have to make this soon I need it in my life!

  7. I never tire of making bread, I think I might not be able to control myself with this delicious filling, we have a ton of nectarines here at the moment, I think that would be great in it. Can you believe I can finally read that sign in Italiano and count to 100, he he, well at least I'm making a little progress.

  8. Oh so dangerous! I don't think this loaf would last for more than 20 min.

  9. What a fabulous recipe. I love the fruit interior.

  10. I hope I can join you ladies one month very soon. I love the twist on Challah with the blueberry and cream cheese filling. I adore cheese pastries with fruit and I imagine this is as good or better with the buttery Challah!

  11. What a stunning bread, Lora!! I love these yeasted delicious and your filling looks amazing, too! I was telling your mom we're leaving town, then moving my youngest to college, but if I get a chance to bake a bread with summer fruit, I'll definitely join in!!! Great crew you have hosting with you :)

  12. Lora.. I am blown away by your amazing blueberry cream cheese braid. You are a master of all doughs! I could eat that whole braid..and Im dead serious. By the way..I'm addicted to The Fresh Loaf too! That said, I'm so glad to be joining you, Jamie, your Mom, and everyone else who links up, in this summer fruit bread theme!

  13. Lora, this is one glorious loaf of bread! Love the blueberry filling.

  14. Wonderful bread Lora! I just love B. Hensperger. And a sweet bread danish!

  15. I have never wanted a slice of bread more than i do right now! Lol.
    When i was in university, i would always get this danish from a small cafe nearby... This looks just like that! Soooooo good!

  16. Beautiful bread Lora I love that Blueberry and cream cheese will be deadly combo. Sure I will try to bake some bread for this event.

  17. Hi Lora, thanks for your lovely comment on my blog. I LOVE this Twelve Loaves idea and this particular one is gorgeous. That braid is amazing! I've been feeling very uninspired lately thanks to winter and general blah-ness, but this is just the project to kick me out of my slothfulness. So molto grazie to you (and your mum - her blog is always so great!) e buon fine settimana x

  18. Magnificent bread! I could eat the whole thing and look for more. :) outstanding!

  19. Oh this wouldn't last the afternoon in my house! Blueberry and cream cheese - that bread pretty much has my name written all over it! Excellent choice for this month. I'm really going to attempt making it. :)

  20. Love this danish like bread Lora. I wish I had a slice with coffee this am. Yum! I particularly like time and time again how your dough rises. Just incredible how it responds so well under your spell. lol

  21. Your blueberry braid is GORGEOUS. Seriously, I think I could easily eat the whole thing. I love that you rescheduled your dentist appointment for it - now that's commitment! And I love even more that you brought them some when you went!! Thanks so much for starting Twelve Loaves - I really look forward to baking with you more in the coming months!!!

  22. Your danish looks fantastic Lora! I love the blueberry filling. So beautiful!
    I hope by the end of the month, depending when we get back home in VA, i bake something using the fresh summer fruit.

  23. This looks amazing…absolutely perfect! Love the blueberry filling! Sounds so delicious!

  24. You make the most beautiful loaves! I am always so impressed. Love the idea of fruit tucked inside of the bread. Absolutely gorgeous!

  25. Your bread is gorgeous and yummy! What a great way to start "Twelve Loaves"! Have a great weekend, Lora:)

  26. hi lora, that's a gorgeous loaf and thanks for your step by step photos and also how to shape the braid! I guess the staffs at the dental clinic must be so thrilled receiving this freshly baked bread from you!

  27. Pure Art... this is amazing just perfection!

  28. Lora - it looks AMAZING
    Gorgeous loaf and delicious filling :)

  29. Hi Lora,
    That is a gorgeous and delicious looking loaf! Love the theme, Summer Fruit! Will try to link one this month!

  30. Beautiful bread! It looks absolutely delicious and perfect for summer.

  31. Your looks fantastic and I like your step by step photos.

  32. This look amazing I wsnna make this soon:)
    Love how you show step by step!

  33. Wow... This bread looks seriously amazing and that braid work is so perfect! Now I kind of feel like I cheated in making something far simpler, but maybe best to stick with what I know anyway!

  34. A beautiful bread to kick off the new start! I look forward to baking with you.

  35. Hi Lora,
    I've just linked an apple bread! Thank you for hosting!

  36. Oh how I wish I had saved some blueberries from all my pie baking to make this bread. It just looks so wonderful.

  37. So beautiful and delicious!! I love baking my own bread and am so glad that you wonderful ladies have created this group! I am very excited to bake with you each month!

  38. How beautiful! I'm so glad that you though up the idea of Twelve Loaves. I can't wait to get mine posted.

  39. Blueberry preserves and cream cheese remind me of my childhood. My grandmother used to love to eat that combo on a bagel. The braid on this bread is stunning. It looks perfect. I bet you are your dentist's most popular patient. Thanks for creating this fun challenge.

  40. hi lora, just linked mine at #20. Thanks.

  41. Hi Lora,
    Linked mine.
    Your blueberry cream cheese looks super. All I have are plums right now. I think I'll give it a go by subbing it with blueberries. Thanx for sharing.

  42. Hi lora

    Your blog is very amazing. Happy to follow you.Am new to your space :) Wonderful event.I ll link my entries soon to ur event. Do please visit my blog when you are free.I ll be thankful to u once u followed me back dear :) Keep in touch :)

  43. Hi Lora

    I have linked my entry on your event.Please visit my blog as i posted ur logo and linky address event on my blog.Awaiting to hear your comments dear :)

  44. Beautiful, beautiful bread! I've done something along this line with apricot jam. But I never thought of using blueberries. How delicious it looks! (I love that way of making the braid to cover the filling.)

  45. wow, this looks phenomenal. the braid makes it absolutely stunning!