Blueberry Cream Cheese Challah

Hi my friends. How are things going in your neck of the woods? It’s been a lovely beginning to Spring here in Florida, and not terribly hot yet, so we are enjoying the weather here very much. I hope you are all doing well and getting out a bit more now that most of us are vaccinated!!!

I’m super excited to bring you my newest recipe collaboration with my favorite yeast company, Red Star Yeast! My Blueberry Cream Cheese Challah is so beyond scrumptious, tender and sweet, and is the perfect way to hone your bread baking skills 🙂

I took one of my tried and true challah recipes and decided adding cream cheese and blueberries inside each braid would only make the bread sweeter and more special!!! The result is perfection!!! I mean, what could be better than spending the day baking these delicious loaves, then sharing them with your loved ones?!! Even if you don’t have a lot of experience with dough, using Platinum Yeast from Red Star makes your dough foolproof!!

Here are some good to know facts about Platinum Yeast from Red Star

With Platinum Yeast from Red Star, baking success has never been this easy!

Platinum Yeast from Red Star   delivers great results so you can enjoy your made-from-scratch moments!

Platinum Yeast from Red Star takes the guesswork out of baking with yeast, giving you bakery quality results at home every time!

So, let’s get baking!!!!

Make sure you stock up on my favorite yeast!! 🙂

It’s the perfect time to bake with blueberries!!

The dough is really sweet and has lots of eggs for extra fluffiness!

The dough comes out perfectly and you don’t have to be a skilled bread maker!

This is what your dough will look like after it has risen and you’ve punched it down.

The cream cheese mixture is luscious and sweet and gives the dough that extra tang!

You’ll divide the dough into 9 equal pieces to make three braided loaves.

Roll each piece into a long rectangular shape, spread the cream cheese and line with blueberries.

Roll up the dough like you would a jelly roll, then pinch the seams closed and do the same on each end. You don’t want the filling to leak out!

The ropes should be about the same length and thickness.

Now, line them up vertically and pinch the tops of each together so they are joined together.

Braid the loaves and pinch both ends. Then tuck each end under a bit and place on a lined baking sheet.

Brush the loaves with the egg wash and sprinkle with lots of turbinado sugar and sliced almonds, if desired. I think the almonds look so pretty!

Look how gorgeous this challah is!!!

I made one without almonds, and look how beautiful this is too!! You can really see the coarse sugar on top!

Hello beautiful!

I found big fat blueberries that were super sweet. I would suggest finding the biggest ones you can find because they taste better!

I ate two pieces when the bread was still warm. Then came back and ate two more 😉

Close up!!

More beauty shots 🙂

I suggest serving this with extra cream cheese to spread on the bread. It is so delicious that way!

Blueberry Cream Cheese Challah

Makes: 3 loaves Prep time: 75 minutes Bake time: 36 to 40 minutes

Ingredients

Dough

1 tablespoon, (or 1 packet (2 ¼ tsp) plus ¾ tsp)  Platinum Yeast from Red Star

1/3 cup sugar

2 cups warm water, about 110 to 120 degrees

3 cups all purpose flour

4 eggs

1/2 canola oil

1 tablespoon salt

1 cup sugar

6-7 more cups all purpose flour

1 egg plus 1 teaspoon water for brushing over loaves

Coarse sugar for sprinkling over loaves

Sliced almonds for sprinkling over loaves, if desired

Filling

8 ounces softened cream cheese

1 large egg yolk

1/3 cup sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla

About 1 cup of fresh blueberries

Directions

Line three baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone mats and set aside.

In the bowl of your stand mixer, mix the yeast, 1/3 cup of sugar and the warm water together. Let stand for 5 minutes.

Stir in 3 cups of flour and mix with your dough hook until the flour is incorporated.

In another bowl, mix together the eggs, canola oil, salt, and remaining 1 cup of sugar.

Add to the dough mixture and mix until combined.

Slowly begin adding in your additional 6 to 7 cups of flour until the dough comes together as a sticky ball. ( I used about 6 and a half more cups of flour)

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for several minutes unit the dough forms into a nice round shape.

Butter a large bowl and place your dough ball in it.

Place the bowl in a warm part of the house and cover the bowl with a clean towel.

Let the dough rise for 1 hour.

Make your cream cheese filling by combining all ingredients together and mix until smooth. Set aside.

Punch the dough down and place onto a floured surface.

Cut the dough into 3 equal pieces, then cut those pieces into 3 pieces. You will have 9 ropes total.

Now, roll each piece into a long rectangular shape, about 14 inches long by 4-5 inches wide or so. ( These don’t have to be exact, but try and keep them around the same size so your braids look even.) See my photo above.

Spread about 1 tablespoon filling leaving an inch border on each piece.

Line the blueberries down the middle of each rope. (see my photo above)

Roll each piece long ways jelly roll style. Tuck the blueberries in as  you go. (See my photo above).

Pinch all along the seam and on each end to seal completely.

Now, line up 3 ropes vertically and pinch them together at the top to combine into one. ( see my photo above).

Braid your three pieces starting tightly at the top so there isn’t a big gap.

When you get to the bottom, tuck the tough under, and do the same at the top so the braid looks pretty.

Gently place it on your prepared baking sheet.

Gently cover the loaves with a cloth and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Whisk up the egg and teaspoon of water.

Gently brush each loaves liberally with the egg mixture.

Sprinkle very generously with lots of turbinado sugar. I love the crunch so I used quite a bit. You can use as much or as little as  you like!

Sprinkle some almonds on top if you like almonds. I think they gave a nice texture and flavor to the bread!

Bake for 20 minutes and rotate the pan.

Bake for another 15 t0 20 minutes, or until the loaves are a deep golden brown.

Let  the loaves sit on the pan for 10 minutes then move them to a cooling rack.

Slice and serve with cream cheese or butter!!

Wrap any cool leftovers in wax paper and foil.

You can freeze each loaf for up to a month!

I hope you love this amazing bread as much as I do!!

xo

3 comments

Comments

  1. Sheila Weinstein says:

    I can’t wait to taste this masterpiece! What a fabulous idea to use cream cheese and blueberries to make an ordinary recipe extraordinary. I’m so lucky because I get to try all your fabulous baking.
    Gimme, gimme…
    xoxoxo
    Your Mom

  2. Elizabeth Vlug says:

    So much to love about this bread. First, it’s bread. lol. And your easy to follow recipe and pictures are sure to help when I make this one. Plus it makes 2 loaves!! Perfect for sharing. Thanks again for all you share.

  3. Warren Lieberman says:

    Yum.

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