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This shape, one of my favorites, is called a false plait and is perfect for encasing a thick berry filling such as the luscious one used here. Make this bread during the height of blueberry season, which is mid-to late summer. Make sure to wash the blueberries right before using, otherwise they will absorb water as they sit. When fresh blueberries aren't available, use frozen ones, which work just as well.
- For Dough:
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, cut into pieces
- 1/2 cup (packed) golden brown sugar
- 2 large eggs
- Grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 cups whole-wheat flour
- 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 tablespoon bread machine yeast or 2 1/2 teaspoons SAF instant yeast
- For Blueberry Filling:
- 1 pint (2 cups) fresh blueberries, or one 16-ounce package unsweetened frozen blueberries, unthawed
- 1/4 cup maple syrup
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- For Streusel:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/3 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
FOR DOUGH: Place all dough ingredients in bread machine pan in order listed. Program machine for Dough Cycle; press Start.
FOR BLUEBERRY FILLING: Bring all ingredients to boil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat and simmer until liquid is thick, gently stirring occasionally to keep berries whole. Cool to room temperature.
TO MAKE STREUSEL: Combine sugar, cinnamon and flour in small bowl. Rub in butter pieces with fingertips or pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse meal.
Line 2 large baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer dough to lightly floured work surface (dough will be slightly soft, yet smooth and springy, holding its own shape). Divide dough into 2 equal portions. Roll each portion into 15x9-inch rectangle. Keeping dough edges straight, transfer to prepared baking sheet. Spread blueberry filling lengthwise down center third of rectangle. Cut strips at 2-inch intervals diagonally on both sides of filling with sharp knife, cutting almost through to filling. Starting at top, fold strips alternately from each side at slight angle to make criss-cross braid. Tuck under any excess dough at end. Repeat with second loaf. Cover loosely with plastic wrap. Let rise at room temperature until doubled, about 45 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F 20 minutes before baking. Sprinkle streusel evenly over loaves. Bake one pan at a time until golden brown and cake tester inserted near center comes out clean, about 35 minutes. Transfer loaf to wire rack to cool completely. (If second braid is rising quickly, then refrigerate until time to bake.)
DO-AHEAD TIP: Braid can be frozen up to 2 months. Defrost at room temperature, then place in 325 degrees F oven until warm, about 10 to 12 minutes. Cut into slices; serve immediately.
Recipe created exclusively for Cooking.com by Beth Hensperger, author of The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook and The Bread Bible.
Serving size = 1/8 loaf
Recipe reprinted by permission of Publisher. All rights reserved.
nutrition information per serving
285 calories; 9g total fat; 47mg cholesterol; 321mg sodium; 47g carbohydrates; 3g fiber; 6g protein
These nutrition facts are calculated according to the ingredients listed in this recipe. Any substitutions will change these facts. Although we strive for accuracy, please note that food manufacturers occasionally change their food formulas, which could affect the calculations as shown.
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