Sunday, April 18, 2010

Cheese Raisin Braided Bread

All of us who bake have a favorite recipe of some kind. For some, it might be a special pie with flaky crust. For others, it's a triple chocolate cake. No matter what holiday rolls around, the signature dish must be made.

Before every holiday in our house, you will find me making my classic Cheese Raisin Braided Bread. Most recently, I made three of them for Easter.  It's been a household holiday favorite for a couple of decades. I don't even remember where I found the original recipe but it might have been in a magazine.
Just recently, I had to squint to read the measurements since the original copy was badly faded.
    "Uh oh," I thought. "Better get this recipe copied before it's completely illegible. So I typed out a new copy. Now, it's guaranteed I'll continue to make Cheese Raisin Braided Bread for as long as I'm able.

This is not a particularly easy recipe to master. It's rather time consuming and painstaking. But splendid results are almost guaranteed. You will hear your guests ooing, ahing, and asking you for the recipe.

So if you are up for a challenge , find that you have some time on your hands, and have lots of patience, give this recipe a try.

Here goes:
Cheese and Raisin Braided Bread

½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2 packages active dry yeast
about 3 and ½ cups of unbleached flour
6 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup water
1 egg
1 egg white
Cheese and Raisin Filling:
Into a bowl put an 8 ounce container of
creamed cottage cheese, run through a
sieve. With mixer at low speed, add 8 ounce
package of cream cheese, ½ cup confectionary
sugar, 1 teaspoon of grated lemon peel, and one
egg yolk, until smooth. Stir in ½ cup raisons.

In a bowl, combine sugar, salt, yeast, and 1 cup flour. In saucepan, heat butter and water until very warm. With mixer at low speed, beat liquid into dry ingredients. At medium speed, beat 2 minutes. Beat in egg and 3/4 cups flour; beat two minutes. Stir in 1 and ¼ cups flour.

On a floured surface, knead dough about 8 minutes adding about ½ cup flour while kneading. Shape dough into ball; place in greased bowl, turning over to grease top. Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.

Meanwhile, prepare Cheese and Raisin Filling; refrigerate.

Punch dough down; turn onto floured surface; cover; let rest 15 minutes. Grease large cookie sheet.

With rolling pin, roll dough into 15X12 rectangle; spread filling in a four-inch strip lengthwise down center.

Cut dough on both sides of filling crosswise into one inch strips.Place strips at angle across filling, alternating sides for braided effect. Place braid on cookie sheet. Cover, let rise til doubled. Heat oven to 350.Beat egg white. Brush braid. (This gives it a nice shine.) Bake 20 minutes or til browned.Cool 15 minutes.

                     REMINDER:  Check yesterday's blog to read about the Giveaway coming up on this blog's 200th post anniversary.  All you have to do is be a Follower and leave a comment, indicating you want to participate in the blog. That's it! It's simple!  It will be F-U-N! And we all need a little fun in our lives, right?


Dianne said...

It looks yummy! My mom made a wonderful Caramel Cake and my MIL made a Swedish Tea Ring. When I was little... my best friend Barbara's mom made Red Velvet Cake. Barbara and I would go to each others' house to have both kinds of cake!

Linda said...

Oh yum! Looks great. Now I'm hungry!

Leann said...

Hi Susan

The bread sounds a little Italian to me. Is it? I think I have ta recipe that uses ricotta instead of cottage cheese.

I've been a follower for some time and would love to throw my hat into the ring for the giveaway. Congrats on becoming such a great success! BTW Can you tell me have on your blog roll you get the photo and the date to show under the blogs?

Enjoy your day!

Dayle said...

That looks and sounds delicious!

Anonymous said...

I have never tried to make a braided bread before. I make most of my breads in the bread machine. Please enter me in the give away for the white tray and tool set. thank you

diane stetson said...

Not a fan of cheese or raisons..but I know you and your whole family LOVE this bread. I hope you all had a great time eating it.

Annesphamily said...

Great recipe! Yummy that dough looks so delicious!

Chatty Crone said...

Oh my gosh - just got home. Your bread looks absolutely yummy - made with lots of love and time. I love raisens and I love the way you braided it.


Susan said...

Dear Dianne, Linda,Leann, Dayle, Anonymous, Diane, Anne, and Sandie:

Was SOOOOO happy to see you all came to pay a visit today. How wonderful! Wish I could make a big Cheese Raisin Bread for all of you (and something else for those who don't like cheese or raisins. ha!)

Take care and let's hope for a good week for all of us! Sincerely, Susan

Bella said...

Hi Susan,
Thanks so much for stopping by my blog for a visit! I really appreciate it. You've got a nice place here yourself. :) And your bread looks divine.

Susan said...

Hi Bella! Thanks for stopping by. Please come by to visit any time! You will always be welcome! Sincerely, Susan

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