Raspberry Brioche Braid
When my boys were little I took them berry picking. The concept was a good one and in my head it would be like a scene from Kinfolk. The boys sitting quietly by the raspberry bushes, adorably tossing berries into a gingham lined basket.
Watch Zoë Make a Cannoli inspired version of the Braid on the Hallmark Channel Home & Family Show!
The reality was more Lord of the Flies meets Blueberries for Sal (which is my all-time favorite children’s book). The boys would never sit still in a setting as inviting as this for running and wielding sticks, in-which to sword fight. Nor were they likely to toss a single berry into the basket, when they could just as easily eat them. So, I picked berries, while keeping an eye out to make sure my children were not impaling each other and were accounted for. I got enough berries to bake with, but they were not-so-ceremoniously consumed in the back seat of the car, by the aforementioned sword fighters, on the way home. It was an absolutely charmed day in its way, but not if your goal was to bake something tasty. We stopped at the store and bought perfect raspberries, I baked a lovely raspberry brioche braid, that ended up in ABin5 and I have not gone berry picking (with the intention of bringing home berries) since … true story!
This raspberry brioche braid is ideal for breakfast, brunch, after school snack or makes a sweet gift for your neighbor who just had an adorable baby (as mine recently did). When you have a bucket of brioche in the refrigerator this brioche braid can be put together in a no time. First, I used the berries to make a quick jam, which is so simple and delicious and I recommend making extra to just have around. The red of these berries makes for a ruby colored jam and the flavor is just pure raspberry, no additives or binders. The jam is spread over a layer of rich cream cheese filling and then the dough is folded over the fillings in a pattern that looks fancy, but is incredibly easy to do. The finishing touches are a fresh raspberry glaze and sweet whole berries. It will impress everyone and they’ll assume you spent so much time preparing it. They never need to know how easy it is, until you share this recipe with them.
Raspberry Brioche Braid
1 pound brioche dough (I’ve used the brioche dough from The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, and the Amish Milk Dough from Holiday and Celebration Bread in Five Minutes a Day, but you could also use Challah dough or one of the enriched doughs from our The New Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day book or even Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day)
Quick Raspberry Jam
12 ounces raspberries
1/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Cream Cheese Filling
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon sugar
Egg wash (1 egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water) for topping braid
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons heavy cream (maybe more to reach proper consistency)
6 ounces raspberries for garnish
To make the jam:
Place the raspberries, sugar and lemon juice into a pan and use a fork to break up the raspberries just enough to produce a bit of juice. Simmer over a medium/low heat for about 30 minutes, stirring often.
The jam will cling to the spoon when it is done. Allow to cool before filling the braid.
To make the cream cheese filling, mix the cream cheese, zest and sugar in a bowl until smooth.
Take a one pound piece of dough, weighing on a Scale is the easiest way, but if you don’t have one, a grapefruit-sized piece will do.
Roll a 1-pound piece of dough into a 10 x 12-inch rectangle. Make sure to use enough flour that the dough doesn’t stick to the surface or the rolling pin. TRANSFER THE ROLLED OUT DOUGH TO A SHEET OF PARCHMENT (I didn’t do that, because it was easier to photograph on the counter, but building the braid on the parchment will make your life much easier). Spread the cream cheese filling down the center of the dough, not more than 1 1/2 inches wide.
Top the cream cheese with about 3/4 cup of the raspberry jam. You can add more, but some may leak out of the braid as it is baking. There may be a little jam left over to serve with the baked braid.
Cut 1/2-inch thick strips of dough with a pastry or pizza cutter. Try to get an even amount on both sides, but it’s okay if it doesn’t happen.
Lightly twist the top two strips of dough….
Then cross them over the top of the filling. Do not pull the dough too thin or it may break as it rises and bakes.
Continue that same routine of twisting the pieces and crossing them over each other on top of the filling, until you are at the bottom. If you find an odd piece of the dough, that doesn’t have a mate, just twist it and place it over the filling. That happened to me here and I bet you have a hard time telling!
When you get to the end, just tuck the loose ends under the loaf, so they are secure and won’t pop out when baking.
Place the braid and parchment onto a baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic and allow to rest for about 1 1/2 hours.
Preheat the oven to 350°F
Just before baking, brush the loaf gently with the egg wash.
Bake the loaf for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
Allow to cool before topping with the icing.
To make the icing: mix the powdered sugar, raspberry and cream together in a small bowl.
If it is too thick to drizzle, add more cream.
It should come off a spoon in a thin ribbon.
Once the braid is cool, drizzle with half the icing.
Top brioche braid with raspberries, drizzle with the remaining icing and serve.
28 thoughts on “Raspberry Brioche Braid”
Raspberries are my number 1 favorite of the berries. This recipe is a keeper. Soon, in my region blackberries will be ripening up all over the place, and I imagine this would be just at good with the blackberries too.
thanks for the delicious recipe.
Glad you liked it Sandra!
I made this with the blackberries and it was fabulous. I made the jam as directed, but reduced the sugar slightly. I also strained it to remove most of the seeds. It was delicious just on it’s own, and I was so glad to have some extra to use on toast.
I enjoyed a generous slice of this and sent the rest to my husband’s office for my own safety. None made it back home.
Yay, I’m so pleased you tried this! I’m sure the blackberries were both beautiful and tasty!
Do you recommend any changes for different berries? Strawberries/blueberries?
Shouldn’t matter much…
I’m practicing making this beautiful bread, but I’m having a little trouble with the dough. Despite all my best mixing techniques, the dough ends up with little hard pea-sized lumps (probably flour+butter). There’s no way to get rid of them once they appear. They seem to disappear once the brioche is baked, but they make it a little difficult to do the braiding.
Can you be more specific?
Small hard lumps form in the dough as I mix it. Pea-sized. Can’t get rid of them no matter how I mix the dough.
Does it disappear when you bake?
Yes they disappear as it bakes.
They make it a bit difficult to braid.
Ah yes, this problem. With the butter-based brioiches, we’ve found this is unavoidable whether you are baking with wheat or going gluten-free. Same for us–the lumps are probably butter + plus sweetener congealing a bit. Since they disappear with baking, we never tried to figure out how to prevent it.
Is this still delicious if made the night before?
Won’t be quite as good… Wrap it well and it’s not bad
Wow – that is SO much easier than the highly involved recipe I have to make a coffee cake braid!! I’m SO excited to make this!!!
This recipe seems to be the same as the Braided Raspberry -Almond Cream Pastry in the book “The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day”. The instructions above say to let the dough rest for 90 minutes after braiding, while the book says to rest for 40 minutes. Are these differences intentional? If not, which is the correct length of time?
Our thinking on that recipe evolved. Both times work, but you get a lighter result if you let it rest for longer. (They’re both good).
Could you please advise if and how resting/proving times need to be adjusted for baking in warmer weather? I am baking in India and temperatures outside are 30 C during the day. All recipes I had tried successfully in the UK past few years are now failing me… 🙁
Hard to estimate… if you’re finding that breads are rising too fast and then flattening, you can short the resting times by 25 to 30%. But I’m guessing that the real problem is that the flours in India are lower in protein–and they’re much better for flatbreads than tall loaves (think of what traditional Indian breads are like–flat and delicious–made from lower-protein flour that doesn’t support a tall rise.
I am using bread flour though…
Hmm. I’m a little bit stumped then. My kneejerk would be to say that “bread” flour in India might be pretty low in protein anyway. Maybe decrease the water for a more formidable dough? 2 tablespoons or so?
It is mentioned that the extra brioche dough may be frozen. What/How do you recommend doing this? Wrapped in wax paper and/or ziplock bag!?! LOVE this recipe! I made 1/2 a recipe and 2 braids(one chocolate and one raspberry/cream cheese. Now making two more but both will be blueberry/cream cheese. Plus, I made the 5min artisan bread and it is a HUGE hit for the family ❤️❤️❤️
Wrap as airtight as you can, if possible in a jar or plastic container that seals, otherwise with plastic/plastic bags. I don’t think wax paper’s airtight enough.
Thank you! One more question….can the braid be completely assembled then frozen then baked? If so, how would you suggest? Wanting to have it fresh for the morning and as you stated above, it is better the day it is baked
Yes, but it gets a little dense (I don’t mind it). Wrap well, place on something stiff so it doesn’t fall apart, and then defrost in the AM. Might take 90 min or so.
Can you make two smaller braids instead if one large one?