Thursday, January 28, 2016

Braided Sour Cream Cardamom Coffee Bread

I like brunch.  I like brunch foods.  I like that you can eat a cinnamon roll with a lobster frittata and no one judges you.  I have been needing some new items to add to my repertoire though.  I saw this recipe on and I thought I would give it a whirl.  I will also say (but if you read this blog with any regularity than you know this already) I am kind of obsessed with the Tovolo Pastry Mat and so consequently I have been obsessed with dough.  

This little gem of a brunch item has SO many filling options it will become my and hopefully your new rock-star brunch dish. It is also perfect for an afternoon snack with tea or cocoa!  The one I made had raspberry jam and a cream cheesy type filling but the original recipe had blackberries.  Obviously, you can use any type of fruit and if cardamom is not your thing you could leave it out or sub cinnamon. OR if you made a savory version you could add a little crushed black pepper or thyme to the dough and it would take on a whole new level.  SO MANY OPTIONS!

The texture was really lovely.  It was not too sweet and reminded me of a very European style breakfast pastry.  Not flaky like a croissant or Danish but more like the texture of a Challah bread. Similar consistency to a cinnamon roll dough but not as sweet.  The filling was creamy but not heavy and the jam added a nice mouth feel.  I loved the cardamom seeds in the dough - it added just a little unexpected pop of flavor in your already party of a mouth.

The recipe was very easy to follow.  The dough rises twice so you do have to plan a little but the execution of the braid was very simple.  If you are using a Tovolo Silicone Pastry Mat please remember not to use a knife directly on the silicone.  The Tovolo Sccop & Spread is a perfect dough cutting tool.  You could also use the Tovolo Pizza Cutter because it has both a Stainless Steel blade (not silicone mat friendly) and a plastic blade (silicone mat friendly) that is perfect for non-stick surfaces. Also, if you don't have a mixer with a dough hook, the Tovolo Dough Whisk and your hands work just as well.  Kneading bread dough is an amazing stress reliever! 

The cutest part of this braiding experiment was after the breads were baked my grand nephew came over for a Cocoa Party.  I was in the Northeast and we had just gotten about 6 inches of fresh snow.  We took a very snowy tromp around the neighborhood, made some cocoa, and ate warm Cardamom bread! Perfect afternoon!

Ingredients for the bread:

  • 3 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup of Daisy sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground cardamom seeds
  • 4 tablespoons of unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 large egg yolk (reserve the white)
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 tablespoon of active yeast
  • grapeseed oil or other neutral oil

Ingredients for the filling and topping:

  • 1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tablespoons of sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup of raspberry or other fruit jam
  • 2 teaspoons of ground cardamom
  • 2 tablespoons of all purpose flour
  • handful of sliced almonds (optional but really pretty)
  • 1 tablespoon of heavy cream (or water)


  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a hook, dissolve the yeast in the 1/3 cup of water and 3 tablespoons of sugar until the mixture is frothy. While the mixer is running on low-medium speed, add the salt, cardamom, egg yolk and sour cream and mix until combined. Begin adding the flour about half a cup at a time. Between adding the flour, add the butter a tablespoon at a time until incorporated. The flour should pull away from the bowl, but should not be too dry.
  • After the dough comes together, knead the dough in the mixer by running the mixer on low-medium speed for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the dough and form into a round shape. Rub the inside of a bowl with some grape seed oil and place the bread into the bowl and cover with a towel. Allow the dough to rise for 90 minutes.
  • Divide the dough into two pieces and on a lightly floured surface roll each piece into a roughly 10 x 15 inch oval or rectangle.
  • To make the filling, in the bowl of the mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, salt, 2 tablespoons of flour and egg until combined.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the raspberry jam, ground cardamom and 2 tablespoons of flour.
  • Using a bench scraper, pizza wheel or knife, cut 1/2 inch thick stripes at a slight angle on each side of the rolled out dough, about 1/3 of the width of the entire piece of dough so that 1/3 on both sides are cut into strips.
  • Slather half of the cream cheese mixture down the middle of the dough and then pour half the jam over the cream cheese.
  • Starting from the top (with the strips pointing downward), fold each strip across the cream cheese and jam, alternating left-side and right-side so that each strip overlaps the next. For the ends, just tuck one piece under the other. Repeat with the other piece of dough.
  • Carefully and quickly, transfer the logs of braided dough to a lined baking sheet.
  • Cover with a towel and allow to rise for another 90 minutes. The breads won’t look that much bigger.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Mix the remaining egg white and cream and brush it over the breads. Sprinkle the tops with sliced almonds.
  • Bake for about 20-25 minutes until golden brown, turning the pan around halfway through the baking.
I am including the link to because their photos are stellar and if you need help with the braiding the pictures break it down nicely.

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