Fancy a rich, sweet bread for breakfast this weekend?
Weekend breakfasts around here are rarely a family affair. Instead, it’s a slow trickle of people wandering out from under the covers to grab a coffee or a slice of toast. Once the temperature starts dropping, though, I am more inclined to rally them round the table (although admittedly it’s more like brunch before I can get some of them out of bed). Steaming mugs of coffee or hot chocolate, slabs of sweet bread and a whole lot of laughter is a great way to start a day, especially if the sky is grey and the leaves are falling onto the damp ground.
Makes 2 loaves
500g (scant 4 cups) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 x 7g sachet (2 1/4 tsp) instant dry yeast
300ml (1 1/4 cups) milk
50g (1/4 cup) granulated (white) sugar
1 tsp salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g (7 oz) cream cheese
2 tsp vanilla extract
250g (2 cups unsifted) powdered (confectioners’) sugar
65g (1/2 cup) all-purpose (plain) flour
1 egg lightly beaten with 1 tsp water
2 tsp sugar
In a large bowl, whisk together 250g (2 cups) of flour and the yeast.
In a small saucepan, mix the milk, sugar and salt, and warm over medium-low heat until the sugar dissolves and the milk reaches 45°C (110°F).
Add the milk mixture, egg and vanilla to the flour and yeast and mix until smooth.
Add the remaining flour half a cup at a time, until you have a smooth dough, kneading for at least 5 minutes. It will start out sticky, but it will become soft and smooth as you knead.
Place in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm place until it doubles in size, about one hour.
The dough can now be refrigerated in an airtight container overnight, if desired.
Filling, assembly & baking
Butter or spray two 25cm (10″) loaf pans.
Stir together cream cheese, milk and vanilla until smooth. Whisk together the powdered sugar and flour, then add to cream cheese mixture and stir to combine.
On a lightly floured surface and using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out dough to a 40 x 50cm (16 × 20”) rectangle.
Spread dough with filling then roll up from the short edge to form a tight log. Cut into two equal halves.
Transfer loaves to the pans, brush with egg wash, cover loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for about one hour. Rising will take longer if dough was refrigerated overnight.
Preheat oven to 180°C (360°F).
Brush loaves with egg wash, sprinkle with sugar, and bake in centre of oven for about 25 minutes, until golden.
Cool in the pans for 5 minutes then remove to a wire rack to cool.
Store in an airtight container for up to 5 days (although fresh is best).