Saturday, February 5, 2011

Philly Friendship Braided Bread

I believe every dish and every new recipe has a story behind it.  The story could be cooking with your loved ones' favorite ingredients, so that you can cheer him/her up after a long day of work.  Or it could be a story of eating healthy for yourself and/or for the family.  How about a story to celebrate friendship?  This Philly Friendship Braided Bread I created is especially made for Suzanne, someone I know and connected through food, to celebrate our friendship.


Philly Friendship Braided Bread 

I know Suzanne through The Philadelphia Cream Cheese Recipe Contest less than 6 months ago.  We’ve never met but I felt like she’s my long lost sister.  We shared recipes, ideas, and our life’s stories through the Philly community, and later on, through my blog.  Little did I know, a recipe competition site is so welcoming and supportive.  The Philly community is filled with love and caring, pretty much to my surprise and totally not what I had expected when I submitted my very first entry.

Besides Suzanne, there are many other “brothers and sisters” I get to know through that site.  Hop over and check it out here.  I promise you won’t be disappointed.

Back to this particular recipe.  What inspired me to create this bread?  It started with a comment left by Suzanne on my Birthday Post

“Happy Birthday Amy!!! I tried your TangZhong style white bread and my family is now your best friend! It was amazing, easy to make and really fun. Best of all it was so delicious. I made my son's lunch sandwich with it and my daughter and her boyfriend ate a whole loaf (he snuck it home with him). I've made it twice with the same great results. I can't wait to try something like the angel cake soon. Thanks for this amazing blog.”

It was the best birthday gift I’ve received this year!  As a blogger and foodie, nothing makes me more happy than knowing my readers and my friends tried my recipes and loved them.  (especially with my blog name, hello…?) I know many of you might have tried my recipes, but might not had posted a comment to let me know.  (hey, it’s never too late.  I still accept belated birthday gifts! LOL)  So, thank you Suzanne, from the bottom of my heart. 

Then we went on exchanging emails and talked about what we can make with this basic bread recipe.  I shared with Suzanne some other fillings I’ve tried and loved.  Then, I was thinking to myself, I knew Suzanne through the Philadelphia recipe contest, why not create a recipe for her using Philly Cream Cheese?  So, here we go.  Philly Friendship Braided Bread.  It’s as beautiful as Suzanne herself, both inside and out. 

Philly Friendship Braided Bread

By the way, Suzanne sent a picture of her creation of a loaf bread using my TangZhong recipe.  Isn’t it amazing!? 

Suzannes Loaf

Thank you again Suzanne for your inspiration.  I know you love visual tutorial.  So, I included the step-by-step pictures instructions here, just for you!  ;)  I hope you and your family enjoy this recipe as much as my family does!  These Philly Friendship Braided Breads are my family’s new favorites now. 

This pictures below shows step number 4 and 5 from the recipe below.  After you roll out the dough to a 5 by 5-inch square, cut off the 4 corners of the dough as shown.  Then cut the two sides of the dough a few times to make even sized strips(about 1/2-inch wide each).  Then, spread a tablespoon of cream cheese in the middle and top with a tablespoon of your favorite preserves.  I used orange marmalade here.  You can use, strawberry preserve, lemon curd, or blueberry preserves.

Philly Friendship Braided Bread

Then, fold the top and bottom parts of the dough to the center.

Philly Friendship Braided Bread

Take one strip of dough from one side and fold it over the fillings at an angle, alternating with the other side like crossing arms, until all pieces are done.  Make sure to overlap the strip in the middle so they stick together during second proof. 

 Philly Friendship Braided Bread


Philly Friendship Braided Bread

Let the filled dough proof the 2nd time in a warm place for 30 to 45 minutes, or until doubled in size.  Brush egg wash on top and bake.  They turned out really soft, fluffy and delicious.  I love the oozing creamy filling inside.  They are best served warm or at room temperature.  My kids love the Blueberries and Strawberries preserves fillings the most.  I personally love the orange marmalade and lemon curd.  Of course, you can make different kinds of filling in the same batch too.  That’s the fun part.

Philly Friendship Braided Bread

I'm submitting this recipe to the Holiday Recipe Swap.  Come join the fun at the My Baking Addiction and GoodLife Eats Holiday Recipe Swap sponsored by Red Star Yeast. 




Philly Friendship Braided Bread: Printable Recipe

Makes 8 individual braided buns

TangZhong 湯種 Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Boiling Water
1/4 Cup Bread Flour


Bread Dough Ingredients:
1/2 Cup Warm Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
3 Tablespoon Sugar
3 Tablespoon Melted Butter
1 1/2 Cup Bread Flour
1 1/3 Teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
Filling Ingredients:
4 ounces of Philadelphia Cream Cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup of your favorite preservers, marmalade or lemon curd

Egg Wash Ingredients:
1 Beaten Egg
1 Teaspoon water


To Make The TangZhong 湯種:
Place bread flour in a small bowl, pour boiling water over the bread flour and stir quickly with a fork to combine until no lumps.
Wrap mixture (it'll be a very wet dough) with plastic wrap, form dough in ball/round shape and leave in refrigerator overnight.


To Make The Bread:
1. Take out the TangZhong 湯種 from the fridge at least an hour before use (I usually leave it on countertop until it's room temperature).
2. In a bread machine, pour in ingredient in this order, warm milk, TangZhong 湯種, salt, sugar, butter, bread flour and yeast. Set bread machine to dough setting according to its user menu.
3. When dough is ready, take it out from bread machine and punch it a few times to deflate it. Divide dough into 8 equal portions and shape them into balls. Leave them in a warm place to rest 15-20 minutes
4. On a slightly floured board, roll each portioned dough with a floured rolling pin to a 5 by 5-inch square.  Cut off the 4 corners of the dough, then slit the two sides of the dough a few times to make even size strips(about 1/2-inch wide) as shown on the pictures above.  Spread a tablespoon of cream cheese in the middle and top with a tablespoon of your favorite preserves. 
5. Fold the top and bottom parts of the dough to the center.  Take a strip of dough from one side and fold it over the fillings at an angle, alternating with the other side like crossing arms, until all pieces are done.
6. Let dough proof the 2nd round for 30 to 45 minutes in a warm and moist place.
7. Preheat oven 355°F. Brush egg wash on top and bake for 15 to 17 minutes. Cool on rack.

Tips: When proofing the dough, make sure it's in a warm place and covered with wet towel or plastic wrap so it won't dry out. I usually place it in the oven with a bowl of hot water.

Note: The dough setting on my bread machine kneads the dough for 27 minutes and keeps the dough warm to proof for 1 hour.  If you don’t have a bread machine and knead your dough by hand, make sure you knead the dough for 15 to 20 minutes (depends on your strength and speed) and proof it for a hour until the dough double in size before you move on to step 3 from above.)



50 comments:

  1. That is beautiful! It looks delicious and I love that it is called friendship bread!!

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  2. This looks wonderful! And I love that you use cream cheese in the filling.

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  3. This looks so good!I'm going to have to try it, I think my whole family would love it.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I'm so glad you did. I'm your newest follower.:)

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  4. I've heard of Amish friendship bread, but I'd rather make Philly bread anyday ;p. I've heard great things about this method, and the filling is just gorgeous!

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  5. Wow Amy, thank you for your kind words and I couldn't agree that striking up a friendship with you has been one of the best benefits of baking and cooking. Your talents with visual art and baking are fantastic and I can't wait to try this new recipe too!!! Now thanks to your great visual instructions (which I need) I can. I'm so grateful to have you as a friend in my life...so are my kids because they love your recipes! Happy Chinese New Year and I pray for long life and prosperity for you and your entire family!!! xoxoxoxo Suzanne

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  6. Beautiful bread Amy. Just the perfect present for your friend Suzanne.

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  7. Omg...these mini braids are too precious. Outstanding job with beautiful color.

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  8. It looks good Amy. Is it really easy to make?

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  9. @ Ms Kitty: Oh yes, it's easy to make. I had fun making them, and my kids love to help out in rolling the dough, too. The hardest part is kneading the dough. So, if you have a bread machine or a stand mixer with dough hook to do the job for you, it'll be a plus. :)

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  10. Looks really nice perfect bread.

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  11. Amy, this looks delicious! I am going to have to make this one for sure. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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  12. Amy!! i love your pictures and I cannot wait to make. My kids will have a blast making these little buns of yum! Great job sista!

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  13. This is beautiful Amy! It looks delicious and as you know, I love the photo's! ;) I hope you have a terrific week-end, my friend! Blessings and thank you again for sharing so many fabulous
    posts!

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  14. Hello Amy, this bread looks sooo beautiful and delicious. Great photography too. I checked your TangZhong style white bread recipe and it intrigued me; I'm going to give it a try.
    have a nice weekend

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  15. OMG, Amy, this is truly beautiful. I love this bread.

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  16. Amy-I am not a huge fan of cooking with yeast--too impatient :) However, this looks like it might be worth the trouble and the wait. Isn't it wonderful to get feedback and know someone is trying your recipes??!!

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  17. I wanted to give you the Stylish Blogger Award. Pick it up over at my blog. (if you want)Just want you to how much I like your blog!

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  18. Your friendship braid looks so good! I've never made bread with this method, but it looks easy to make especially with the bread machine. Thanks!

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  19. That bread looks just like the one they sell at my Asian grocery store. I always wondered how they made it and now I know. Yours looks so delicious and your braid turned out beautiful.

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  20. This looks amazing! I am always happy when I have friends and readers trying a recipe too. :)

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  21. Yes Amy every new recipe has a story behind it and braids are really looking yummy....

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  22. so pretty and so delicious looking! love it!!!
    -meg
    @ http://www.clutzycooking.blogspot.com
    @ http://www.myscribblednotebook.blogspot.com

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  23. What a nice tribute to your friend in the form of a beautiful loaf of friendship bread! It looks beautiful, and tasty too! I'm going to go check out your other bread recipe that you mentioned too:)

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  24. Hi Amy,
    What a great tutorial on the Philly Friendship Bread. I just love the surprise in the middle...yum! Thank you so much for bringing this wonderful bread to us at Full Plate Thursday. You have a great week end and please come back!

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  25. These look delicious and I know will taste great, thanks so much for sharing.

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  26. How beautiful and I love the story behind it! Reading the stories behind the recipe is almost better than making the recipe itself (almost!) :)

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  27. what a lovely story of friendship and support. your bread is a great tribute to both! thank you for sharing with tuesday night supper club.

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  28. so gorgeous - and I couldn't agree more - RWoP has changed my life in so many ways through the incredible friendships that have been formed there - thank you for being a part of my world and I cherish the time I get to spend in yours.....keep shining sweet bella!

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  29. Your braid is perfect. I have never seen anyone cut the corners out before. This is what makes this a beautiful braid. Thanks for the tutorial.

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  30. Another beautiful product of your talent! And how sweet is the story behind this one. I am now following at number 157 :o)

    Blessings & Aloha!

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  31. I LIKE this one - you could post this one at the linky party :)

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  32. I wanna try! Fighting with something called time =P

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  33. i think i'll make this one for Easter weekend :)

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  34. Hello, I have a question. Have you tried freezing them? Or do you know if it can be done?
    It will be nice to have them fresh whenever you want but I have no idea how the cream cheese and preserve or curd behaves if frozen, any idea if it can be done?

    Thank you!

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  35. @Susana: I haven't tried freezing the bread myself. I do put them in the fridge so they last much longer than leaving out at room temperature. Maybe I'll try to freeze one next time I made a batch just to test how it'll turn out. :)

    Amy

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  36. Thanks Amy ^_^

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  37. Congrats! You were in the top 6 for this week's Themed Baker's Sunday at Cupcake Apothecary! AGAIN!
    Make sure to grab your I was featured button on the side of my blog! I hope to see you for this next week's Themed Baker's Sunday where the theme is CHEESECAKE! Submissions start tomorrow, so don't forget!
    http://cupcakeapothecary.blogspot.com/2011/05/themed-bakers-sunday-5.html
    Alyssa

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  38. I never tire of your wonderful posts Amy and this one is still so dear to my heart!!! Talk to you soon! xoxoxoxo

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  39. Hello :)
    I have a question... Can i use all purpose flour instead of bread flour?
    Thanxx :)

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  40. @Reme: I recently ran out of bread flour on the day I need to make bread and substituted with all-purpose flour and the bread came out just as great. :) So, the answer is YES. But you might have to pay attention and knead the dough a bit longer to make sure the gluten is developed before proofing. Hope that helps.

    Amy

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  41. Thank u sooo much amy :) im going to try it tomorrow and i hope it get as perfect as yours xxx :)

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  42. You're very welcome, Reme. Happy baking and wish you a wonderful weekend. Please let me know how they turn out. Hope you'll like the recipe. :)

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  43. So beautiful! Really want to try this recipe.

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