Christopher’s Cream Cheese Bread Recipe
(Or a good base for a king cake)
Gratitude for this recipe goes to my father Donald Geddings. I am using the by weight measurements, but have provided US volume references as well. I’m also twiddling the measurements sometimes (like trying to find the perfect amount of salt), but this is my base.
250g or 1cup sour cream
80g or 1/2 cup sugar
114g or 1/2 cup butter
140g or 1/2 cup warm water
16g or 2 packages (4 ½ tsps) active dry yeast
2 large eggs
500g* or 4 cups flour: For flour, I’ve used different mixes. Currently, the best I’ve found is a mix of unbleached white all purpose flour and white pastry flour (unbleached as well, I think.)
10g or ½ tsp salt
Prep: It is best if the butter has a little time to warm up…not quite to full room temperature soft but not like refrigerator hard either. Eggs should be allowed to come to room temperature. I can hurry this a bit by gently dropping the eggs in room temperature water for about 10 minutes or so.
• Scald sour cream.
• Drop in butter and stir until it melts. (The butter being slightly chilled helps reduce the temp of the sour cream.
• Stir in sugar, salt and butter.
• In a large mixing bowl, drop in yeast, add warm water, stir, and let the yeast proof.
• Stir in sour cream mixture.
• Add eggs and flour, mix well.
• Cover tightly and refrigerate. I find that somewhere around 4 hours is perfect. “Overnight” or 8 hours and the dough works, but not quite as well. You’ll find the dough rises a bit in the fridge, probably doubling.
After you pull it out, shape it and do what you want with it. I find rice flour on the working surface works a lot better than wheat flour. Generally, the dough can be divided into thirds to make three different loafs. When I do the king cake thing, I use 2/3 of the dough for the king cake loaf.
For the king cake: I roll it out into a big rectangle, generously add whatever filling I want, and then roll it up like a jelly roll. Not painfully tight, but not too loose either. Then bring the ends together and seal (moist fingers help the dough bond the seal.)
For either the bread or the King Cake, place on an ungreased baking sheet or on your preheated baking stone and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. You’ll have to adjust for the specific oven and specific consistency you want. I’m looking for a browning of the outer crust of the loaf.
Filling: Here’s sort of the base I start with for my filling…though I radically adjust things depending on what I want to add (cinnamon or fruits for example.)
1 8 oz package of cream cheese
3g of salt (1/8 tsp)
120g of sugar (about 1 cup)
7g vanilla extract (2 tsps)
I also add a glaze to the top, and if you are doing the king cake, you can do the colored sugar thing too. The glaze is basically powdered sugar, vanilla extract and a bit of water or milk. Sometimes adding some lemon juice. Blend it all together. More liquid makes it flow more, sugar stiffens. You want it slightly on the stiffer side.
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