braided peach curd bread
Recipe type: bread
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • CURD (you will need about half or less of this for the recipe): 2 egg yolks
  • ⅓ cup sugar (a little less if your peach sauce is really sweet)
  • ½ cup peach sauce or puree (like the one I made -- see link in post)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon rosewater
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • SPONGE: 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) warm water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1½ teaspoons instant yeast
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • DOUGH: Sponge (above)
  • 6 tablespoons (3 ounces) sour cream or yogurt
  • ¼ cup (4 tablespoons or 2 ounces) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 large eggs, 1 beaten for dough, 1 beaten with 1 teaspoon water for brushing bread
  • ¼ cup (1¾ ounces) sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2½ cups (10⅝ ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • Turbinado or white sugar for sprinkling
  • PEACH CURD-CREAM CHEESE FILLING: ⅓ cup (2½ ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 tablespoons (5/8 ounces) sugar
  • 2 tablespoons (1 ounce) sour cream
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons (1/2 ounce) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • ¼ cup (2 ounces) peach curd
  1. MAKE PEACH CURD (can be made a day or two ahead): Beat all ingredients except butter over double boiler. Stir constantly until thickened (about 20-30 minutes).
  2. Stir in butter gradually.
  3. Strain (if you are using unpeeled peaches) and chill until ready to use. Since my peach sauce recipe used peeled peaches, I didn't strain.
  4. MAKE SPONGE: In a small bowl, combine the sponge ingredients. Stir well to combine, loosely cover with plastic wrap, and set aside to proof for 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. MAKE DOUGH: Combine the sponge, sour cream, butter, egg, sugar, salt and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer or by hand. Add flour and mix with the paddle attachment (or with your hands) until the dough is a rough, shaggy mass. Switch to the dough hook (or use your hands) and knead on until a soft, smooth dough forms, about 5 to 6 minutes (it may be about 10 minutes if by hand). Place the kneaded dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and allow to rise for 60 to 90 minutes, until quite puffy and nearly doubled.
  6. MAKE THE FILLING: Combine all the filling ingredients (except the peach curd) in a small bowl, mixing until smooth and without lumps. Reserve the filling and peach curd until ready to fill the braid.
  7. PREPARE BREAD: Deflate the dough and roll it out on a very well floured counter to a 10″ x 15″ rectangle. Transfer rectangle to a large piece of parchment paper or silicon mat. With the side of your hand, lightly press two lines down the dough lengthwise, dividing it into three equal columns. Spread the cream cheese filling down the center section, leaving the top and bottom two inches free of filling. (This is the time to check out smitten kitchen's website for her play-by-play instructional flicker pics -- or mine). Spread the peach curd over the cream cheese filling.
  8. To form the mock braid, cut crosswise strips one inch apart down the length of the outer columns of you dough (the parts without filling). Use a bench scraper, especially if you have a silicon mat you don't want to cut up and ruin. Make sure you have an equal amount of 1-inch strips down the right and left sides. Remove the four corner segments.
  9. TO "BRAID": Begin by folding top flap down and bottom flap up over the filling. Lift the top dough strip and gently bring it diagonally across the filling. Repeat on the right side, and continue down the entire braid, alternating strips until you are out. You can tuck the last couple 'braided' strips decoratively under the end of the braid.
  10. Carefully transfer the dough and the parchment/silicon mat to a baking sheet. Cover loosely with plastic and set it aside to rise for 45 to 50 minutes, until puffy.
  11. BAKE BREAD: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Brush the loaves with egg wash, and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until the loaf is golden brown. Remove from the oven and cool for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Do ahead tips from smitten kitchen: When working with bread dough, you can refrigerate it or freeze it at almost any point in the process. When you’re ready to work with it again, you bring it back to room temperature and let it resume rising from where it left off. Give yourself a few hours: since the dough is cold, room temperature may take awhile to attain again. You can even assemble the whole thing, braided and filled, put it on the baking sheet, loosely cover it with plastic and either refrigerate it overnight or up to a day, or freeze it for up to a week (once frozen, wrap it more tightly in plastic before storing for long periods). When you’re ready to use it, take it out, bring it back to room temperature and let it complete its second rise before you brush and bake it.
Recipe by story of a kitchen at