Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Vanilla chocolate chip cream-stuffed breakfast braid

vanilla chocolate chip cream-stuffed breakfast braid

Nearly 40 posts ago, I wrote about a pumpkin cheesecake-stuffed breakfast braid and became utterly smitten (sort of) with the concept of thing-stuffed breads like that one. It’s a very flexible breakfast item—you’ve got your basic dough recipe, which is already doughy and soft and perfect for “braiding” (as is done in this recipe), and then you can add gooey deliciousness to the center, from fruits to custards to, as you can see, chocolate chips. Honestly, I don’t know why I didn’t get back into the kitchen and make another variation right after eating that pumpkin one.

But here you have it. A second variation, brought to life by yours truly. After my family insisted on, once again, buying those ghastly Butter Braids (okay they are not really that ghastly but let’s just pretend) and ended up treating themselves to a Bavarian cream-stuffed braid with chocolate glaze, I knew I had to one-up those fundraising commies with my own homemade version.

Fuck yeah! Freedom!

In the making of one of my super-duper-top-secret cakes, I already adapted the Bouchon Bakery’s recipe for vanilla pastry cream using Ener-g egg replacer, with great success. So, not knowing what Bavarian cream was and being too lazy to look it up, I used that alongside some chocolate chips for a dessert-worthy breakfast pastry.

Seriously though. Since there isn’t any glaze on here (for the sake of your sticky fingers), you’re free to go heavy on those chocolate chips.

I know the lighting is weird but you get the gist of what you're looking at, eh?

In this loaf, I found the dough came out particularly soft. Not sure why that is—maybe I didn’t add enough flour?—but it was super fluffy and light, more so than my previous experience with the recipe. So go easy on the flour when you’re rolling out the dough. It’s harder to work with, yes, but much tastier.

Here’s the recipe.


Vanilla chocolate chip cream-stuffed breakfast braid

Makes one large braid




80 grams • warm water • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons

25 grams • all-purpose flour • 3 tablespoons

5 grams • granulated sugar • 1 teaspoon

3 grams • active dry yeast • 1 ½ teaspoons

75 grams • vegan yogurt or sour cream • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons

55 grams • coconut oil, softened • ¼ cup

50 grams • granulated sugar • ¼ cup

50 grams • silken tofu, blended until smooth • ¼ cup

4 grams • vanilla extract • 1 teaspoon

3 grams • salt • ½ teaspoon

265 grams • white bread flour • 2 cups


Start by whisking together water, all-purpose flour, sugar, and yeast together in a small bowl. Let sit for 12 to 15 minutes.

Pour this sponge mixture into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and combine with sour cream / yogurt, coconut oil, sugar, egg, vanilla, and salt. Beat to combine. Add bread flour and combine on low speed until a dough forms. Using the dough hook, knead for about 5 minutes.

Place dough in a greased bowl and let rise for an hour in a warm place covered with plastic wrap. Alternatively, you can let it rise overnight in the fridge. By the end of this period, the dough should have doubled in size. If you use the fridge, let it warm up a bit before using the next day.


Vanilla pastry cream


8 grams • Ener-g egg replacer • 1 tablespoon

60 grams • water • ¼ cup

2 grams • vanilla extract • ½ teaspoon

55 grams • granulated sugar • ¼ cup plus 1 ½ teaspoons

42 grams • all-purpose flour • ¼ cup plus 1 ½ teaspoons

275 grams • nondairy milk • 1 cup plus 1 ½ tablespoons


Place Ener-g egg replacer and water in the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment. Beat until powder has fully dissolved. Add vanilla extract and beat on medium-low speed for about 30 seconds. Reduce speed to low and slowly pour in granulated sugar, then whisk on medium speed until lightened in color, about 2 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and whisk on medium-high for about 3 ½ minutes, or until the mixture is thick and the mixture forms slowly dissolving ribbons with the whisk is picked up.

Reduce speed to low, add flour, and mix for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl. With the mixer on the lowest speed, slowly stream in milk and mix for another minute, until combined.

Pour mixture into a medium saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring gently, until it begins to thicken. Switch to a whisk and whisk as the mixture comes to a simmer. Once bubbles begin to break through the surface, cook for another 5 minutes, whisking constantly, until the pastry cream is thickened.

Pour pastry cream through a strainer into a medium bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, being sure to cover the entire surface to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate until thickened and cooled.





Vanilla pastry cream

60 grams • chocolate chips • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons

20 grams • maple syrup • 1 tablespoon

15 grams • nondairy milk • 1 tablespoon


Turn risen dough out onto a well-floured surface and punch down gently. Roll out to a 10 by 15-inch rectangle and transfer to a large, parchment-lined baking sheet.

Using the tine of a fork, make light lines down the dough dividing it into three even columns. On each short side, make lines about two inches from the end of the dough, giving you three large sections and six small sections. Remove the four small corners of the dough.

Spread vanilla cream filling in an even layer on the large center rectangle; sprinkle chocolate chips on top. Fold each small flap at the top and bottom in. Using a serrated knife, divide the remaining two columns into twelve flaps, about one inch each. Fold each flap in on a diagonal, alternating sides to give a braid-like appearance. Tuck any end pieces under the braid.

Cover the whole thing with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place for another 45 minutes to an hour, or until doubled in size. You can roll out the extra pieces of dough and let them rise as well to make tiny flatbreads. In the meantime, whisk together maple syrup and nondairy milk in a small bowl.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Once the braid has risen fully, take off the plastic and brush the maple syrup and milk mixture on top. Bake for about 22 to 25 minutes, or until the crust is a nice golden-brown. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving.


Aaand that's what you get!

It looks like a lot of work for one loaf—I know. And it is. If you’re a bit intimidated, feel free to double the recipe so you know that you’re getting some major payoff for all of that slaving over a hot oven. You’ll want to freeze one of the loaves for later, or at least hand it off to a hungry friend of yours. Don’t let that shit go to waste.

Anyway. Here are some related recipes you might like.

Roasted butternut squash bread with cheesecake swirl. Another great loaf, featuring fresh squash.

Caramelized banana muffins with coconut cashew filling. Man, I just love stuffing things with things!

Momofuku-inspired chocolate syrup. Not really related, but I bet this would go really well with the loaf here.


  1. I've heard so much about these breakfast braids recently and yet I've never made one! I love that you went super sweet with your filling - so good.

    1. Yes, it's a pretty sweet braid! Really good though..especially with coffee :)

  2. This looks and sounds deeeee-licious!
    Super-duper top secret cake though? You cannot just say that! Hahah I am intrigued :P
    For some reason, braising or twirling the batter or dough about like that, does add a little bit of something-something to pastries, doesn't it?
    It takes me back to "klippekrans" that they make in Norway and braid, so tasty it is unreal :D

    Thanks for the recipe June :) xx

    1. Haha it's not that amazing of a cake, I just have a couple recipes I am *saving* for an occasion...the pastry cream being one component! I googled klippekrans and they look very tasty, such a pretty braid! Will have to save that idea :)

  3. This looks so pretty! I've never made a breakfast braid before and I'm loving everything you stuffed in here! Sounds delicious!

    1. Glad you like it! There really are unlimited options for these braids, and they're really fun to make :)

  4. Beautiful color, wonderful shape, this "bread" is soo tempting <3