Shortly after I complained about how I missed my sourdough starter I developed a serious addiction to yeast breads. You think that’s weird? No, tha’s totally typical for me. And it is not even a contradiction. I love strong, hearty sourdough breads and sweet yeast breads. Recently I saw a lot of pictures of yeast braids with fillings and I thought making one of those would be a great way to feed my addiction. I still had the jar of homemade apricot jam that Megan sent me and I thought this would make a wonderful ingredient for the filling. Jam alone sounded a bit boring though, so I thought I’d also add some almonds. And this was indeed a perfect combination! The result is a fluffy yeast bread with a sticky and sweet filling.
A braid with a filling may sound a bit difficult but it is not. All you have to do is to divide your dough into three equal pieces, spread the filling on top and fold them over. But let’s start at the beginning.
Apricot and Almond Yeast Braid
For the dough:
360 g ( 3 cups) all-purpose flour
180 ml (3/4 cup) full fat coconut milk
60 ml (1/4 cup) soy milk
50 g (1/4 cup) sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1/4 teaspoon salt
For the filling:
100 g (3/4 cup whole) almonds, chopped
300 g (3/4 cup) apricot jam
Soy milk for brushing
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients for the dough. Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 10 minutes. Add more liquid or flour, if necessary.
Cover bowl and let the dough rise for about 90 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Divide dough into three equal pieces and place on a lightly floured surface. Roll each piece into a 45 x 5 cm ( 18 x 2 inch) rectangle. Brush with 100 g (1/4 cup) of jam and sprinkle with 1/3 of the chopped almonds. Leave a margin.
Fold the ends over:
Place all three strands on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and carefully form into a braid. You can twist the strands a bit:
Generously brush with soymilk and transfer to the oven immediately. Bake for 40 minutes. Let cool to room temperature before slicing. Serve with a glass of soy milk, coffee, or tea.