The Fresh Loaf

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Experimenting with a Savory Braid

redivyfarm's picture

Experimenting with a Savory Braid

We're having fun on the farm! With the Mother's Day picnic coming up I decided to bake my own version of a filled braid. I admired the fruit filled braids and loved Floyd's suggestion that a savory filling with a different dough would be good. A search of the BBA formulas led me to use Pain de Campagne because it is said to be suited to shaped loaves; never disappoints. I followed Reinhart's steps with the exception that I used an overnight retarding of the dough after the first partial rise to better fit my schedule. I knew that this dough was going to have to stand up to some serious handling and honestly, I had my doubts.

Today I proceeded with Floyd's excellent instructions, dividing my dough in half to make two braids. Rolling it out to about a 3/8 inch thickness required letting the dough rest a bit with the rolling pin anchoring the corners to achieve the pan sized rectangle. My silicon baking sheet was helpful; I was able to handle the dough a little less when transferring it to the pans. I lined two baking pans with oil sprayed parchment and sprinkled a little rice flour where the braid would rest. Scissors worked well to make the inch wide angled strips. The short sides on my pans did not allow enough room to cut with the scraper. The dough with filling looked like this-

Braid Building

Braid Building

For this braid I used part cream cheese, part grated parmesan with one tablespoon of the egg wash mixture per Floyd's example. On top of that, sauteed Italian sausage, mushrooms and sweet peppers with garlic and herbs, salt and pepper. The other braid is filled with caramelized onion and sauteed mushroom on cream cheese with s and p. They get two applications of egg wash, the last one just before baking. The criss-cross fold works for me just like it works for Floyd. Wonder of wonders, in spite of lots of handling, the dough rose up puffy in about an hour and a half! Floyd and I agreed that the oven temperature should most likely be 450 degrees as required for the Pain de Campagne. I baked one braid at a time for 20 minutes.

Mushroom Onion Braid

Mushroom Onion Braid

Braid Slice

Braid Slice

This is really a fun baking, yields an impressive product and will adapt to limitless tasty fillings. I strongly recommend the ultra-reliable BBA Pain de Campagne formula for shaped breads.  


Thegreenbaker's picture

That looks awesome!

I WANt to try it now!  HAPPY MOTHERS DAY :)  

I hope you got breakfast in bed! (I didnt......partner had to work...been watching movies with my 5 year old instead)


hhhhmmmm I am imagining some sort of spinach/cheese filling for those braids and the fillings you made sound so very drool worthy!


Where is this picnic?



tigressbakes's picture

These look great!

mse1152's picture

I love filled breads, and this one looks so impressive.  Sounds yummy too.  Congratulations!


tattooedtonka's picture

Those are great looking.  The final photo after baking is superb.  What wonderful looking filled breads.  


Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

Mini Oven

Paddyscake's picture

What a coincidence..I decide this morning that I wanted to make a spinach bread. In the Italian market/delis at home they make great spinach, broccoli or sausage breads. They have more filling, less's kinda hard to describe. I guess more like a spinach pie with bread instead of pie dough. I think I have decided to use Floyd's strombolini Oreganato bread dough. I spent so much time looking at formulas the day kinda got away from tomorrow morning I'll use a filling of spinach, hot italian sausage & asiago. Hope you had a nice Mother's Day, thanks for sharing those awesome braids!

redivyfarm's picture

are always appreciated in my kitchen!  And thanks to Floyd for the original posting of his sweet, fruit filled version. I'm trying so many new things since discovering The Fresh Loaf that I continue to surprise myself with successful bakings! My darling family and friends asked if it was okay to eat the loaves or had I just brought them to display?

maggie664's picture

i can see why your family and friends thought they may have been too good to eat! What beautiful handwork too. Will use your idea , thank you, but may blend the cream cheese with a some sundried tomato for the second braid.