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Apple Brioche Braid

Apple Brioche Braid
A tender no-knead brioche braid with apple jam and cream cheese filling. An impressive dessert that’s perfect for fall, no one has to know how easy it is to make!
Yield 1 loaf



Brioche Dough

  • Makes about 4 1/2 pounds (2041g) of dough
  • 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water
  • 1 tablespoon Platinum Yeast
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (170g) honey
  • 1 1/2 cups (340g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
  • 7 cups (990g) unbleached all-purpose flour (see note)

Quick apple jam filling

  • 2 cups grated Gala apple
  • 1/4 cup apple cider
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • Pinch of salt

Cream cheese filling

  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • Egg wash: 1 egg plus 1 tablespoon water (beaten together)


  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 tablespoon brandy (optional)
  • Pinch of salt


Make the dough

  • Mix yeast, salt, eggs, honey and melted butter with water in a 6-quart round food storage container with lid (not airtight) container.
  • Mix in flour without kneading, using a spoon, a Danish Dough Whisk or a heavy-duty stand mixer (with paddle). The dough will be loose but will firm up when chilled.
  • Cover (not airtight), and allow to rest at room temperature until dough rises for approximately 2 hours. Then refrigerate for at least four hours before first use, it is easier to handle when thoroughly chilled. This dough can be stored for up to 5 days in the fridge. Beyond that, the dough stores well in the freezer for up to four weeks in an airtight container, in one-pound portions. When using frozen dough, thaw and use as instructed. Makes about 4 1/2 pounds (2041g) of dough

Make the Brioche Braid

  • Make the jam: Place the grated apple, apple cider, sugar and salt into a pan and stir together. Simmer over a medium/low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring often, until most the juice has cooked into the apples. Set aside and let cool to room temperature. (The mixture will still look very ‘grated’, but the apples will continue cooking as the bread bakes.)
  • Make the cream cheese filling: Mix the cream cheese, zest and sugar in a bowl until smooth. Set aside.
  • Take a one pound (454g) piece of dough from the dough bucket (weighing on a scale is the easiest way, but if you don’t have one, a grapefruit-sized piece will do) and roll the dough into a 9×12-inch rectangle. Make sure to use enough flour that the dough doesn’t stick to the surface or the rolling pin. Transfer the rolled out dough to a sheet of parchment paper. Spread the cream cheese filling down the center of the dough, about 1 inch wide.
  • Top the cream cheese with about 1/2 cup of the apple filling. You can add more, but some may leak out of the braid as it is baking. There may be a little jam left over to serve with the baked braid.
  • Using a pastry or pizza cutter, slice 1/2-inch thick strips going from the edge to the filling, along both sides of the dough. Try to get an equal amount of strips on both sides.
  • Lightly twist the top two strips of dough (one from each side), then cross them over the top of the filling. Do not pull the dough too thin or it may break as it rises and bakes. Continue that same routine of twisting the pieces and crossing them over each other on top of the filling, until you are at the bottom. If you find an odd piece of the dough, that doesn’t have a mate, just twist it and place it over the filling. When you get to the end, tuck the loose pieces under the loaf, so they are secure and won’t pop out when baking.
  • Place the braid and parchment onto a baking sheet, cover loosely with plastic and allow to rest for about 1 1/2 hours.
  • Adjust an oven rack to the middle position, and preheat the oven to 350°F.
  • Just before baking, brush the loaf gently with the egg wash.
  • Bake the loaf for about 30 minutes or until golden brown (I like to bake this braid on two layers of baking sheets, to keep the bottom from browning too quickly). Allow to cool before topping with the icing.
  • Make the icing: Place the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Combine the melted butter, water, brandy, and salt together, and pour it over the powdered sugar, whisking until smooth. It should come off a spoon in a thin drizzle. Top braid with icing before serving.


Artisan Bread in Five recipes use the scoop and sweep method for measuring flour.
Recipe by Artisan Bread in Five.

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Apple Brioche Braid

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Apple Brioche Braid

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