This Cream Cheese Salmon Bread is similar to the sweet French brioche, but for the fact that it is savory and filled with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Delicious! And I love the fact that it is something “new” that most people have never seen before. I like the cream cheese salmon filling, but you can make it with any filling you like, the possibilities are endless!
My source of inspiration was this French recipe. You can use the French St Moret cheese, but since cream cheese is just as good and much easier to find in the US, I chose cream cheese. Other cheeses you could use are Ricotta or any other white soft cheese.
First, prepare the bread dough. In your standup mixer/food processor bowl, mix the dry yeast and the flour. Add the butter at room temperature, the sugar and the salt. Then, slightly warm the milk by placing it in the microwave for 15 seconds. The milk should be lukewarm. Add the milk, and knead for 3 to 5 minutes (depending on how strong your dough mixer/processor is). You should end up with a ball. See picture.
Place the ball of dough in a big bowl and cover it with a kitchen bowl. Let it sit covered in a warm place for 2 hours. During this time, the dough should double in size. See picture.
With a rolling pin, unroll your ball of dough to make a rectangle. Spread cream cheese on your rectangle. Cut small pieces of smoked salmon and sprinkle them all over the cream cheese. Take a few branches of dill, cut them with scissors, and sprinkle them all over. See picture.
Starting at one of the longest sides of the rectangle, roll the dough to make a cylinder. See picture.
With a knife, cut the cylinder in half horizontally. See picture.
You end up with 2 long pieces of dough filled with cream cheese and salmon. See picture.
Attach the 2 ends of the 2 long pieces of dough together at one end by pressing the pieces together with your finger, and braid the dough. Attach the end of your braid to the beginning of the braid by pressing on the dough with your fingers so as to make a crown. See picture. Cover with a kitchen towel, set aside for 1 hour in a warm place to let the dough rise again.
Preheat oven to 390 degrees Fahrenheit. With a pastry brush, apply a beaten egg on your bread crown (egg wash). Place on a baking tray with parchment paper.