The minute I saw a picture of this on Zoë François’ Instagram story, I had to make it.
I happened to be on the phone with my brother as I was rolling out the dough and spreading on the preserves. I didn’t realize that I grabbed the strawberry instead of raspberry jam while I was multi-tasking. Fortunately, it was a delicious error. And proof that you can make this with whatever spread you have: strawberry, apricot, raspberry, orange marmalade, Nutella, cinnamon/sugar, etc.
It’s really not complicated even though it looks technical. It’s just a matter of rolling the dough into a log, making a long slice down the center, and then folding it into a spiral. The cut side of the dough faces upward which is why it’s so beautiful!
I highly recommend eating this fresh from the oven for brunch one morning with a smear of butter or fresh preserves. It’s hard to beat. For other braided bread recipes check out Braided Pesto Bread and Cardamom Bread Wreath. And if you like strawberry, take a look at Strawberry Jam Cream Cheese Cake and Strawberry Buttermilk Cake.
Strawberry Swirl Bread
- 3 3/4 cups flour, divided
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. ground cardamon
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1 packet active dry yeast 7 grams
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/3 cup butter
- 1 egg
- 2/3 cup strawberry jam or any fruit preserves
- 1 tbsp. sugar
- In a large bowl of a stand mixer, combine 1½ cups flour, sugar, cardamom, salt, and yeast.
- In a medium pan, heat milk, water, and butter over medium heat until a thermometer reaches 120-130F. Add warm milk mixture to flour mixture and beat on medium speed until combined. Add egg, beating until combined. On low speed, gradually add 2 cups flour, until dough pieces begin to come together. Scrape sides of bowl as necessary.
- Switch to the dough hook attachment. Beat on low speed until soft and smooth, about 6-7 minutes. Alternatively, knead by hand for 10-12 minutes. If the dough is too sticky, add up to ¼ cup flour. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a smooth ball.
- Place the dough in a large greased bowl, turning it over to fully coat. Cover and allow to rise in a warm place for about one hour, or until almost doubled in size. In the meantime, set aside a parchment lined 8-inch spring-form baking pan.
- When dough has risen, roll it into a 20×15-inch rectangle. Using your hands, roll the dough into a log, being gentle not to squeeze the filling out. Make a slice right down the center length of the log with a sharp knife. With the cut sides up the whole time, begin at the top of the logs and twist the two pieces together, pinching the mat the ends. Curl the braided dough into a spiral, keeping the cut sides facing up. Take a look at Zoe Bakes Instagram video or website for a visual, if needed.
- Transfer the spiraled dough delicately into prepared pan. Cover and allow dough to rise for 90 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350F degrees (place the rack in the bottom 1/3 of the oven).
- Just before baking, remove covering and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 45 minutes, or until lightly golden brown and the center is set. Allow to cool a bit before slicing. Enjoy!