Fig & Goat Cheese Braided Egg Bread

1 loaf
1 hr prep time
4 hrs total time

This incredible braided egg bread recipe from Carey Nershi is stuffed with lemony fresh goat cheese, crispy prosciutto, and sweet fig jam.  If you're a vegetarian, Carey offers a pistchio substitute for the prosciutto. 

Ingredients

Dough

4 1/2 -4 3/4 cups all-purpose flour, 575 grams

1/4 cup sugar

2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast

1 1/2 teaspoon salt

2 eggs, lightly beaten

3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons water

1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil

Filling

4 ounces Vermont Creamery Classic Goat Cheese crumbled

3 ounces prosciutto (or 1/2 cup shelled salted pistachios, chopped)

2/3 cup fig jam

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Topping

1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water

flaky sea salt

sesame seeds

Directions

  • STEP 1

    Combine flour, sugar, yeast, and salt together in a large bowl. Mix in eggs, water, and oil until dough comes together. Knead in a mixer with a dough hook or by hand on a well-floured surface until smooth (adding additional flour if necessary until dough is no longer sticky). Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot for 1.5 hours, or until dough has almost doubled in size.

  • STEP 2

    While dough is rising, cook prosciutto in a skillet until crispy. Let drain on a paper towel, then chop. Mix fig jam and balsamic vinegar together and set aside.

  • STEP 3

    Once dough has risen, turn out on a well-floured surface and divide into 3 equal pieces. Roll each piece out into a 6-inch x 15-inch rectangle. (Use more flour as needed to make sure dough does not stick to the surface.) Spread fig jam mixture over each rectangle, leaving a 1/2-inch seam all the way around. Sprinkle prosciutto (or pistachios) and goat cheese on top of jam.

  • STEP 4

    Brush exposed edges of dough with water. Starting from one of the long edges, roll each rectangle up into a strand. Let rest, seam-side down, for a moment, then very gently stretch each strand out to about 18 inches, tapering at each end.

  • STEP 5

    Carefully transfer strands to a large baking sheet lined with parchment. Position a tapered end of each strand at the top of your baking sheet and pinch together, then braid. (Keep braid fairly loose. If you aren't familiar with challah braiding, watching a video tutorial or two will be very helpful.) Once braid is complete, pinch the bottom ends of each strand together, then tuck the bottom and top ends under the braid. Brush with egg wash, then cover with a plastic wrap and let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour.

  • STEP 6

    Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush braid with a second coat of egg wash, then sprinkle with sesame seeds and flaky sea salt. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until top is a deep golden brown.

  • STEP 7

    Let cool on a rack for at least half an hour before serving. (This bread is fabulous if served when still slightly warm!)

Carey Nershi 

Carey Nershi _Image

Carey Nershi 

Reformed picky eater Carey Nershi shares seasonal recipes, baked goods, and beverages on her Instagram page Careynotcarrie . A post-college migration to Vermont awakened Carey’s ties to the farm-to-table culture she experienced as a child in upstate New York, developing her love of from-scratch foods made with local fare and a desire to rethink what it means to be “provincial.”