My husband’s family is from a small town in New Jersey called Cream Ridge. On occasion we would visit his grandparents and while there we would have dinner at a restaurant called Mastori’s. The food was always delicious but one of the best treats was their famous Cheese Bread. It was a rich, moist pastry-like bread with a sweet, cream cheese filling and it was AMAZING!
His grandparents have since passed away and the trips to New Jersey have stopped. This year for Christmas we wanted to surprise his family with Mastori’s cheese bread but unfortunately at this time they do not offer shipping on any of their products. With a little research my husband came across a recipe over at Savory Reviews that claimed to be very similar to Mastori’s recipe. I was very nervous to make this bread as I have never worked with yeast before. I am glad I pushed past my fear because this bread was absolutely delicious!!!
Here is the recipe:
- 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
- 1/4 cup lukewarm water
- 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
- 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
- 1 1/4 teaspoons salt
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 3 cups All-Purpose Flour
- Cream Cheese Filling
- 8 ounces cream cheese
- 1/2 cup powdered sugar
- 3 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- Begin by mixing the yeast, water, milk and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Wait for the yeast to become bubbly, about five minutes.
- Once the yeast is bubbly mix in the remaining dough ingredients and knead until the dough is soft and smooth. Cover the dough with a damp cloth and allow to rise for about 45 minutes or until it is puffy (but not doubled in size).
- While your dough rises, make the filling by mixing all the ingredients together until smooth. Refrigerate until you are ready to use.
- Once your dough has risen it is time to assemble the bread. Place dough on a lightly floured board, punch down and let rest for five minutes. Use a rolling pin and roll the dough out into a 12″ x 16″ rectangle. You could also cut the dough in half and make two smaller loaves if you wanted. Transfer the rolled dough to a parchment lined baking sheet. Spread your filling down the center third of your dough.
- Cut strips about 2-3″ wide from each side of the filling to the edge of your dough. (I neglected to take a photo but Savory Reviews has a photo of every step here.)
- Fold the ends of your dough over to contain your filling and then begin folding your strips over the filling at an angle, alternating from side to side.
- Allow your braids to rise, covered, for about 1-1 1/2 hours. The braids should almost double in size during this time. Beat one egg yolk with a tablespoon of water and brush lightly over your dough as a glaze.
- Bake your bread at 350° for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and serve.
We made this the night before our Christmas dinner. To warm we simply covered with foil and placed it in our oven at 180° for about 25 minutes. It was perfect!