Fruit filling - fruit preserves, jams, or jellies (optional)
2 Tbsp milk for brushing tops
Powdered sugar for dusting
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Let's Make It
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine sugar, salt, yeast, and 1 cup flour. In a 2-quart saucepan over low heat, slowly heat milk and butter until very warm (120 – 130°F) (Butter does not need to melt.) With mixer at low speed, gradually beat liquid into dry ingredients. Increase speed to medium; beat 2 min. more, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in egg and 1 cup flour; continue beating 2 min., occasionally scraping bowl. Change to dough hook attachment; stir in enough additional flour (about 2 - 2 1/2 cups) to make a soft dough.
2. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface; knead until smooth and elastic, about 10 min. Shape into ball. Turn over in greased large bowl to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm place until dough is doubled, about 1 hour. Punch down dough. On lightly floured surface, divide in half. Cover; let rest in refrigerator 2 hrs - overnight.
3. Prepare filling; Combine all filling ingredients in a stand mixer bowl. With mixer at low combine ingredients turn up to med., beat until fluffy, about 3 min. Set aside.
4. Grease 2 large cookie sheets. On a lightly floured surface with floured rolling pin, roll one piece of dough into 15"x12" rectangle, place on pan. Repeat with second. Spread filling in 4" strip lengthwise down center of dough rectangle. Repeat for second. If using fruit filling, spread over cheese filling. With knife, cut dough on sides of mixture crosswise into 1-inch-wide strips; fold strips alternately across mixture. Repeat for second. Cover; let rise in warm place, away from draft, until doubled, about 1 hour.
5. Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush tops of pastries with milk. Bake 20 min. or until golden brown. Cool on sheet on wire rack 15 min. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Serve.