Elegant Breakfast Braid

Click the arrow for a demonstration of how to assemble the braid!

This is a gorgeous and scrumptious dish to serve for breakfast or brunch any time to want to make an impression!  Though it looks difficult, it is really quite simple.  Puff pastry purchased right in the freezer section of the grocery is very forgiving and equally beautiful when it's baked.  This recipe is easily doubled for a crowd. Check out the video for a visual how-to on filling and finishing the braid for baking!

  1             sheet Puff Pastry, thawed

  1             tablespoon unsalted Butter

  1/2           cup frozen Hash Brown potatoes, thawed

  1/2           cup diced Red Bell Pepper

  1/4           cup Diced Onion

  1/2           cup finely chopped ham or bacon

  6             large Eggs

  1             tablespoon minced fresh chives

  2             ounces Cream Cheese, softened

  1             tablespoon Orange Juice

  1             large Egg

  1 1/2         teaspoons water

  1             tablespoon grated Parmesan Cheese

 

Preheat oven to 400-degrees if baking immediately.

Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add potatoes and sauté 5 minutes. Stir in bell pepper and onion; sauté 3 minutes.

Whisk eggs and add to skillet, cook until just set, then season with salt and pepper to taste. Off the heat, stir in cream cheese and juice until blended. Spread out on a sheet pan, cover and refrigerate until cooled.

Unfold sheet of puff pastry onto a floured work surface.  Roll pastry to a 12"x10" rectangle and transfer to a piece of parchment cut to fit a baking sheet.  Trim edges of pastry. Spread the egg mixture down the center 1/3 of the pastry, leaving a 3/4" space at the top and bottom of the pastry. On each side of the egg mixture, cut the pastry into 3/4" strips at a 45-degree angle.  Fold the top and bottom sections of pastry over the egg mixture; fold the pastry strips alternately over the eggs; it will look like a braid. Lift parchment and place braid on a baking sheet.

Combine remaining egg and water and beat until well combined.  Brush over the top and sides of braid and sprinkle with cheese. (Braid may be covered and refrigerated overnight or frozen at this point to bake later. To freeze, cover loosely and freeze until solid.  Remove the freezer and wrap tightly in plastic wrap. If frozen, thaw overnight in the refrigerator before baking.)

Place in oven and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until golden brown all over. Remove from oven and allow braid to sit for 5 minutes, then lift off of baking sheet with parchment.  Slice and serve, or place on a platter and slice, garnishing with chives to serve family style.

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