Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Cherry Sweet Bread Twist for #TwelveLoaves

Sweet yeast dough filled with cherry jam and fresh cherries and baked into a golden twist is great for breakfast, brunch or tea time. In fact, anytime at all.

I’ve spoken here before about my love of cherries and summer and Paris so it won’t come as a surprise to a lot of you, but one of the things I most look forward to when I am back in the States for summer holidays, is cherries. I pick up big boxes of them at Costco and eat and eat and eat cherries till I just can’t eat any more. Then I eat some more. In the non-cherry growing places that we have been living lately, they are crazy expensive and I can’t bring myself to pay the price, even as a treat. The point of this whole long story is that I was thrilled when cherries were chosen as the Twelve Loaves theme/ingredient for June. Because I would be in Houston and could buy fresh cherries. HA! I guess I am too early because Costco doesn’t have them. And I made the rounds of my local supermarkets and kept coming up empty handed. Things were starting to get desperate and my Twelve Loaves deadline was looming, not to mention my growing depression over no summer cherries. Finally, on Sunday night we were at my sister’s for my mother’s birthday celebration and I was telling my woeful cherry-bereft tale (My family is very kind to put up with my food blogger problems.) when my sister said that HER nearby grocery store had cherries. Score! (Just don’t ask me what I had to pay for them. Desperate times, people!)

Ingredients
1 packet (1/4oz or 7g) active dry yeast
1/3 cup or 70g sugar
3/4 cup or 180ml very warm water
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 – 3 1/2 cups or 375-440g flour plus more for kneading and sprinkling on your work surface
1 egg
1/4 cup or 60g butter, melted then cooled
1 cup or 310g good quality cherry preserves
12 oz or 340g ripe cherries

Method
Put yeast in a large mixing bowl with one teaspoon of the sugar and pour in the warm water. Let stand until foamy, about five minutes. If your yeast doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.

Add in the vanilla, one cup or 125g of the flour and the rest of the sugar.  Beat until thoroughly mixed and you have a thin batter.

See that stuff on the left? Foamy yeast.



Add the cooled melted butter and the egg to the batter. Beat again.



Add in the next two cups of flour, one at a time, mixing with each addition.


When the dough gets too stiff to use beaters, switch to the bread hook or turn it out onto the counter top and knead by hand.

Continue kneading until the dough is elastic and supple.  Roll it into a ball and put it in a greased bowl (use butter or canola oil) and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 30 minutes - one hour.



Meanwhile, stem and pit your cherries and chop them roughly.

I looked like someone had been slashing at my hands with a big knife. It was a blood bath!



When the rising time is up, punch down the dough and roll it out on a lightly floured surface, into a rectangle about 12 x 16 inches or 30 x 40cm.



Spread the preserves all over the dough with the back of a spoon.  Sprinkle on the chopped cherries.



Now roll the dough up from the long side.



Using a sharp knife, cut the roll in half lengthwise. Here’s where it gets messy because we are going to twist the two lengths together.


Turn the half rolls so the cut sides face up and twist the dough ends together on one side. Tuck them under. Gently lift one half and place it over its neighbor.



Then lift the other half and place it over its neighbor. Poke cherries back in where they try to escape as you go along. And they will try. I like to think mine would have turned out neater if I didn’t stop and wash my hands and take a photo between each maneuver, which gave it time to slump and open and release cherries.



Continue until you reach the end of the two halves, then pinch the ends together and turn them under.



Carefully transfer the whole thing to a sheet of parchment paper cut to fit your baking pan, then slide it into your pan.

Tidy up by putting escaping cherries back in the folds and using a paper towel or kitchen roll to wipe the parchment clean of jam around the dough. More is going to leak out while it bakes but we can’t worry about that.



Put in a warm place for the second rise of about 45 minutes.

When the time is almost up, preheat your oven to 375°F or 190°C.



Bake your loaf in the preheated oven about 35-40 minutes or until it is golden brown. Check it about halfway through. If it’s browning too fast, cover with foil for the remainder of the baking time. Do as I say, not as I do. As you can see, mine’s a bit too brown. Ironically, I was busy writing these instructions while I let it overbake.



Enjoy! My mother and younger daughter assured me that, looks aside, it was still delicious.


If you love cherries like I love cherries, this month’s Twelve Loaves is for you! Check out all the gorgeous cherry recipes from my fellow bakers:





Would you like to join us this month? Choose a recipe featuring cherries of any kind - fresh, dried, canned, jam, or preserves. Whatever you bake (yeasted, quick bread, crackers, muffins, grissini, braids, flatbreads, etc.) have fun and let's have a delicious month of bread with cherries. Let's get baking!

If you’d like to add your recipe to the collection with the Linky Tool this month, here’s what you need to do!

1. When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone's posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!

2. Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be a bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.

3. Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this June 2014, posted on your blog by June 30, 2014.

#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party created by Lora from Cake Duchess.  #TwelveLoaves runs so smoothly thanks to Renee from Magnolia Days and Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake.


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