Thursday, 6 January 2011

Sweet Cherry Bread

Today I made a sweet cherry almond loaf from a recipe that my cousin shared with me. Oh my, it's delicious! If you dont like marzipan though, you can use flaked almonds instead.


oil, to grease,
350g (12oz) strong white plain flour (bread flour) plus extra to dust,
1/2 tsp salt,
2tsp ground mixed spice,
1tbsp cinnamon,
25g (1oz) golden (or unrefined) caster sugar,
75g (3oz) unsalted butter at room temp diced,
25g (1oz) fresh yeast, OR, 15g (1/2oz) dried yeast,
200ml (7floz) full fat milk, Warmed,
125g (4oz) Almond paste, roughly chopped,
125g (4oz) Glace Cherries
3 tbsp honey, warmed,
75g (3oz) icing sugar sieved,


1, Grease a 20.5cm (8inch) deep cake tin and line the base with greaseproof paper (an average sized spring form cake tin will do). Sift the flour, salt, spices, and caster sugar into a bowl (add the dried yeast at this point if using) and rub in the butter. Dissolve the fresh yeast in the milk, then add to the flour to make a dough (if you find the dough is too dry add a little more milk).

2, Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead for ten minutes. Don't be afraid of being a bit rough with the dough. For speed you can place the dough in a food processor that has a dough hook or use a hand blender with the same for 2-3 minutes (personally I would recommend doing it by hand. it may be slower but its MUCH more satisfying, especially if the kids have been frightful, you can get out a lot of annoyances of bread dough). Place the dough in a lightly oiled bowl cover and leave in a warm place for 2 hours or until it's doubled in size.

3, Turn the dough out on a lightly floured surface and knead lightly (no punching this time, you do NOT need to 'knock back' the air in this recipe). Shape into a 60cm (24inch) long oval. Scatter the almond paste (or roughly chopped nuts) and cherries on the surface and roll the dough up lengthways, then form a tight coil. Put in the prepared tin, cover and leave in a warm place for 30 mins or until doubled in size and spongy to touch. Preheat the over to 180C (160C fan oven) mark 4.

4, Bake the bread for 40 mins or until golden and the bread sounds hollow when tapped underneath. Remove from the oven and transfer to a cooling rack. When cool glaze with the warm honey.
5, to make the icing (yes this NEEDS icing lolz think 'Danish'), mix the icing sugar with a few drops of water to form a paste, then drizzle over the bread. leave to set before serving.

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