I have shared this heart many times with the special people in my life. You can use the convenience of a bread machine to make the dough that you fill, roll, shape, and bake. It takes a little time but is really so easy. With Valentine’s Day approaching I thought I would share it with you. Dust off your bread machine and make this fabulous very cherry bread for someone you love!
Cherry-Nut Sweet Bread Heart
Source: Adapted from Taste of Home.Com
For the dough:
3/4 cup warm milk 70-80 degrees F.
(Note: A chef instructor once told me when making bread to make the liquid the warmest water you would bathe a baby in. So I don’t take any temperatures here, I just use this guideline.)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons water (70-80 degrees F.)
3 tablespoons sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/3 cups all purpose flour
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 tablespoons shortening
1/2 cup maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
In the bread machine pan, place the first eight ingredients in the order suggested by the manufacturer. I like to make a little well in the flour and add the yeast there.
Select the dough setting. It is important to check the dough after a few minutes of mixing. You may need to add small amounts of water or flour. If it looks too dry like mine did below, drizzle small amounts of warm water into the dough and use a spatula to help scrape down the sides.
If your dough is sticking too much to the pan add small amounts of flour as needed. Do not add too much water or flour! You can’t take it out once it’s in the pan! So very sparingly add the water or flour until you get a nice smooth ball of dough like you see below:
Now sit back and relax while the bread machine does all the work for you!
For the filling combine the sugars in a small bowl; cut in shortening until crumbly. Stir in the cherries, raisins, and walnuts; set aside.
When the bread machine cycle is completed, turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Roll into a 20-in x 10-in rectangle.
Sprinkle with the filling to within 1 inch of edges.
Roll up tightly jelly-roll style, starting with a long side; seal ends by pinching them.
Place in a 15-in x 10-in x 1 in baking pan that has been greased or use a silpat mat; pinch the ends together to form a heart.
Separate strips slightly; twist to allow filling to show.
Cover and let rise until doubled, about 40 minutes. I usually put rising bread in my oven with the oven turned off.
Bake at 350 degrees F. for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown, covering with foil to prevent overbrowning during the last 10 minutes. Remove to a wire rack to cool. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. It is best the day it is made. So dig in and share with someone you love!