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Cherry Almond Danish Braid

Cherry Almond Danish Braid
Fresh Bing cherries and almond paste make an irresistible filling for this sweet yeasted bread. Assemble ahead and bake in the morning for a fresh and delicious breakfast treat!
Yield 14 servings
1

Reviews

Ingredients

Sponge

  • 6 tablespoons (90g) low fat milk
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1 (0.25oz) package (7g) or 2 1/4 teaspoons Platinum Yeast
  • 2 tablespoons (17g) all-purpose flour

Dough

  • 1/4 cup (48g) granulated sugar
  • 4 ounces (113g) reduced fat cream cheese, softened
  • 3 tablespoons (42g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 3/4 teaspoon table salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 large egg (at room temperature)
  • 2 1/4 cups (315g) all-purpose flour, divided

Filling

  • 2 cups (312g) Bing cherries, pitted and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto
  • 2 tablespoons (28g) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 ounces (112g) almond paste, cubed
  • 1/4 cup (48g) granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk (for assembly)

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup (60g) powdered sugar, sifted
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7g) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1 teaspoon amaretto

Instructions

  • For the sponge: heat milk in a microwave-safe measuring cup for 45 seconds to 1 minute, until very warm (120-130°F). Whisk together warm milk, sugar, yeast, and flour in a medium bowl; cover loosely with plastic wrap and let stand 15 minutes.
  • For the dough: combine sugar, cream cheese, butter, salt, vanilla, egg, and sponge in a large mixer bowl; beat at medium speed for 1 minute until combined. Add 2 cups (280 g) flour and mix in at low speed until a soft dough forms, about 2 to 3 minutes. Switch out the flat beater for a dough hook, and knead dough for 4 minutes until smooth and elastic, adding remaining 1/4 cup (35 g) of flour 1 tablespoon at a time to prevent dough from sticking. The dough is ready when it feels tacky but doesn’t stick to your fingers.
  • Place dough in a large bowl coated with nonstick spray and cover with plastic. Let the dough rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 50 minutes. To check if dough has doubled, lightly flour two fingers and press them down into center of dough. If indentations remain, dough has risen enough.
  • While the dough rises, prepare the filling. Combine cherries, sugar, and amaretto in a medium bowl. Let stand 15 minutes, tossing occasionally. Place cherries and their juices in a heavy saucepan over medium heat; cook for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until cherries have softened and mixture has thickened. Remove cherries from heat and cool to room temperature. Combine butter, almond paste, and sugar in a food processor and pulse for 1 minute until combined.
  • Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper and dust lightly with flour. Gently punch down dough and roll out into a 12×15-inch rectangle on prepared baking sheet. Sprinkle almond paste mixture down the center of the dough, leaving a 4-inch border on each side and a 1-inch border at the top and bottom. Spoon cherries over almond paste mixture. Use a sharp knife or kitchen shears to cut 15 1-inch strips on both sides of dough (be careful not to cut parchment paper).
  • Lightly brush milk over edges (border) of dough. Remove the four corner strips and fold top border down over filling. Work from top to bottom and fold strips over filling, alternating strips diagonally (begin by folding over the top left strip, then fold the top right strip, then a left strip, and so on). When all the strips are folded over filling, fold up the bottom border and press to seal. Cover braid loosely with plastic and let rise 25 minutes. ( To prepare ahead: After braid rests, cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature before baking).
  • Preheat oven to 375°F. Brush braid with milk and bake until golden, 19 to 20 minutes. Cool braid on a wire rack. For the glaze, whisk together powdered sugar, salt, melted butter, milk, and amaretto in a small bowl. Use more/less powdered sugar to achieve desired consistency. Drizzle glaze over cooled braid; let set before serving.

Notes

Recipe by Tutti Dolci.

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Review & Comments

Kathleen M. | Reply

Can full fat cream cheese be used instead of low fat when making the dough?

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Yes.
Happy baking, Kathleen!

Anne S | Reply

Would love to use this dough recipe with apple filling. Should apples be fresh Granny Smith apples be cooked first

Red Star Yeast | Reply

Hi Anne – Apples would be a delicious alternative. Yes, I would recommend cooking/baking the apples first. You could use this recipe as a guide for baking the apples – coating them with your own favorite flavors if desired.
Happy baking!

Crystal | Reply

Made this last night and it was so delicious! My son said it was “a pocket of greatness”. Definitely a keeper!

Chet | Reply

Seems a bit early for cherries in most areas of the U,S. Here in Oregon, our cherries won’t be ripening till at least June. Chet

Red Star Yeast | Reply

You’ll have to bookmark it then until they’re ready! 🙂

Happy baking!
Carol

Jm | Reply

Hello, could I substitute sour cherry preserves for the bing cherry mixture? Thank you in advance.

Red Star Yeast | Reply

I don’t see why not! 🙂
Happy baking!
Carol

Mary Strezeski | Reply

5 stars
Delicious!! The dough was easy to make. I used frozen pitted bing cherries thawed.

Malerie | Reply

Sounds delicious. Going to try

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