Looking to use your fresh cherries in a yeast bread? This Fresh Sweet Cherry Yeast Bread is it! And it’s absolutely delicious.
I love to bake bread year round, even in my warmer summer kitchen. I will often bake in the evening though, when things cool down a bit. And in the summer, I love to add fresh fruit into my yeast bread.
This cherry bread is a great example, needing only a handful of fresh cherries. Add in the raisins and walnuts and it’s a wonderfully, flavourful bread. This bread is lovely eaten warm or toasted with butter, but you haven’t really lived until you’ve tried it paired up with turkey and havarti for a great sandwich!
Cook’s Notes for Fresh Sweet Cherry Yeast Bread
Now, about those almonds (that were supposed to be) on the top. The original recipe suggests just sprinkling them on the top before baking. I had two problems with that: 1) the almonds would have burned if I hadn’t covered the baking loaf after about 20 minutes and 2) those almonds just wouldn’t stick! So, I’ve adapted the recipe to add an egg-wash to give the almonds something to stick to. They should also give the finished loaf a lovely shine. Alternately, a lemon/sugar glaze would be nice as well, for a sweet/tart topping. Either one will help those almonds out. I’ve also suggested loosely covering the baking loaf with foil after about 20 minutes to prevent the almonds from burning.
Fresh Sweet Cherry Yeast Bread
- 4 cups bread flour
- 1 Tbsp salt
- 2 tsp. instant yeast
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 Tbsp butter
- 1 cup + 1 Tbsp water
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup walnuts chopped
- 1 cup fresh cherries pitted and quartered
- 1/2 cup blanched sliced almonds for top
- 1 egg for egg wash
In a large mixing bowl (or bowl of a stand mixer), mix together the flour, salt, yeast, sugar, butter and water into a soft dough.
Turn onto a clean work surface and knead for 3-4 minutes . Add the raisins and walnuts and knead for another three minutes. Add the cherries and knead in about one minute to distribute through the dough.
Set dough under an over-turned bowl to rise for 30 minutes.
Roll the dough out into a log-shape about 18-20 inches long. Cut log down the middle lenghwise, into two pieces. Lay the two pieces side-by-side and twist them together into one piece, overlapping one piece over the other. Pinch ends together. (Alternately, you can press into a rectangle, roll-up jelly roll style and bake in an 8x4-inch loaf pan, for a regular loaf shape)
Set loaf onto a parchment-lined baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and let it rise for another hour or until risen and puffy.
In a small bowl, mix egg with 1 tsp. of water. Brush onto loaf. Sprinkle with the almonds, pressing them into the loaf so they'll stick. (*Alternate glaze: mix granulated sugar with just enough lemon juice to make a paste and brush onto loaf then sprinkle with almonds).
Preheat the oven to 425° F.
Bake the cherry bread for 30-35 minutes (*Check at about 20 minutes and cover loosely with foil if almonds are browning too quickly) until golden brown and it reaches an internal temperature of around 190° F (if you have a thermometer). Remove loaf to a cooling rack.