Cherry and Marzipan Flower Bread

Cherry and Marzipan Flower Bread

It’s the last post of the year and so I decided to go for this fun-to-make flower bread thing to kick off 2019! Bread’s one of those massively underrated bakes that very few people make themselves, even though its pretty easy and fun to do. By making your own you can also explore breads with really interesting flavours and fillings so you can branch out from the classic plain white loaf and into the colourful world of flavoured bread. Yes it does take some time to make, but it’s more just waiting for it to rise than actually working on it constantly. So if you’re yet to figure out your new years resolutions maybe you could set out to learn how to make bread? I promise you won’t regret it!

Speaking of new years resolutions…

I’ve always been someone who’s loved fresh starts, not necessarily because I screw up so badly I need them all the time, but just because for some reason they make it easier to start something with ommph. For example I can never start a diet mid-week or start going to bed earlier on a random day. So when new year comes around it’s the perfect opportunity for me to look at everything I’m doing wrong in my life and try to sort it out a bit. Of course it never works and I hit December realising how over-optimistic I was last year about what I could achieve, but it never stops me from making them.

Recently I’ve been really getting into Ted talks and on one of them a guy listed some top tips for new years resolutions in order to optimise life enjoyment and productivity. Sounds even more optimistic than the usual gumph we put on our lists but I thought this year I’d try it and see at the end of the year if it did make things more interesting. For example he recommended that we don’t start our new years with ‘I will not do this’ or the aim to do something we’re not actually interested in doing. Yeah running everyday would be great, but if you hate running it’s not the best start to 2019.  Instead we should aim to go places we want to go, learn skills we want to learn, and spend more time with the people we want to spend time with. So if I can pass on any advice for the new year it would be to a) make one of these (it really does taste super good!) and b) start the new year with the aim of doing some fun things that you want to do!

Recipe

Serves 8

Time: 2 hours, plus proving and baking time

Ingredients

  • 150g Frozen cherries (or mixed fruit)
  • 3 tbsp Cherry jam (or mixed fruit)
  • 3 tbsp Chambord (or other fruity liqueur like crème de cassis or kirsch)
  • 200g Marzipan
  • 1 Egg, beaten
  • 2 tbsp Demerara sugar

For the dough

  • 500g Strong white bread flour
  • 10g Salt
  • 30g Caster sugar
  • 14g Fast action dried yeast
  • 40g Butter
  • 2 Large eggs
  • 50ml Milk
  • Olive oil for greasing

Method

  1. Begin by making the dough. Put the flour, salt, sugar and yeast into a bowl and mix everything together. Make sure you don’t put the salt directly on top of the yeast or you could end up deactivating the yeast
  2. Add the butter, eggs, milk and 100ml water to the mixture. Stir until combined, adding a little more water if needed to bring the dough together.
  3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic (about 10 minutes).
  4. Form the dough into a ball and then put it into a large clean bowl, greased slightly with clingfilm. Cover with clingfilm and then set aside to prove for around an hour, until doubled in size.
  5. Now prepare the filling. Put the cherries into a pan with the chambord (or tipple of choice) and the cherry jam and then bring to a gentle simmer. Leave for 5 minutes, then puree with a hand blender and take off the heat. Whilst the puree is cooling cut the marzipan into 36 thin slices.
  6. Butter a 24cm pie dish with slopping sides, or a cake tin if you don’t have one.
  7. Turn the dough out onto a worktop and knead for 10-15 seconds to knock the air out. Then split the dough into 4.
  8. Place one of your dough pieces on a lightly floured surface and then cover the other pieces you’re not using with cling film. Roll the dough out to a disc about 4mm thick. Then cut out 7cm rounds from the dough. Keep the off cuts in case you need to re-roll and then repeat with the other portions of dough. You should have around 30-36 circles.
  9. Place one piece of marzipan and a little spoonful of the cherry mixture in the centre of each dough circle.
  10. Fold each circle in half, and then bring the two points of the semi-circle together to make a petal shape.
  11. Arrange the dough pieces around the edge of the tin in a circle, and then make more circles with the dough petals working into the centre. Cover loosely with clingfilm and leave to rise for 1 hour.
  12. Pre-heat the oven to 180˚C. Brush the top of the bread with a little beaten egg and scatter with the demerara sugar. Bake for 35-40 minutes until golden brown and baked all the way through. Serve!

Thanks for reading!

Emma x

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