Photographer: Todd Zawistowski
Mouthwatering and festive, this recipe from my Cherry Home Companion cookbook is killer for breakfast
*Mahlep powder is a Turkish seasoning made
from ground cherry pit centers.
In a large bowl or in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook, whisk together water and yeast. Let stand a few minutes then stir in sugar, salt, vanilla, mahlep powder (or almond extract), eggs, butter, and most of the flour. Stir until you have a soft mass. Knead for 8 to 10 minutes to form a soft dough, adding more flour as required. Form dough into a ball and place it in a well-greased bowl. Cover, and let rise for 45 to 60 minutes.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. When dough has risen, gently deflate and flatten to fit sheet. If it springs back, let it rest a moment then coax to fit sheet. Insert entire sheet in a large plastic bag. Let rise 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Generously brush dough with the melted butter. Generously dust with sugar and cinnamon and then scatter cherries on top.
Bake until bread is golden and cherries are softened and oozing, 45 to 55 minutes. Cut into slabs to serve. Serves 10 to 12.