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Cherry Almond Bread

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Cherry Almond Bread is perfect for your morning toast with coffee. It has a sweet cherry flavour, and the slight crunch of the almonds.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup warm milk

1/2 cup maraschino cherries halved

4 teaspoons butter at room temperature and cut into small cubes

1/4 teaspoon almond extract

3 cups bread flour approx.

1/4 cup chopped almonds

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon active dry yeast

3/4 teaspoons salt

Preparation:

Pre heat oven to 350 F

In a small bowl, combine warm milk, sugar, maraschino cherry juice, and yeast. Let rest for 5 min. or until yeast is bubbly.

In a large bowl mix together the salt, and bread flour. Mix the yeast mixture into the dry ingredients. Once fully combined mix in the cubed butter, and almond extract. Continue mixing until the dough starts to leave the sides of the bowl and form a ball. You may have to add more flour or water a little at a time. Dough should be soft but firm enough to knead.

Turn out the dough to a lightly greased surface. Lightly oil your hands, and knead it for 6 to 8 min., or until it begins to become smooth and supple. During the last minute of kneading add the maraschino cherry halves, and the chopped almonds. Continue to knead the dough until full combined.

Place the dough into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with a warm damp cloth. Allow the dough to rise about one hour. Dough should be close to double in size. I place bread dough on top of my stove where it will stay warm. This decreases the proofing time.

Punch down the dough and shape it into an 8" log. Place the dough into a lightly oiled 8 1/2" x 4 1/2" loaf pan; cover the pan loosely with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Let the bread to rise for about 1 to 2 hours more.  It will be ready to bake when it is about 1" above the rim of the pan.

Place the bread into the oven. Bake the Cherry Almond Bread for 30 to 35 minutes. The bread will sound hollow when tapped when it is ready.

Remove the loaf of Cherry Almond Bread from the oven, and turn it out of the pan onto a cooling rack or clean dry cloth. If you would like a softer crust rub the top of the loaf with butter while still hot.

Let cool completely before slicing.

Enjoy

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