Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Cherry-Orange Twists

Cherry-Orange Twists

For the dough

2 to 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour, divided
2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1/4 cup milk
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
scant 1/2 cup dried cherries

For the filling

1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/2 tablespoon flour
1/2 teaspoon orange zest

For the glaze

3/4 cup sifted confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon orange zest
2-5 teaspoons fresh squeezed orange juice

To make the dough

In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 cup flour and yeast.

In a small saucepan, combine milk, butter, sugar and salt - heat over medium until the mixture reaches 120 degrees. Pour into the flour mixture. Add egg, 1/2 teaspoon orange zest and orange juice into the flour mixture. Use a mixer to beat on low for 30 seconds, increase speed to medium-high and beat for 3 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to stir in dried cherries and enough of the remaining flour that the mixture will take.

Scoop dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until the dough becomes smooth and elastic. Add enough of the remaining flour to keep the dough from sticking to your hands - it should be a little tacky. Place dough into a bowl coated with nonstick spray - turn to coat the top. Cover and let rise until doubled.

Punch the dough down and scoop out onto a lightly floured surface. Cover dough and let rest for 10 minutes while you make the filling.

To make the filling

In a small bowl, stir together sugar, butter, flour and orange zest until smooth and creamy.

To assemble and bake

Roll relaxed dough into a 14" by 10" rectangle - scoop and spread the filling to a thin layer lengthwise over half of the dough. Gently fold the plain side over the filled side, lengthwise, and match up the edges as well as you can. Use a pizza wheel or bench scrapper and cut the dough into 14 1" wide strips. Take each strip and twist the ends in opposite directions - set each on a parchment lined baking sheet and be sure to press the ends down. Lightly cover and let rise until almost doubled - roughly 30-60 minutes depending on room temperature.

While they rise, preheat the oven to 375.

Bake until the twists are golden - about 12-18 minutes, turning the sheet halfway through. Remove from the pan and set the twists on a wire rack.

To make the glaze

In a small bowl, stir together confectioners' sugar, orange zest and enough of the juice until you can easily drizzle the mixture. While the twists are still warm, drizzle each with the glaze.

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