PS - A note to the grass outside... just because it is warm and the trees are starting to bud does not mean you can start growing - I will not be mowing in January!
I have not made anything with yeast lately and I'm getting the bread baking bug again. Since we still have some bread in the freezer, I opted to go for a sweet treat and made some Cherry-Orange Twists this morning. To make the kneading process a little easier, we played around with beating the dough while it was still quite loose with a mixer for a few minutes. It only took about 3 minutes worth of kneading by hand for the dough to become smooth and elastic. With the inclusion of butter and milk, the dough is soft and quite easy to work with. Flavoring the dough is fresh orange juice, zest and dried tart cherries.
Once risen, this wonderful dough was easily rolled out - we then slathered half of it with a sweet filling made from softened butter, sugar, flour and a bit more zest. The naked side is then folded over the filling and the dough is cut into long strips. These are then twisted and placed on a baking sheet to rise one more time. The twists turn a light golden and open up just slightly as they bake - when they are done and still warm, a simple orange-y glaze made from confectioners' sugar, orange zest and fresh juice is drizzled on top for a finishing touch. Exploding with layers of orange flavor, Jeff has officially proclaimed these "worthy of a spot in a fancy bakery." While I don't know about that, these twists landed a spot on my short "must make again" list.