Valentine Bread with Cherries and Almonds

Print Friendly and PDF

February is the month for love and lovers. Did you know that in many parts of Europe, there is an ancient tradition of giving Lover's Bread?

These gingerbreads were heart-shaped and extravagantly decorated with colored spun-sugar flowers. As the tradition goes, once the gingerbreads were given, the heart was bespoken and the young man who ate them with the woman who represented his heart's desire was committed for life.  This sort of gift disappeared from France around the time of the First World War but in other European countries, the tradition still exists.

Source: The History of Bread by Bernard Dupaigne

For Valentine’s Day, I decided to recreate this old tradition and give the gift of bread to my Sweetie.  Rather than trying to make an elaborate gingerbread heart, I chose this beautiful Lacy Valentine Bread Heart. It’s made with enriched dough, filled with chopped cherries and slivered almonds and glazed with a delicious almond glaze.

 

Lacy Valentine Coffee Cake

Printer friendly version

Source: Recipe Courtesy © 2010 ACH Foods. All Rights Reserved.

Makes: 2 coffee cakes

lacy-valentine-bread 005

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup warm water (100 to 110oF)
  • 2 envelopes Active Dry Yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm milk (100 to 110oF)
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon butter or margarine, softened
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 4-1/2 to 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped maraschino cherries, drained
  • 1/2 cup chopped slivered almonds, toasted

Almond Glaze: In small bowl, combine 1-1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted; 1/2 teaspoon almond extract; and 2 to 3 tablespoons milk. Stir until smooth.

 

Directions


Place warm water in large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Add warm milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/4 cup butter, eggs, salt, and 1-1/2 cups flour; blend well. Stir in enough remaining flour to make soft dough.

lacy-valentine-bread 006

Knead on lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic, about 4 to 6 minutes. Place in greased bowl, turning to grease top. Cover; let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

lacy-valentine-bread 010


Pat maraschino cherries between paper towels to remove excess moisture. In medium bowl, combine maraschino cherries, almonds, and 1/4 cup sugar; set aside.

lacy-valentine-bread 011


Punch dough down. Remove dough to lightly floured surface; divide in half.  Roll 1 half to 24 x 7-inch oval. Melt remaining 1 tablespoon butter; brush half over dough to within 1/2 inch of edges.

lacy-valentine-bread 014

Sprinkle half of cherry mixture over dough.

lacy-valentine-bread 015

Beginning at long end, roll up tightly as for jelly roll.

lacy-valentine-bread 016

Pinch seam to seal;

lacy-valentine-bread 018

gently roll back and forth to stretch to 26-inch rope. Place, seam side down, on greased baking sheet.

lacy-valentine-bread 019

Form into ring; pinch ends together to seal. Shape into heart.

lacy-valentine-bread 021 
With sharp knife (I did this with scissors), cut slits, starting at outside edge of heart, two-thirds of the way through dough at 3/4-inch intervals. Turn each section on its side to show filling. Cover with plastic wrap.

lacy-valentine-bread 022

Let rise in warm, draft-free place until doubled in size, about 1 hour.

lacy-valentine-bread 023
Bake at 350oF for 20 to 25 minutes or until done, switching positions of sheets halfway through baking time for even browning. Remove from sheets; let cool on wire racks.

lacy-valentine-bread 024

Frost with Almond Glaze

lacy-valentine-bread 001


Then decorate and give the bread to your Sweetheart and watch him or her smile.  I added some candied hearts because I like them.  :o)

lacy-valentine-bread 028 

Instead of making two heart coffee cakes, I used the rest of the dough to make sweet rolls (buns actually) for my other two sweeties (aka my sons).  The buns were really good, but I didn’t get a photo.

 

This bread has been YeastSpotted.  Please visit Wild Yeast to view all of the lovely breads in the roundup.

Thanks for joining me today in the bread-baking blog.  I hope you enjoyed your bread experience.

Happy Baking!
Cathy

10 comments:

  1. Cathy, what a sweet history this bread has-thank you so much for sharing it. I will try very hard to remember it for next Valentine's Day- I just love that a bread has meaning!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is so creative and looks delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks Cristie! It is a sweet bread in more ways than one.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Amanda! It is delicious! Glad I was able to give it away to save some calories.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanks! This one was fun! You ought to try it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. OH Cathy! Simply gorgeous...just beautiful! I wonder how this would work with sweet cherries? Sounds so good to me, with a steaming cup of black coffee!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks Michelle! The cherries were pretty sweet! It was delicious, my Sweetie took most of it home. Lol...I guess he really liked it.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I love maraschino cherries! This bread is awesome...kind of like a Swedish tea ring but with a way better filling.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I made a similar bread. I shaped as a heart and placed the dried cherries, dried citron and walnuts on top and was like a fruit cake bread. It can be shaped as wreath for christmas. I drizzled with honey. It is nice for a morning bread or dessert. I used a short cut pillsbury french bread frozen loaf. It is very easy and can be filled with a variety of food item.

    ReplyDelete

You might also enjoy...

Related Posts with Thumbnails