Sweet yeast bread and other yeast-leaven treats are therapeutic in my concussion recovery plan. I love the leisurely schedule that alternates between mixing, kneading, fermenting, shaping, and baking. I can temporarily halt the process by storing everything in the fridge and continue whenever I’m feeling well (or bored) enough to spend time in the kitchen. I am checking recipes off my to-bake list at a brisk pace.
This danish twist caught my attention back in the holiday season. Amanda Hesser posted her mother’s Cherry Almond Danish recipe at food52 and I could not get it out of my mind. The photo accompanying the recipe showed big fat strands of bread dusted with icing sugar and sliced almonds. It did not reveal the luscious filling of rum-soaked dried cherries and almond cream but the description was enough to get my imagination racing. Of course I wanted the danish to materialize in my home.
Even though Hesser promised a show-stopping mammoth, I still gasped in surprise when I pulled out the golden twist that my half sheet pan could barely contain. The supple dough was very easy to handle and rolled out to the required size with ease. The amount of filling was spot on. Nothing squished out when I rolled the dough jellyroll style yet the baked bread tasted of generosity.
I had some fun shaping the dough. The fat robes intertwined into an even fatter twist. I thought of baby thighs until I brushed it with golden egg wash and covered with sliced almonds. The bread was beautiful even before it was baked.
I cannot say enough good things about the classic combination of almond cream and rum-soaked dried cherries. Every bite from every slice was laced with swirls of this delicious filling. I scented the dough with fragrant cardamom to further enhance the sweetness. Calling this sweet bread certainly does not do justice. Danish doesn’t sound right either because danish ought to be made with laminated dough. Coffee cake, perhaps?
I may not feel like my normal self just yet. Luckily, having a warm loaf of Cherry Almond Danish by my side helps to ease the pain. More coffee cakes on my horizon for sure.