Monday, August 13, 2018

Cherry Buns

There are a number of recipes for 'sweet cherry' buns (using a yeast dough that yields a light and fluffy texture). This bun is based upon Eastern European recipes that featured either fruit or sweet cheese that were placed on top of the dough before baking. This particular recipe uses Bing cherries which are readily available at this time of year, but any type of sweet cherry will work.

Dough Ingredients:

1 cup warm whole milk (no warmer than 105 degrees)
3 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (divided)
1/2 TBSP active dry yeast
4 TBSP granulated sugar (divided)
1 egg (room temperature)
1 TBSP melted butter
3/4 TSP salt
1 egg (for egg wash just prior to baking.....whisk with 1 TBSP water)

Filling Ingredients:

1 pound of pitted Bing cherries (weight after they are pitted)
1/4 cup of granulated sugar

Topping Ingredients:

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1 TBSP granulated sugar
4 TBSP of cold, diced butter

**If you want a sweeter topping, substitute any simple icing recipe (powdered sugar and water)

Baking Steps:

Using your EZ DOH mixer makes the job (and the clean-up) easier. Pour the warm milk into your EZ DOH container, add the yeast, mix it lightly with the milk, and let it sit for 6 minutes.

Add 1/2 cup of the flour and 2 TBSP of the sugar and mix/knead thoroughly (it should only take 1-2 minutes) in your EZ DOH mixer.
Remove the mixing attachment and allow to rise for 35 minutes at room temperature (or place in a 100 degree oven for 20 minutes).

Add in the egg, 2 TBSP of the sugar, the melted butter and the salt, along with one cup of the flour. Re-attach your dough hook assembly and mix thoroughly (again, about 1-2 minutes). Then keep adding the rest of the flour (you may not need all of it) and mixing thoroughly. STOP adding flour when the dough is thoroughly mixed and does not stick to the inside wall of your EZ DOH container.
Now, to get the right texture in your buns, continue to slowly turn the hand-crank for another 10-15 minutes. This extra work will help produce a lighter texture.

Cover your EZ DOH with cloth or plastic and let rise in a 100 degree oven for 1 hour. The dough should double or even triple in size. While it's rising, you should remove the pits and stems from the cherries.

Empty the dough from the container onto a floured surface and divide the dough into 16 pieces. Roll each piece into a ball.

Butter or coat 2 cooking pans (8" round or 9" x 13"), and evenly space 8 dough rolls in each pan. Make a depression in the middle of each piece by pressing down (with clean fingers or a small drinking glass), and then place your cherries in each depression. Use your remaining sugar to coat the cherries (about 1/2 TSP per dough ball). Then let everything rise one last time for 20 minutes in a 100 degree (do not need to cover). They won't rise much but will become puffy.

While they're rising, make your topping (or make icing). Place 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour in a medium mixing bowl, along with 1 TBSP of sugar and the butter, and mix (you can use a pastry cutter or your hands) until you get small crumbs to form.

Prepare your egg wash (mixing the 2nd egg with 1 TBSP of water).

Remove the pans from the oven, and then pre-heat the oven for 360 degrees. Brush all of the bun dough with your egg wash, and then sprinkle the tops with your topping crumbs (if you use icing, you won't apply that until after everything has baked). Then bake both pans at 360 degrees for 20-22 minutes, which is when your tops should become golden brown. You can use a thermometer to check that the buns are done (190 degrees internal temperature). You do not have to remove them from the pans, and can cut and serve them directly from the pans. Enjoy them plain or eat with butter.

Note: While I adapted this recipe from our local newspaper, during my research of similar recipes I found an excellent one at and was so impressed by that website that I wanted to mention it here because I learned a lot from it.


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