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These lemony sweet buns, colored a pretty pink by the cherries, spread with butter or cream cheese (and jam, if you like) are a nice mid-morning or afternoon snack.
1 cup (8 ounces) lukewarm water
1/2 cup (1 stick, 4 ounces) unsalted butter, soft
2 large eggs
1/8 teaspoon lemon oil OR 1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) lemonade concentrate, plain or pink
2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup (1 7/8 ounces) sugar
4 1/3 cups (18 1/2 ounces) King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or 4 3/4 cups (20 ounces) Mellow Pastry Blend
1/4 cup (1 1/4 ounces) Baker’s Special Dry Milk
1 tablespoon liquid or granular lecithin (1/2 ounce liquid, 1/4 ounce granular)
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 cup (3 3/4 ounces) dried sweet cherries, chopped OR chopped dried cranberries
3 tablespoons (1 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted
1 tablespoon (5/8 ounce) honey
1 tablespoon (1/2 ounce) lemonade concentrate
Manual/Mixer Method: Combine all of the dough ingredients in a large mixing bowl and stir to form cohesive dough. Knead the dough, by hand (on a lightly oiled work surface) or machine, for 5 to 8 minutes, until it's smooth and shiny. The dough is very soft—avoid adding too much flour, as this will make the buns tough and dry.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and allow the dough to rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until it's puffy, though it may not have doubled in bulk.
Bread Machine Method: Place all of the dough ingredients, except the cherries, into the pan of your machine, program the machine for manual or dough, and press Start. Check the dough with about 10 minutes left in the final kneading cycle; it should be smooth and supple. Adjust its consistency, if necessary, with additional flour or water. Add the cherries toward the end of the kneading cycle, to keep them somewhat intact.
When the machine has completed its cycle, set a timer for 30 minutes, and allow the dough to continue to rise; it may crest at the top of the bucket, but shouldn't overflow. Keep your eye on it.
Shaping and Rising: Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled work surface, and divide it into 20 pieces, each about 2 inches in diameter. Allow the pieces to rest, covered, for 10 minutes. Round the dough into balls, and place them in two lightly greased 9-inch round cake pans. Cover the pans, and allow the buns to rise for about 1 1/2 hours, or until they're nice and puffy and have filled the pans.
Glaze: While the buns are rising, combine the glaze ingredients, and set aside.
Baking: Bake the buns in a preheated 375°F oven for 16 minutes, remove them from the oven, and brush them with the glaze. Return the buns to the oven and bake for an additional 5 to 8 minutes, until they’re golden brown. Remove the buns from the oven, and transfer them to a wire rack. Brush them with the remaining glaze, and cool. Serve with jam and whipped cream cheese, and a tall glass of iced tea or lemonade. Yield: 20 3-inch buns.
Nutrition information per serving (1 bun, 59g): 198 cal, 8g fat, 4g protein, 24g complex carbohydrates, 4g sugar, 1g dietary fiber, 40mg cholesterol, 230mg sodium, 117mg potassium, 79RE vitamin A, 1mg vitamin C, 2mg iron, 27mg calcium, 59mg phosphorus.
This recipe reprinted from The Baking Sheet Newsletter, Vol. XIII, No. 5, Summer 2002 issue.