There are foods in life that just feel special, fancy even. That can be because the food conjures up a holiday memory or memory of a special occasion. It could merely be that’s a treat you don’t indulge in frequently. Maybe it’s a glass of good champagne, a decadent meal or even just a special little candy.
Growing up, I remember each year around Christmas I would visit my grandparents. It was around this time that magically a box of chocolate covered cherries would appear in their home.
I would timidly ask my grandmother if I might have just one, knowing she put them out for guests who came to visit during the holiday season. She would knowingly smile at me and always answer, “Yes. But just one, dear.” These chocolate drenched ruby colored gems were, and still are, a favorite and oh so special treat of mine.
This braided loaf of sweet bread is reminiscent of those special flavors I looked forward to each year at Christmas. Smooth chocolate and cherry preserves are enveloped in a beautiful embrace by tender dough that’s sprinkled with sparkling course sugar. It practically sparkles like the holidays themselves!
This chocolate covered cherry bread looks like it may be difficult to do, but this is a faux braid that’s very simple to put together. The hardest part about making this bread is the waiting. Once it emerges from the oven be sure to enjoy it soon after. It’s best served warm.
This bread will make a sweet dessert with a hot cup of coffee after a holiday meal shared with family or as an indulgent breakfast treat. It will be a recipe you look forward to each time you make it just like I looked forward to those special chocolate covered cherries each year at my grandparents house.
Kate is always coming up with crazy good baked goodies, did you know? You’ve got to try her s’mores pull apart bread and orange sticky buns too!
Chocolate Cherry Bread Recipe
- 3 All-Purpose Flour
- 6 Granulated Sugar
- 1 Salt
- 0.5 Sour Cream
- 4 Butter Room temperature
- 1 Egg Room temperature, divided
- 1 Pure Vanilla Extract
- 0.33 Water Warm, not hot
- 2.5 Instant Yeast
- 8 Nutella Or any chocolate spread, like Hershey’s, etc.
- 1 Cherry Preserves (Kroger)
- Coarse Sugar For sprinkling
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine flour, sugar, salt, sour cream, butter, egg yolk, vanilla extract, water and yeast. With mixer on medium speed, knead ingredients together until dough is well combined and smooth.
- Place dough in a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let dough stand at warm room temperature for 90 minutes. The dough will not appear to have risen.
- Remove dough from bowl and divide into two pieces. On a piece of parchment paper, roll one piece of dough into a 10×15-inch rectangle. Spread half the chocolate spread down the center of the rolled dough. Top with half the cherry preserves. Fold both ends of the dough over the end of the filling.
- Make cuts from the edge of the dough to within 1/2-inch of the filling, every 3/4-inch, down both sides of the dough. Starting at one end, pull a cut strip up and over the filling, repeat, alternating sides until you reach the bottom of the loaf. Repeat all steps with second ball of dough.
- Transfer dough on parchment paper to baking sheet. Cover loaves and let them rest for 90 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°F. Whisk together egg white with a tablespoon of water. Brush each loaf with egg wash and sprinkle with coarse sugar. Bake in preheated oven 32-36 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven to a wire cooling rack. Serve warm.