I like to keep a list of blog ideas hanging around for those moments of clarity (which are rare!) when I have what I think is going to be a great gluten free and dairy free creation or re-creation of a gluten filled recipe. I jot it down when it pops in my mind or I see something that inspires me. Then later when I’m thinking about what to blog, if I’m lucky enough to be able to read my writing, I have a list of ideas to pull from.
These cherry braids are one of the many ideas I have scribbled on numerous lists around my office and in the kitchen junk drawer. If I were able to eat in an average bakery, this is the type of dessert I’m drawn to. You see them often filled with all kinds of fruits and nut mixtures. The other day on Pinterest, I saw a braid filled with pizza ingredients. Can’t wait to try that one!
For this I just used my cinnamon roll dough. It was incredibly easy and I made both braids from scratch while talking on the phone the entire time, writing a check for our lawn clipping picker upper (a story for another time), and keeping an eye out for stray bears because I had all the doors open airing out the house. So truly, don’t be intimidated by the braiding part, it’s all very easy.
*Wait until both desserts are braided and ready to rest before pre-heating the oven to 350 degrees.
4 Tbsp. Earth Balance Natural Butter Spread
1/2 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Almond Milk,warmed but not hot to the touch
1/2 Cup Canola Oil
2 tsp. Pure Vanilla
1 1/2 Tbsp. Yeast, dissolved in the warmed almond milk
1 Cups Sorghum Flour
1/2 Cup Mama’s Almond All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
2 Cups Potato Starch
1/2 Cup Tapioca Flour
4 tsp. Xanthan Gum
4 tsp. Baking Powder
1 tsp. Kosher Salt
4 Cans of Oregon Pitted Red Tart Pie Cherries in Water
3/4 Cup Granulated Sugar
1/4 Cup Mama’s All Purpose Gluten Free Flour
1 teaspoon Pure Almond Extract
More Flour For Dusting
Cream butter and sugar in an electric mixer on high until thoroughly combined and fluffy.
Warm the almond milk lightly, not hot and add yeast. Stir and let rest while you’re measuring the flours, etc. Measure the sorghum flour, almond flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, xanthan gum and salt in a medium bowl and whisk together. Set aside.
To the creamed mixture, add the eggs, oil, vanilla, and milk/yeast mixture. Mix on medium speed scraping down bowl at least once, until combined. It will look curdled.
With the mixer on low, slowly add the flour and scrape down bowl. Mix on high until thoroughly combined (about 1-2 minutes). Dough will be sticky.
Cut two pieces of parchment paper to fit your baking sheets. Working with one piece of parchment at at time, flour the first piece of parchment and scoop out half of the dough onto the floured parchment.
Sprinkle more flour on top of the dough and pat out to get it started into the shape of the paper.
Add a little more flour and roll to the size of the parchment paper.
Cutting about 4 inches in on each side, slice 1 inch flaps all the way down the dough (both sides). Set aside, repeat with the second piece of parchment.
Open and drain all 4 cans of cherries in a colander. Add to a medium-sized bowl and add the flour, sugar, and almond extract. Stir carefully but thoroughly until the flour is dissolved.
With a slotted serving spoon. Spoon half of the cherries down the middle of one of the dough pieces. Repeat with the second piece.
Beginning at one end of the dough, flap the ends over one at a time. Right side first, then left, repeat down the end of the dough
If the cherries are seeping liquid after both braids have been completed, just dab up the moisture with a paper towel.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cover the braids lightly, and set them in a warm place to rest for 30 minutes.
Bake for 30 minutes and allow to cool for ten minutes before frosting.
For the frosting I just used a simple mixture of melted dairy free butter (about 1/2 cup or so), powdered sugar (probably 4 or 5 cups), pure almond extract (I’d say about 2 teaspoons), and a little almond milk to make it spoonable. I whisked it until smooth and then spread it on with a spoon allowing it to drip down the sides.