Quick Cherry Pie and Classic Rich Bread

This is the type of yeast bread recipe that is wonderful to have in your bread making portfolio.  Unbelievably easy with a stand mixer and dough hook, basic ingredients from your larder, and makes 2 beautiful and fragrant loaves.  One for today and one to share or to freeze.   This recipe comes to me from one of my favorite blogs, The Iowa Housewife.  Written by two sisters and always a great read whether they are sharing photos, stories, or recipes I always enjoy them.  Here is a link to visit them.

Ingredients for Easy and Delicious Classic Rich Bread:

5 1/2  C. bread flour
1 T. instant yeast
1/2 C. sugar
1 t. salt
1 C. whole milk
1/2 C. water
1/2 C. soft butter (1 stick)
2 lg. eggs

Heat the milk and water in the microwave to 120-125 degrees F.  Place all but 1 cup of the bread flour and the rest of the ingredients into a large stand mixer bowl.  Using the paddle attachment turn on low speed and slowly add the milk and water mixture.  Let this mix for 2 minutes.  Change to the dough hook.  Add the remaining cup of flour and knead for 6-7 minutes.  (If you are making this by hand knead for 8-9 minutes,)  Cover the bowl and let rest in a warm place for 20-25 minutes.

Meanwhile  generously butter and flour 2 loaf pans, 8 1/2" x 4 1/2 " and set aside.

This makes a wonderful dough, very easy to handle.  Turn the dough onto a lightly floured board and divide the dough in half shaping into loaves about 1 pound 13 ounces each.   Place the dough into the prepared pans.  Spray a large piece of plastic wrap with cooking spray and lay it greased side down over the loaves.  Let rise covered in a warm place until the center of the loaves rounds above the rim of the pans in the center about 1".  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.  After the dough has sufficiently risen bake for 25-30 minutes until golden.  Cool and remove from the pans.   Yield 2 loaves of bread.

Instructions for Quick Cherry Pie:

I am almost ashamed to tell you how effortless this was!  I thawed a previously made disk of pie crust from the freezer and thawed it and rolled it.   Next I dumped in a can of cherry pie filling.  Lastly I rolled the scraps from the trimming of the pastry and cut out hearts.  Place the hearts atop the cherries and sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.  Bake at 375 degrees F. for 40 minutes until brown and bubbling.  Cool and slice into 6 servings. 

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