When I’m stressed, I bake it out. Mostly breads, but anything will do. I’m not sure why, but it may be the control. When things feel unravelly (it’s a word now, just go with it), it helps me to do something that I can rein in. Yeast, flour, salt, and water. Work it, and let it rise. Everything else will fall into place. Strangely, I also exercise when I’m stressed. Typically, a run or a swim will bring me back to this reality; this peace with where I fit in this great big world. Work it out.
Well, there is so much right now. I’m working on something that I’ll be sharing soon and it’s taking a lot of emotional energy and mind space. There are other little stressors here and there that are just piling up because I need to deal with my emotions and until I do, I’ll just stay unravelly (See? Word.)
I made this ridiculous Yeasted Sour-Cherry-and-Cheese coffee cake. I doubted myself the whole time. “Is this going to turn out? Did my yeast even activate? Why can’t I stress and bake a box mix of brownies like a normal person? I quit.” I even made a back up cherry cobbler in case this failed.
After a couple hours, including a trip to the store, I pulled this baby out of the oven. The yeast activated alright, it was huge. Then, I glazed it and it was just beautiful. I felt so accomplished. Again, I don’t know what my deal is.
I was home alone with the kids and had to call my neighbor and her coworker over to share it or I would have just eaten the whole thing.
By this time, it was 12:30 and had only eaten giant coffee cake and coffee. I needed some water, and a work out while the kids napped. I felt much better after that. I still have to get all of these words in my head written out or my mind will just keep spinning, but at least I was able to do something fun with the kids and bake something delicious for the day.
This isn’t something I would bake everyday. This is like a summer cinnamon roll treat. It’s a process, but wow, it is worth it.
If you feel up to it, I’ll share the recipe. Maybe pin it for when you have something on your mind and you just need to bake it out.
(Rachel, I spoke with my friend, Tiff, later and she beat me to even saying “bake it out”. So, there is proof that it’s a real thing. )
- 2 1/4 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons plus a pinch of granulated sugar
- 3/4 cup warm milk (110 degrees)
- 1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
- 3 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface
- Coarse salt
- 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for bowl, pan, and parchment
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten with 1 tablespoon milk, for egg wash
- 1 1/2 cups pitted fresh or thawed frozen sour cherries
- 12 ounces softened cream cheese
- 1 large egg yolk
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar
- 1 cup confectioners' sugar
- 2 tablespoons whole milk
- Make the cake/dough: Sprinkle yeast and a pinch of granulated sugar over milk in a medium bowl. Let stand until foamy, about 5 minutes.
- Whisk together remaining 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, the egg, and yolk. Whisk into yeast mixture.
- Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a mixer. Add egg mixture. Beat on low speed until almost fully combined, about 30 seconds. Switch to the dough-hook attachment. Add butter. Beat until smooth, soft, and slightly sticky, about 10 minutes.
- Butter a large bowl. Turn out dough onto a floured surface; knead a few times until smooth. Place in bowl, turn to coat, and cover with plastic wrap. Let stand in a warm place until doubled in volume, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
- Make the filling: Stir together cream cheese, egg yolk, and confectioners' sugar.
- Punch down dough. Transfer to a floured work surface. Let stand for 5 minutes. Roll out to an 18-inch square (about 1/8 inch thick). Brush edges with egg wash. Spread filling over dough. Top with cherries. Tightly roll dough like a jelly roll. Pinch seam to seal. Coil into a snail shape on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Brush top with egg wash.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drape plastic wrap over dough. Let stand in a warm place until risen by half, 20 to 30 minutes.
- Remove plastic wrap. Cut six 1/2-inch slits into top. Bake, rotating halfway through, until golden, about 55 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees. Bake until deeply golden, 15 to 20 minutes more (cover with foil if top gets too dark). Transfer pan to a wire rack. Let cake cool.
- Make the glaze: Mix together confectioners' sugar and milk. Drizzle over cake. Let set for 5 minutes before serving.
- this would be great with any berry or even chocolate chips!