Pomegrante Molasses Cream Cheese Heart Bread
 
Ingredients
  • ¾ c whole milk
  • ⅓ c sugar
  • 1½ tsp active dry yeast
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3½ c flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 4 oz cream cheese, room temp
  • Powdered sugar
  • Pomegranate molasses, room temp
  • Red food coloring
  • 2 egg whites
Method
  1. Stir the ⅓ c sugar into the milk and gently warm. Sprinkle the yeast over the top, and let stand about 10 minutes until bubbly.
  2. Meanwhile, gently melt the butter in the microwave.
  3. Pour the milk mixture into the bowl of your stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, stir in the butter and the egg yolks. Add about 1 cup of the flour, and stir until completely combined. Remove the paddle attachment and attach the dough hook. On low speed, gradually add as much of the remaining flour necessary to create a dough that sticks only to the bottom of the bowl while kneading. At this point, increase the speed to medium-low, and knead for about 7 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth. Place the dough into a clean, oiled bowl, and roll to coat in the oil. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, approximately one hour.
  4. While the dough rises, beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl until no lumps remain. Gradually add powdered sugar and pomegranate molasses, to taste. Stir in red food coloring until you get a color you like.
  5. Once the dough has risen, divide it into four equal balls. Roll one ball into a thin 10-inch circle and place on a round of parchment. Spread a thin amount of the filling over top, and repeat with the remaining balls, forming a stack. Do not spread filling on the top of the stack. Using a 10-inch circle as a guide (plate, pan, parchment circle, etc), trim the dough into a perfect 10" circle. Place a small cup or bowl upside down in the center, and gently press to make an indentation. Cut the dough into 16 sections, leaving the middle circle intact. Lift two sections at a time, and twist them away from one another twice. Press to seal the ends together. Repeat all the way around the circle. Using a tear-drop cutter, press into the middle of each pair of twists with the pointed part to emphasize the heart shape.
  6. Place the dough into a round pan to help retain the shape, and fit pie weights into the indents in each heart, behind the parchment, if desired. This helps to retain the shape. Brush gently with egg white, cover tightly, and allow to rise in a warm place until doubled, approximately one hour.
  7. Bake at 350F for 20-30 minutes until golden.
Notes
Adapted slightly from The Baker Chick. Please refer to her site for a how-to on shaping.
Recipe by Whisk Kid at http://whisk-kid.com/2016/02/be-mine-pomegranate-molasses-cream-cheese-heart-bread.html