Tart Cherry Filled Sweet Buns

Ingredients
Sweet Roll Dough

1 cup warm milk, about 100˚F
1/2 Tablespoon active dry yeast
4 Tablespoon granulated sugar, divided
3 1/4 cups all purpose flour, divided, plus more for dusting
1 egg, room temp
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg , beaten with fork (for egg wash)

Tart Cherry Filling

2 cups sour cherries, packed in water or individually quick frozen
6 Tablespoons sugar
1 Tablespoon tapioca flour
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon butter, optional

Crumb Topping

4 Tbsp butter, cold, diced
1 Tbsp sugar
1/2 cup flour

Cream Cheese Drizzle

1/2 cup confectioners sugar
1/2 cup (4 ounces) 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons milk

Instructions

Prepare the Tart Cherry Filling

Drain the cherries, reserving 1/3 cup of water. Or defrost frozen cherries reserving 1/3 cup of cherry juice. Place the reserved liquid in small sauce pan.
Whisk the sugar and tapioca in a small bowl together until well combined.
In the saucepan, stir the combined mixture of the tapioca and sugar into the cherry juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened. Gently stir in cherries almond extract, salt and optional butter. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Prepare the Sweet Bun Dough:

In the bowl of a stand mixer, add 1 cup warm milk and sprinkle the top with 1/2 Tbsp yeast and let sit 5-7 minutes for the yeast to activate.
Stir in 1/2 cup flour and 2 Tbsp sugar and whisk until blended, then let rise in a warm 100˚F oven for 20 minutes (or at room temp 30-45 mins).
Whisk in 1 egg, remaining 2 Tbsp sugar, 1 Tbsp melted butter and 1/2 tsp salt. Now using the dough hook, add remaining 2 3/4 cups flour, 1 cup at a time, allowing it to fully incorporate between each addition. Add the last bit of flour slowly. You know the dough is just right when it is no longer sticking to the walls of the mixer bowl. Do not add more flour past this point. Note: humidity can affect how flour is absorbed, so add flour until it’s not sticking to the mixing bowl. Continue mixing your dough with the dough hook on low speed 15 minutes.
Cover your mixing bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise in a warm 100˚F oven for 1 hour (or at room temp 2 hours) . Be patient, your dough should triple in volume.
Transfer the dough to a good non-stick surface and cut it in half. Working with one piece at a time, cut each piece in half, then in half again. Repeat with the rest of the dough to make a total of 16 pieces of dough. Shape the dough into balls.
Butter a baking dish (either 2 round cake pans or one (9×13) rimmed baking pan). Place balls of dough, evenly spaced in your baking dish(es). Push a narrow drinking glass into the center of each dough round to make a well in the center of the bun for the filling.
Place a couple of tablespoons of filling into each well in the bun dough. Let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes, until they look puffy (30-45 minutes at room temp).

Make the Crumb Topping:

If using the crumb topping: Combine crumb mixture ingredients in a medium bowl and use a pastry cutter or rub together with your fingers until small crumbs form.
Brush the buns with egg wash and sprinkle the tops with the crumb mixture, if you choose to use the crumb topping. Bake at 360˚F for 20-22 min or until tops are golden brown.

Prepare the Cream Cheese Drizzle

Place powdered sugar and cream cheese in a bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Beat in 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. If the drizzle seems to thin add additional confectioners sugar, if it is too thick add more milk, until it reaches the desired consistency. Drizzle warm buns with glaze.

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