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In a small mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the 1/4 cup warm water; set aside for 10 minutes. Add warm milk to yeast mixture. Set milk mixture aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine 3 cups of the flour, the sugar and salt. Use an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook to cut the 1 cup cold butter into the flour mixture until pieces are pea size. (Or use a pastry blender to cut butter into the flour mixture until pieces are pea size.) Add milk mixture and egg yolks to flour mixture. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the side of the bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes more. Using a wooden spoon, stir in as much of the remaining flour as you can.
Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth and elastic (3 to 5 minutes total). Shape the dough into a ball. Place in a lightly greased bowl; turn once to grease the surface. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled (1 to 1 1/2 hours). (Or cover bowl with plastic wrap and store dough in the refrigerator overnight.)
Punch down dough. Turn out dough onto a lightly floured surface. Cover; let rest for 10 minutes.
For filling: In a small mixing bowl, combine the 1 cup walnuts, the brown sugar, the 1/2 cup softened butter and cinnamon. Set aside.
Roll dough into a 20x12-inch rectangle. Spread the walnut filling over the dough, leaving about 1 inch unfilled along the long sides. Roll up rectangle, starting at a long side, loosely rolling up dough jelly-roll style. Moisten edges; pinch firmly to seal. Place dough roll, seam side down, on a very large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bring ends together to form a ring. Moisten ends; pinch together seam to seal ring. Flatten slightly.
Using a sharp knife, cut slits from the outside edge of dough ring to center leaving about 1 inch attached at center. Repeat at 1 1/2-inch intervals around dough ring. Gently turn each slice so 1 of the cut sides is down. Cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled (30 to 40 minutes). (Or for the chilled dough, cover; let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled (about 3 hours). (Tip from chef: For a fast-rise method, pre-heat the oven to warm at 200°F, then turn off the oven and slide in the tea ring. This should cut the rise time at least in half.)
Bake in a 350°F oven for 25 to 30 minutes or until tea ring sounds hollow when you tap the top with your fingers (the center may be lighter in color). If necessary to prevent overbrowning, cover ring with foil for the last 5 to 10 minutes of baking. Remove from baking sheet; cool on a wire rack.
For glaze: In a small mixing bowl, combine powdered sugar, 1 tablespoon of the milk, butter flavoring and vanilla. Stir in enough of the remaining milk to make a glaze of drizzling consistency. Spoon or drizzle glaze over ring. Before glaze dries, sprinkle with additional toasted walnuts and candied cherries.