Pickled Cherry Bombs

These little pockets of dough pack explosive flavor. Inspired by Milk Bar founder Christina Tosi’s famous Bagel Bomb creation, each savory orb offers all the chew and salty, crusty goodness of a regular bagel, but with an epic epicenter: a sour pickled cherry thickly coated in rich mascarpone, cream cheese, and fried garlic. For more cherry-themed recipes, check out our July/August Issue

Pickled Cherry Bombs
Makes 16
  • 4 cups (508 grams) bread flour
  • 1½ cups (360 grams) warm water (105°F/40°C to 110°F (43°C)
  • 1 tablespoon (6 grams) instant yeast
  • 1 tablespoon (21 grams) molasses
  • 2 teaspoons (6 grams) kosher salt
  • 8 cups (1,920 grams) plus 1 teaspoon (5 grams) water, divided
  • ¼ cup (60 grams) baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons (42 grams) honey
  • 1 tablespoon (12 grams) granulated sugar
  • Pickled Cherry Cheese Balls (recipe follows)
  • 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) sesame seeds
  • 1½ teaspoons (4.5 grams) poppy seeds
  • 1 teaspoon (3 grams) fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon (2 grams) diced onion flakes
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 gram) sea salt
  • 1 large egg (50 grams)
  1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment, beat flour, 1½ cups (360 grams) warm water, yeast, molasses, and salt at medium-low speed for 10 minutes. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Place dough in bowl, turning to grease top. Cover with plastic wrap, and let stand in warm, draft-free place (75°F/24°C) until almost doubled in size, 1 to 1½ hours.
  2. Divide dough into 16 (2-ounce) pieces, and shape into balls. Cover loosely with plastic wrap, and let rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  4. In a large stockpot, bring 8 cups (1,920 grams) water, baking soda, honey, and sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Pull and shape dough balls into 3½-inch disks, like a pizza. Place a frozen Pickled Cherry Cheese Ball in center of each disk; bring edges up, and pinch together. Roll dough between hands to smooth out ball and ensure edges are sealed. Working with 4 balls at a time, lower balls into poaching liquid. Boil for 1 minute, turning halfway through. Transfer to prepared pans.
  5. In a small bowl, whisk together sesame seeds, poppy seeds, fennel seeds, garlic salt, onion flakes, and sea salt. In another small bowl, whisk together egg and remaining 1 teaspoon (5 grams) water. Brush top of each ball with egg wash, and sprinkle with topping.
  6. Bake until light golden, 20 to 25 minutes. Let cool slightly; serve warm.

Pickled Cherry Cheese Balls
Makes 16
  • 1 tablespoon (14 grams) olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (10 grams) minced garlic
  • ½ cup (112 grams) cream cheese, softened
  • ½ cup (112 grams) mascarpone cheese, softened
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh basil
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
  • ½ teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • ½ teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 16 Pickled Cherries (recipe follows)
  1. In a small saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add garlic; cook until golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool completely.
  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat garlic, cream cheese, mascarpone, basil, oregano, thyme, and salt at medium speed until combined.
  3. Pat Pickled Cherries dry with a paper towel. Working with one at a time, coat Pickled Cherries with cheese mixture, rolling between hands to create well-rounded balls. Freeze in an airtight container for at least 2 hours or up to 1 week.

Pickled Cherries
Makes 1 quart
  • ½ pound (227 grams) cherries, pitted
  • ¾ cup (180 grams) distilled white vinegar
  • ⅓ cup (67 grams) granulated sugar
  • ½ tablespoon (4.5 grams) kosher salt
  • 1 strip orange zest
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) black peppercorns
  • ½ teaspoon (1 gram) crushed red pepper
  1. Place cherries in a 1-quart jar.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring vinegar and all remaining ingredients to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and let cool for 10 minutes.
  3. Strain mixture through a fine-mesh sieve over cherries, discarding solids. Cherries should be completely submerged under liquid. If not completely submerged, top off with more vinegar. Let cool completely. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 1 month.



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