Sunday is also a day where I often find myself in the kitchen, testing out those recipes I've been meaning to make but somehow have not found the time to do so.
Today's new recipe was 'Kugelhopf' straight out of Dorie Greenspan's Baking From My Home To Yours, which is my 'go-to' book for so many things these days... LOVE her! She just has this way of instilling so much confidence in the baker. Anyhow, it came out perfect! and I think could eat the whole thing myself but I held back to just one piece, so far.
In case you don't yet know what Kugelhopf is.... (but once you taste it you'll never forget it, it's truly that divine), it's a yeasted enriched bread similar to brioche from the Alsace area of France. It's baked in a special mold (but can be made in a Bundt pan if you don't have a Kugelhopf pan lyin' around) that resembles the shape of a turban, all spirally and pointy. It is very impressive looking! The bread itself is buttery and light, studded throughout with raisins, and just a little sweet. The final basting with melted butter and sprinkling of sugar makes it rather irresistable.
I definitely recommend planning ahead and making this one on your next lazy weekend!
For the bread:
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 1/2 tsp active dry yeast (from one packet)
1/3 cup luke warm milk (105 degrees)
1 2/3 cup flour (I use unbleached white Spelt)
1/4 tsp sea salt
2 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
3 TB sugar
8 TB (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temp
For the soak:
4 TB (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Superfine sugar, for sprinkling
To make the cake-
1) Heat a little water in a mircowave safe boil and add the raisins. Let soak for 2 minutes to plump them up and then drain them and pat dry.
2) Put the yeas and the milk in the bowl of your stand mixer. Stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt and stir just to moisten the flour. Don't worry, the dough will be shaggy and not well mixed.
3) In a small bowl, combine the whole eggs and egg yolk and whisk lightly with a fork. Fit the mixer with a dough hook and add the beaten eggs to the flour mixture, working on low speed until the eggs are combined. Add the sugar and increase the speed to medium-high and mix until the dough looks more homogenous, about 5 minutes. Scrape down the dough hook and sides of bowl at this stage. Reduce the mixer speed to medium, and add the butter, 1 TB at a time, and mixing between additions until each piece is almost entirely incorporated before adding the next.
4) When the butter is all in, the dough will be very soft. Increase the mixer speed to medium high and mix until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and starts to climb up the dough hook, about 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer and stir in the raisins.
5) Oil a clean bowl lightly and scrape the dough into the bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 90 minutes. Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and flip it over once in the bowl. Cover the bowl and refrigerate. Repeat this 'lift and slap' method 4 more times, every 30 minutes for 2 hours, or until the dough stops rising. Then, let the dough rest in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight.
6) After the dough has rested, generously spray your pan with nonstick spray, making sure you get into all the nooks and crannies. Place the chilled dough in the pan. Cover the pan with lightly oiled parchment and let the dough rise in a warm place again, until it comes almost up to the top of the mold, about 2-3 hours.
7) When the dough has almost fully risen, preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Remove the paper and bake the Kugelhopf for 10 minutes. Cover the pan with a foil tent loosely and bake for another 15-20 minutes until the bread is golden brown and has risen to the top of the pan.
8) Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with foil and place a cooling rack over top. Remove the Kugelhopf from the oven and invert it onto the rack
9) To soak the cake- Melt the butter in the microwave and gently brush the hot cake with it, all over, up and down the outside and the inside. Sprinkle the hot cake with the superfine sugar and allow to cool to room temperature before slicing.
Yumm, yumm, yummy, yummy, yumm! Enjoy!