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Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Kugelhopf (aka Gugelhoffen... for Dad!)

If you've been reading my new "business" blog, you might've noticed the Kugelhopf pan I picked up at an auction last week. Ever since I got it, my dad hasn't stopped bugging me about making something with it. I guess he just really loves the name of it because he randomly shouts it at me every time he sees me! But my dad has his own way of pronouncing words (ever since I can remember, he's never been satisfied with calling something by it's proper name), so he's been calling is "Gugelhoffen!" Finally, I decided to put an end to this madness and make him a "GUGELHOFFEN!" I'm so glad I did! Wow! It was totally different than what I was expecting. I was not expecting it to be so delicious! Actually, I'm not even sure what I was expecting, but what I got was very yummy! Dorie does a good job of explaining it in her book, Baking: From My Home to Yours.
Part bread, part cake, Kugelhopf is made very much like brioche. In fact, it is almost a brioche, but not a rich one. You won't miss the bit of butter that's left out of the dough, though, because once it’s baked, the cake is soaked with melted butter and sprinkled with sugar, so it develops a fine crust..."
If she says this bread isn't as rich as brioche, I'm very curious to taste brioche! The Kugelhopf seemed very rich to me. And she's right, it definitely wasn't lacking butter! I was tempted to add cinnamon to the recipe, but I'm glad I restrained myself. The plain, yeasty taste of this bread was SO good! Josh and I took a road trip up to Belle Isle, and I brought along a huge hunk of Kugelhopf for snacking! Mmmm, I'll definitely be using this recipe often!

PS: If you can't imagine eating an entire loaf of this stuff, stay tuned to see how to turn the leftovers into a delicious bread pudding (which, coincidentally, is the same bread pudding made by the TWDers this week)!

Here is the dough after being punched down the first time. It's still very sticky at this point! ...After the last rising, it's ready to be baked!
I was so excited to see this thing turned out of the pan!
Tada! Perfection!
I wish I had one more piece of this right now!
It was delicious for breakfast and for snacking anytime!
Kugelhopf (from Baking: From My Home to Yours by Dorie Greenspan)
MAKES 8 SERVINGS (To make this in a 12 cup pan, follow my conversions in italicized parentheses)
“For anyone who comes from Alsace, the northeastern region of France, Kugelhopf, as plain as it is, is a dream food. Part bread, part cake, Kugelhopf is made very much like brioche. In fact, it is almost a brioche, but not a rich one. You won't miss the bit of butter that's left out of the dough, though, because once it’s baked, the cake is soaked with melted butter and sprinkled with sugar, so it develops a fine crust… While, in a pinch, you could make a Kugelhopf in a Bundt pan, it's a treat to bake it in the pan designed especially for it… Like brioche, this dough is best made using a heavy-duty mixer; however, you can succeed in mixing it in a large bowl with a wooden spoon.”
1/3 cup moist, plump raisins (1/2 cup)
Scant 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast (1 packet [2 1/4 teaspoons])
1/3 cup just-warm-to-the-touch whole milk (1/2 cup)
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour (2 1/2 cups)
1/4 teaspoon salt (1/2 teaspoon)
2 large eggs (3 eggs)
1 large egg yolk (2 yolks)
3 tablespoons sugar (1/4 cup + 1/2 tablespoon)
1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, at room temperature (1 1/2 sticks)

1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
Sugar, for dusting
Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting

To make the cake: Bring a little water to a boil in a small saucepan and toss in raisins. Turn off the heat and let steep for 2 minutes, then drain the raisins and pat them dry. Put the yeast and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and, using a wooden spoon, stir until the yeast is dissolved. Add the flour and salt and stir just to moisten the flour--don't be concerned, the mixture will be shaggy and there may be dry patches.
In a small bowl, beat the eggs and yolk together lightly with a fork. Fit the mixer with the dough hook, if you have one, and, working on low speed, pour in the beaten eggs, mixing until they are incorporated. Add the sugar, increase the speed to medium-high and beat until the dough comes together and smooths out a little, about 5 minutes. Reduce the mixer speed to medium and add the butter in 4 to 6 additions, squeezing each piece to soften it before adding it and beating until each one is almost fully incorporated before adding the next.
When the butter is blended in, the dough will be very soft. Increase the mixer speed to medium-high and beat, scraping down the sides and bottom of the bowl as needed, until the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and climbs up the hook, about 10 minutes. Remove the bowl from the mixer, and stir in the raisins.
Scrape the dough into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in a warm place until nearly doubled in size, about 1 1/2 hours. (The length of time will depend on the warmth of your room.) (I set my oven to the “warm” setting (170º F) and turned it off. This will cut the rising time almost in half.)
Deflate the dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall back with a slap into the bowl. Cover the bowl again and put it in the refrigerator. Slap the dough down in the bowl every 30 minutes until it stops rising, about 2 hours. Then, if you have the time, let the dough rest in the refrigerator overnight. (The dough can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
Generously butter a 9-inch Kugelhopf mold (8- to 9-cup capacity) (Mine is a 12-cup; my conversions are 1.5x the original recipe.) and put the chilled dough in the pan. Cover the pan lightly with buttered parchment or wax paper and let the dough rise in a warm place until it comes almost to the top of the mold, 2 to 3 hours.

Getting ready to bake: When the dough has almost fully risen, center a rack in the oven and preheat to 375 degrees F.
(The times are the same for a 12-cup recipe.) Remove the paper and bake the Kugelhopf for 10 minutes. Cover the pan lightly with a foil tent and bake for another 15 to 20 minutes, or until the Kugelhopf is golden brown and has risen to the top--or, more likely, over the top--of the pan.
Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with foil and place a rack over it. Remove the kugelhopf from the oven and unmold it on the rack.

To soak the cake: (I didn’t increase the amount of butter to soak my cake; ½ stick was plenty.) Melt the butter and gently brush the hot cake with it, allow the butter to soak into the cake. Sprinkle the hot cake lightly with sugar and cool it to room temperature. Right before serving, dust the Kugelhopf with confectioners' sugar.


Amanda said...

I can't wrap my mind around the idea of the part bread, part cake definition of this...Kugelhopf. Hmm... I'm going to think about this.

Eliana said...

Why have I never heard of this? The part bread/part cake aspect is facinating. And I love brioche so I will have to try this some day. I looks so nice and poofy!

Elyse said...

Mmm, I've never made kugelhopf, but you really have me wanting to get myself a pan so I can start! Looks delicious! Love your dad's nickname for it, too.

Steph said...

Your kugelhopf turned out fantastic!! I remember having such a hard time with it rising.

Ingrid said...

Great photos! That's pretty funny how your dad renames things.

Paris Pastry said...

I've never had Kugelhopf, but if it resembles a brioche, I'm sure I will love it!!! Looks delish as well :)

thereddeer said...

mmmm looks yummo!