Kugelhopf

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This fluffy, buttery half-bread, half-cake dessert comes from Alsace, southern Germany, Austria, and Switzerland and has different names depending on location (Gugelhupf, Guglhupf, Gugelhopf,…).  It also reminds me of a buttery croissant-inspired bread from a Chinese bakery that I love.    Even though it’s very time consuming to make, it’s definitely worth it!

Baking notes:

  • You’re supposed to make it in a special turban-shaped pan, but if you don’t have one, a regular bundt pan works just as well.
  • If you don’t like or don’t have raisins, you can substitute dried cranberries.
  • This recipe is very time-consuming: about 4 hours to prepare the dough one day, followed by another 3 1/2 hours the next day to let the dough rise and bake.
  • It tastes best the day it’s made.  If it lasts any longer, you should toast slices briefly.

 

Kugelhopf
From Dorie Greenspan’s Baking: From My Home to Yours

  • 1/3-1/2 cup raisins or cranberries
  • Scant 1 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
  • 1/3 cup milk, just warm to the touch (preferably whole milk, but fat free works fine)
  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
  1. Boil a little water in a small saucepan and toss in raisins or cranberries.
  2. Turn off heat and let steep for 2 minutes (or less if you’re impatient like me).
  3. Drain raisins or cranberries and pat dry.
  4. Put milk in the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add yeast and stir with a wooden spoon until dissolved.
  5. Add flour and salt and stir to moisten flour.  The mixture will look shaggy, with dry patches of flour.
  6. In a separate small bowl, beat eggs and yolk together with a fork.
  7. Fit mixer with dough hook if you have one.  With mixer on low speed, pour in eggs and mix until they are incorporated.  Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as necessary.
  8. Add sugar and increase to medium-high speed.
  9. Beat for 5 minutes, until dough comes together and smooths out a little.
  10. Reduce speed to medium and add butter in 4-6 additions.  Squeeze each piece a little to soften it before adding it.  Beat until each piece is almost fully incorporated before you add the next piece.  The dough will be very soft.
  11. On medium-high speed, beat for 10 minutes, until dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl and climbs up the hook.  Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl as needed.
  12. Remove bowl from mixer.  Stir in raisins or cranberries.
  13. Scrape dough into a clean bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it rise in a warm place for 1 1/2 hours, until nearly doubled in size.
  14. Deflate dough by lifting it up around the edges and letting it fall back into the bowl.
  15. Cover dough again and put it in refrigerator.
  16. Slap down the dough every 30 minutes for about 2 hours, until it stops rising.
  17. If you have time, let dough rest in refrigerator overnight. (It can be wrapped tightly and refrigerated for up to 2 days.)
  18. Generously butter a 9-inch Kugelhopf mold (8- to 9-cup capacity).
  19. Put chilled dough in pan, trying to spread it evenly.
  20. Cover pan with buttered parchment or wax paper and let dough rise in a warm place for 2-3 hours, until it almost comes to the top of the mold.
  21. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  22. Remove paper and bake for 10 minutes.
  23. Cover pan loosely with a foil tent.
  24. Bake for 15-20 minutes until Kugelhopf is golden brown and has risen to the top or over the top of the pan.
  25. Remove Kugelhopf from oven and unmold onto a wire rack to cool.  It tastes best right out of the oven, when the crust is crispy and the inside is very soft.

 

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