This week's recipe was chosen by Yolanda of The All-Purpose Girl. You can find the recipe on her site or in Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From My Home to Yours.
Another something that I've never made before. Thanks, Dorie, for rounding out my baking education!
I made the dough Sunday night – no pictures, sorry. At first, I thought I was doing something wrong. The dough didn't seem to want to come together for the longest time – it had little masses of thicker sections that didn't want to mix in with the looser sections – I kept looking at the recipe to see if I'd missed something all those twenty times I read and reread the instructions. But no, I was doing everything Dorie said to do.
So I kept on. Once all the butter was incorporated and I ran the mixer for another ten minutes at a higher speed, things started looking up. And mixing up. By the time the ten minutes were up, I had a lovely soft sticky dough. It smelled yummy. I mixed the raisins in and let it rise til doubled, then slapped it down (as Dorie recommends – by lifting the edges of the dough and letting them slap back down against the bowl), covered it and put it in the fridge. I checked on it a few times and slapped the dough down and finally said goodnight to it.
This morning I looked at my pans and decided to use this bundt pan for my kugelhopf. I had a taller, thinner pan – I think it's an old gelatin mold tin, actually – but it was too small to use. So I went with this fancy bundt pan. If I remember right, my parents gave this to me years ago for either Christmas or my birthday. I use it every now and then, but I've found that if it's not greased properly (even thought it's a non-stick), sections of whatever cake I'm making will stick to the pan and I'll end up with an ugly mess on my cake plate.
I took my time and brushed a generous layer of butter throughout all the hills and valleys of my pan. No way was I going to ruin my very first kugelhopf with a poor lube job.
Then I got my dough out and scraped that into the pan. I didn't think much about how to put it in, to be honest. In retrospect, I guess I could have rolled it into a thick rope and twisted it around the center…but I didn't do that. I just made a hole in the center of the dough and plopped it onto the pan. I know. Real professional-like.
I buttered one side of a piece of foil and set that over my pan and placed it on the oven. The house was kind of cold, so I turned the oven on so that the little bit of heat fanned out at the back of the stovetop would heat things up just enough to encourage the dough to rise.
About…three hours later, here's what I had:
Lovely. Not quite up to the top, but close enough for me.
Half an hour later, after baking according to Dorie's directions, I inverted the pan and took a look at the nearly finished product.
I was actually a bit awed when I saw this. It's so pretty. Granted, it's not tall and turban-like. But still. It's rather pretty.
I painted the surface with half a stick of melted butter.
And then I sprinkled it with some granulated sugar.
Okay, I didn't just sprinkle. I kind of hurled sugar by the handful at the sides, too. Didn't want to miss a spot.
Ta-da! Here it is, cooled to room temp and just about ready for the eating.
But before the eating, there is the picture-taking.
I couldn't bring myself to cut into it yet. I needed to share the moment with someone.
So I brought Julia home from preschool.
She offered to help. Kind of. But not really.
At long last, I cut a slice – and Julia decided she wasn't hungry at the moment.
So, (heavy sigh), I had to eat it myself.
Julia wasn't done yet.
HEY! PUT THAT BACK! I'M NOT DONE!
Such a light, moist, soft, beautiful crumb.
Smelled pretty good too. Not sweet, really. Neither bready or cakey. Not midway between them either. It was…beyond them both.
Okay, just one more.
Okay, now the rundown of likes and dislikes. I'll start with the dislikes.
(hm hmmm hmmm hm hm…dum de dum de dum…)
Now for the likes.
Julia – "I like your new bread cake Mama!"
Alex – (after his usual careful consideration, he nods) "…Not bad…" (in between bites of kugelhopf, his fingers plucking out the raisins and popping them into his mouth quickly, so they don't escape.)
Bill – "MMMmmm! That's good! Mmm…moist…and buttery…and light…MMM! I like it!"
And as for me? I thought it was lovely. Deceptively light – it doesn't scream "BUTTER!!!" at you. And that can be a dangerous thing.
But more dangerous than that, to me, is that crispy, sugary crust.
If left to my own devices, I would pick the whole crust off, bit by bit, and eat it all by myself.
Good thing the schools are closed today and I won't be left unsupervised.
To see what all the other TWD bakers did – supervised or not – check out the incredibly huge blog list and find out.