Tuesday, November 11, 2008

TWD: Kugelhopf


When I went to pick up my daughter from preschool last week, her teacher rushed up to me and said: "Elizabeth sang her very favorite song for us today, and we all really enjoyed it! Elizabeth, do you want to sing your favorite song for your mommy?" I was fully expecting to hear "Five Little Pumpkins Sitting on a Gate," since this was what she'd been singing the most at home, complete with wind-blowing sounds and having the wind blow out the lights. So imagine my surprise when instead, I heard her sweet, tiny little voice belt out, in perfect tune:

She wore them apple bottom jeans
Boots with the furrrrr (with the fur!) [yes, she did indeed include the second "with the fur" line]
The whole club was looking at her
She hit the flo'
Next thing you know
Shawty got low, low, low, low, low, low, low, low . . .

As the teachers threw back their heads and howled, I squirmed and said "Oh! Um. Heh. Heh heh. Gosh, Miss Kelly. I don't know where Elizabeth would have heard Flo Rida and T-Pain. We only listen to Raffi at home. Um. That's something else, alright."

The moral of this story is that kids will soak in absolutely anything, just like my Kugelhopf. But whereas hip hop lyrics and three year olds might be considered "a bad kind of soaking in," we'd all agree that melted butter and warm brioche is most definitely "a good kind of soaking in."




Backing up, I wanted to share what my sweet hubby got me for my birthday a couple of weeks ago. I was pretty excited when I saw the box. What could it be?




(Gasp!) It's a Kugelhopf pan!! How did you know? Thanks, honey!

Well, let me just say that nothing about this project was relaxing. I managed to dodge yeast for my first 12 TWD weeks, so I guess it was just a matter of time before I had to deal with it. When I first read through this recipe, I completely freaked out, started having night terrors and panic attacks by day was a bit nervous. Yeast and I have a long, sordid history. I don't like it and it doesn't like me. We deal with each other by avoiding each other, and that has worked just fine until now.



Is it dissolving? Is the milk warm enough? Is the milk too hot? Am I using the right kind of yeast? Is it still active? Heck if I know.

I forged ahead and added the flour mixture to the yeast mixture. At that point, you basically just let the Kitchen Aid do its thing until the dough "climbs up the dough hook." Like this? Maybe?



This was super stretchy, sticky, gooey dough. The thought of raisins actually mixing into it seemed absurd. I folded them in the best I could:



And then set it in my oven (which was not on) to rise for a couple of hours. There is some serious "waiting around" involved with this kugelhopf. Fortunately,the same day that I made the kugelhopf, some friends talked me into joining this newfangled "Facebook" thing, which is pure crack and possibly the biggest time black hole ever invented. As an enthusiastic Facebook newbie, I was able to pass the time giving my far-flung, long lost friends constant updates on my kugelhopf, which I am sure made them wish that I had stayed lost.

Before:



After:



I decided to call that doubled, and stuck it in the fridge. It was about 11:30 p.m. at that point. I went back to the recipe and realized that I was now supposed to slap the dough every 30 minutes for the next two hours. Quick breads are just not this high maintenance. I decided to split the baby, slap the dough twice, and go to bed at 12:30. If my kugelhopf flopped because of my failure to do the 1 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. smack down, then so be it.

I saw Amanda the next day and told her that I was baking it that night and was seriously worried. She said "you just need to give it a little looooooove before you put it into the pan." See, that's exactly the kind of vague, non-specific instruction that gets me into trouble time and time again. Not knowing what Amanda meant by "loooooove," I gently put it into the pan and said "please rise, baby."

So, so not optimistic:



I stuck it in my oven (which was off) and checked it an hour later. It had not done a thing (yes, I know it's supposed to take 2 or 3 hours, but I was alarmed by the utter sameness of the dough from when I first stuck it in there). Then I remembered that my oven has something called a "proofing" feature, and I dug out the manual to see what that was all about. It said:"The proofing feature maintains a warm environment useful for rising yeast-leavened products." Yes, rising yeast-leavened products, that's my situation. I decided that I might as well make full use all of the technology at my disposal to try to compensate for my lack of talent:



Hallelujah!


It baked up to a lovely golden brown color:



And came out of the pan without any trouble (I take nothing for granted):




I then melted the butter and brushed it on the kugelhopf, and sprinkled it all with sugar. Even though it was once again after midnight, I made David stay up to try some, because Dorie says to eat it right away, and I always listen to Dorie. We both really enjoyed the kugelhopf, but we had a hard time coming up with occasions that would just seem to scream for kugelhopf. We decided that it's not exactly what you want for dessert on your major (or even your minor) holidays -- to us, it seemed more like a breakfast bread than a dessert. And yet, unless you want to wake up in the middle of the night, it won't work as a "good morning, sunshine!" kind of bread, what with the 3 hour rising time that precedes the actual baking. It would be a fine addition to any brunch table (just be sure to make it a late brunch). It would also be lovely at High Tea, for those of you who do that. Or (hypothetically) it might be the perfect midnight snack to cap off another wild Friday night of watching Flight of the Conchords on You Tube. Just as an example.

While this was not my favorite TWD recipe so far, it is definitely the one that I am most proud of. It forced me to face my yeastaphobia head on, and I was richly rewarded with the best remedy for the 12:45 a.m. munchies ever! And I especially enjoyed it a couple of days later when I toasted it under the broiler and spread a little apricot jam on it. So, there you have it, another TWD success! Thank you, Yolanda from All-Purpose Girl, for picking a fun, challenging and tasty recipe!

48 comments:

Marthe said...

Wow, your Kugelhopf looks nice and fluffy! Mine is in the fridge now, I have to bake it when I get back from work tonight... Can't wait....

Karen said...

I love your analogy between kids and Kugeloff soaking things in! :) This was time consuming but worth it! :)

n.o.e said...

Well, the TWD bakers are glad you didn't stay lost! I laughed more at this post than any of the previous 12 put together. Mine was ready in the middle of the afternoon, and I actually called my husband and offered to bring it to him at work (he politely declined). He had a business dinner, but saved room for it, and now it's his favorite thing in the world. It makes a great snack at 9:00 pm with a glass of wine - I liked it even better than when it first came out of the oven.

I'm glad we both faced those yeast demons. And brilliant on the proofing in the oven. I have that also and it never dawned on me to use it. Shoot, I just remembered that my food processor has a shredding blade.
Nancy

pinkstripes said...

Ha! There must be something in the air, b/c I just joined Facebook this week at the urging of an old HS friend. It is like crack!

Your kugelhopf looks gorgeous. I loved this recipe.

Natashya said...

Congrats on the new pan!!
I love it.
Great job on the kugelhopf. I think it would be good for Sunday brunches.

Danielle said...

Yours looks so good. I so need one of those pans!

Audrey said...

I've decided that, yes, that's exactly what "climbing the dough hook" means, since that's how my doughs climb (climb = slither). And I've also decided (since my oven has two settings - on and off) that "doubled" means "made any vague attempt to be even a little bigger." I need to be more yeastphobic, like you and Nancy, because your breads came out so beautifully! (ps Happy Birthday!)

peggy said...

Cathy now I think I should have borrowed your shiny new kugelhopf pan to make mine. Yours looks absolutely perfect and I am way impressed. You didn't bring me a piece however! Mine was gone in a flash, but that is because it wasn't very big. I did offer you a bite, but you never showed up to try it. That might have been a smart move for you. :) I think you should really try more yeasty recipes in the future!!!

Flourchild said...

Nice pan! What a sweet hubby!
Love the Flo rida song..my teenage daughters like that one!!
Your bread is wonderful looking! I was a little worried when I put the dough in the bottom of the pan..it looked like nothing was in there!

Andrea said...

Too funny about little Elizabeth singing that at preschool. They are such sponges at this age. I'm glad your kugelhopf turned out, it looks beautiful! Love the new pan :) I have to notice that it looks like yours didn't rise much in the oven either, but you let yours rise until it was higher before putting it in the oven which I should have done. Great job this week working with yeast!

Steph said...

That was a hilarious story about your daughter. I wish my dough ended up rising like yours, it looks amazing! I even warmed mine up, but it only ever rose halfway until I decided to just bake it. Any more waiting and I think I was going to go crazy.

Di said...

Lol! Isn't it great the things that our children pick up when we're not paying attention? =) Your kugelhopf looks lovely. I love the new pan, too. Oh, and my husband is the one in this house who has been sucked into "Face-crack" as my sister calls it.

Laura said...

Okay, I must be completely out of touch (and :gasp: getting old) because I was thinking that cute little song was some sort of preschool thing until I got to the next paragraph. sigh - getting old, definitely.

Your explanation of Facebook is precisely why I have not yet gone on there to play (I've got a profile, but haven't done anything with it) - time sucking "black hole"...yeah, I can't do that to my family right now.

Your new pan and kugelhopf look lovely! So glad you got past your phobia. I love to make homemade bread, but this was too long with all the rising and that slapping down stuff.

Lady Baker said...

Cath, it looks amazing! I was bummed I did not have time to do it this week, but hope to conquer the Kugelhopf before the month is out!

Amanda said...

WOW!! Yours did rise a ton!!!! I really wish you could have somehow incorporated the Kuglehopf pan into one of the children's Halloween costumes- Jacob could have been a king! Thanks for all the advice- I really love when you make the recipes first. Also, I really really really really want Elizabeth to come to the office and sing that song. HAHAHAHA!!!

singletoncooks said...

I'm so jealous of your oven!! My oven is ancient and it's hard to even tell what temperature it's set at, let alone a proofing feature. Another thing to add to my wish list. My kugelhopf is still sitting in my oven (which I turn on "warm" for 2 minutes to get things to rise) waiting to rise and be baked.
I haven't done the whole facebook thing yet. I swore up and down that I wouldn't but my boyfriend and I have a bet . . . as soon as he reads Harry Potter I have to join facebook.
Congrats on the kugelhopf!

Candy said...

BEAUTIFUL! Gotta love the kiddos keep you on your toes.

Anne said...

You did great! I love the song comparison. It's crazy what kids are soaking up when you're not even watching!

I love the new pan and you should try the brioche next. It's even better and you cold totally do it if you can do this! Nice info about the proofing setting, too.... I'll have to look into that.

chocolatechic said...

Oh, yours looks lovely.

My dough didn't crawl up my hook.

I am thinking that maybe I didn't knead it long enough.

Melissa said...

You sound just like me. Too much rising and I realized I had to punch it down ever 30 minutes right as I was sticking it in the fridge and about to walk out the door for a late dinner with friends. I had to trust my husband to do it. But I'm glad it all turned out well and that you've enjoyed it!

spike. said...

Kuglehopf and flight of the concords sounds like a good pairing to me

Alwayzbakin said...

I wonder if my oven has that too! That's awesome. My dough flopped and wouldn't rise very much in the pan. And it didn't rise to the top of the pan in the oven, either. I also do not get along well with yeast. Your story about your daughter is so funny!

Cristine said...

Looks gorgeous!!!!

And your story cracked me up! It's amazing what 3 year olds pick up!

Jess said...

As usual, laughing out loud at your post. I'll have to be more selective in playing "grown-up" music around my daughter. Facebook is indeed addictive - in fact there is a TWD group there, although I don't think it's too active. Glad your kugelhopf worked so well!

Jamie said...

Your posts always make me laugh! My boyfriend's five year old LOVES that song as well. I actually have a recording of it on my cell. Your kugelhopf came out gorgeous...and that pan was such a nice gift from the hubby!

The DeL Sisters said...

So glad you got surprised with a new baking item!

Yours looks wonderful!

TeaLady said...

I am finding it hard to type while I laugh. Cook with love a vague instruction. HeeHee!!! Lucky you with an actual Kugel pan. I think I will look. Altho, here in small town south usa there won't be one. YOurs looks fantastic. Good for you.

The Blonde Duck said...

This looks delicious, but difficult! I probably wouldn't have gotten up to slap the dough around either!

bakingwiththeboys said...

Your rise is awesome and I am jealous of the "proofing" setting. Love the story about your daughter. Kids always bust you. When my niece was 3 she started singing G**damn at mass during the opening song. Her dad was in serious trouble.

Mary Ann said...

So first of all add me as a friend on facebook! If only I knew your last name, then I would go find you right now. I joined it this summer so I could spy on my younger brother for my mom, but it is addicting and I have be able to get in touch with people I haven't talked to for ages.
How fun that you got the pan!! I really wanted to do this one, but I couldn't fit it in, which is a bummer, because I usually try to not miss.
It looks like it turned out yummy and perfect, although time consuming :) I love all your pictures and really wish I could've tried it. Congrats! You are yeast are friends! maybe on facebook ? lol

Kayte said...

Great post...lots of fun reading you each week...LOL. Your Kugelhopf looks very wonderful and amazing...love it!

CB said...

Thanks alot Cathy! Now I have that song stuck in my head.
She turned around and gave that big booty a smack {Ayy}
She hit the flo {She hit the flo}
Next thing you know
Shawty got low low low low low low low low

(Imagine me dancing and my booty getting lower to the floor)
Oh yeah... kugelhopf. Right. Yours looks great. HAHA
Clara @ iheartfood4thought

Katrina said...

Great post. Best one I've read so far about this kugelhopf. Looks just like Dorie's pictures. You're a better person than me for trying it! ;)

Cathy said...

Okay Clara, so you had go and mention the booty smacking part, didn't you? I had almost convinced myself that it wasn't TOO terrible that my 3 year old has memorized this song. But I have no doubt that you cut up the rug in a big way when Flo Rida comes on the radio!

Pamela said...

Congratulations, Cathy! This was a real success for you. It does look beautiful and now I feel guilty for only making shortbread cookies.

By the way...I think Vincent might be able to sing back up for your little one on that song. I really need to start listening to different music! :o)

Great job on that kugelhopf, Shawty!

n.o.e said...

Your comment on my blog is so true! Now that my husband knows how fabulous the kugelhopf is, I think he'd drive home in the middle of the day for it! And I don't think I'll have any problem with the kugelhopf pan as a line item on my Christmas list. I've got my eye on 2 of them. Many of them are pretty big, though, like bundt pans are - 11 cups - and Dorie's recipe calls for a 8-9 cup mold. Maybe that's one reason why the dough didn't rise to the top of the pan for so many folks?

And my last sentence in my comment up above is pretty much a non-sequitur. What I meant is that my appliances have all kinds of cool attachments and helpful features, and I have no clue. e.g., the proofing setting on the oven, which I use every night to keep our bread/rolls warm for dinner, but never would have dreamed of using it for proofing yeast dough. THANKS for pointing that one out!

And the shredding blade on my food processor - which I just thought about last week - could have saved me lots of shredding aggravation in the past 6 months. Not to mention the dough hook that I cavalierly tossed somewhere. Yeah.

Nancy

Bridgett said...

I love the new pan! Sorry it wasn't your favorite.

Maria said...

That first story still has me laughing!! ha!
Glad you tried this one...looks great and I love the new pan, lucky you!

MacDuff said...

Oh holy hell that was funny. i seriously catch myself singing "To the windowwwwww...TO THE WALL!!! To the wall!!!!! How those females crawl!"

Your kugelhoph looks awesome. Did it get better as the days went on? Ours tasted better the second day (when I was drinking bourbon and watching Flight of the Conchords...)

And I want to take your oven out for a nice dinner and give it a long massage. My god, that thing is awesome.

AmyRuth said...

How EXCITING!!! Don't you just love new kitchen toys?!? Congratulations on your Kugelhopf. Now you can thank the Kugelhopf Academy for your award. You know the "BEAT the YEAST" award.
Seriously, very funny post. My college freshman daughter sits for a neighbor girl of 3 who hears her older brothers rap tunes and she knows all the moves and the words. Darn those little sponges. Pretty Funny. Strong work on the challenge this week. As always, I enjoy and look forward to your posts.
Thanks for stopping by - AmyRuth

steph- whisk/spoon said...

you showed yeast who's boss--this looks great!!

Jacque said...

Yea! you did awesome! It's hard to believe the dough rose that much in the pan, isn't it?

My take on it is "well, now I can say I've made kugelhopf". How many people can say that, really? LOL

Liz said...

WOW. This is, like, the perfect textbook version of kugelhopf. Definitely the most beautiful of all the ones I've seen so far! And bonus points for having a toddler who sings dirty song lyrics!

Proud Italian Cook said...

Cathy, I was cracking up at your post because just today I was watching my almost 8 yr old Grandaughter,she had the day off. So we decided to make some cookies together, and as shes rolling the dough, she starts singing this song about apple bottom jeans, and hitting the flo!!! Needless to say, I'll have to have a little talk with "Mommy"!!!

Nice Kugelhopf! and have a fantastic 10th! Have a wonderful time together!
Hugs, Marie

Aggie said...

I am laughing at your story about your little girl singing Flo Rida and T Pain! Too funny!!!

Oh...and my kids don't eat anything I make either! (from your profile!)

Your kugelhopf (??) looks delicious!

Shari@Whisk: a food blog said...

I agree that kugelhopf is not something you want to whip up for a special occasion birthday, but it is nice after a night of singing along with SingStar! ;) Kids these days, heh! Raffi or Flo Rida. Easy choice for the kids.

Matt said...

I have to learn not to eat or drink anything while reading your blog. I sprayed, coughed, and sputtered out a mouthful of wine when reading about your daughter's preschool rendition of Flo Rida and T-Pain! You're right. Kids absorb everything we say and do...

I want an oven with a proofing feature. Maybe that would have helped me with my kugelhopf. In the meantime, I am still stuck in my own yeastaphobia...

Kimberly said...

I laughed...so hard...about your daughter's song. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing. "With the fur" twice, eh...I needed that.

Yes, I avoided the kugelhopf, and now I'm glad.

 
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