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
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.
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:
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!