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Kouglof (Sweet brioche with raisins and almonds)
Servings: 16

25 g fresh yeast (1 oz)
120 ml milk (4 fl oz), boiled and cooled to lukewarm
15 g fine salt (1/2 oz)
500 g flour (1 lb 2 oz)
6 eggs
350 g butter (12 oz)
75 g sugar (3 oz)

200 g raisins (7 oz)
3 tb rum
100 g whole almonds (4 oz),skinned and very light toasted
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon milk
butter for the mould
icing sugar for dusting

You'll need a kouglof mold (1x3.5 litre/ 6 pints or 2x1.75 litre)
Traditionally, Kouglof (also spelt Kugelhopf or gougelhopf) is
baked in a tall, fluted mold. A savarin or baba mould can be used

Put the yeast and the milk in the bowl of your mixer and beat
lightly. Add the salt, then the flour and the eggs. Switch the
mixer on to medium speed and work the mixture with the dough hook
for about 10 minutes, until the dough is smooth and elastic with
plenty of body. If you are making it by hand, use a spatula and
work the dough for about 20 minutes.

Mix together the butter and sugar, reduce the speed of the mixer
to low and add the butter mixture to the dough, a little at a time,
working the dough continuously. When all the butter is incorporated,
increase the speed and mix for 8 to 10 minutes in the mixer or
about 15 minutes by hand, until the dough is very smooth and glossy.
It should be supple and fairly elastic and will be coming away from
the sides of the bowl.

Cover the dough with a baking sheet and leave it in a warm place
(about 24C / 75F) for 2 hours, until it has doubled in bulk.

Knock back the dough by punching it with your fist not more than
2 or 3 times. Cover it with a baking tray and refrigerate for at
least 4 hours, but not loner than 24 hours.

Put the raisins in a bowl with the rum, cover with clingfilm and
leave to macerate for several hours.

Generously butter the mould and place one-third of the almonds in
the bottom of the ridges.

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the chilled dough into a
narrow rectangle long enough to line the bottom of the mould. Chop
the remaining almonds and strew them and the rum-soaked raisins
over the dough. Roll out the dough into a fat sausage shape, pressing
it firmly together. Arrange it round the bottom of the mould and
press down lightly. Seal the two edges together with a very little
egg yolk-milk-mixture. Leave in a warm place (about 25C / 77F) for
about 2 1/2 hours, until the dough has risen to three-quarters fill
the mould.

Preheat the oven to 220C / 425F.

Bake the kouglof in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then lower
the temperature to 200C / 400F and cook for another 35 minutes. If
it is becoming to brown towards the end, cover it with greaseproof

Invert the hot kouglof on to a wire rack, carefully remove the
mould and return it to the oven for 5 minutes so that the centre
finishes cooking and becomes ligthly coloured. Leave to cool for
at leat 2 hours before serving.

Lightly sprinkle with icing sugar.

Kouglof freezes very well once cooked. Wrap in a plastic bag and
freeze; it will keep for several weeks. Be sure to take it out of
the freezer 2 or 3 hours before serving.


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