Spring yard sale season is in full swing here in East Hampton with treasures galore to be had for a pittance. Witness my new Wilton kugelhopf pan – never used, label intact though showing the benign neglect earned by long storage under sub-optimal conditions. No matter, it was well worth its 25¢ price tag.
And not just any label, but one with a recipe! The Wilton recipe isn’t all that different from SpecD’s earlier Kugelhopf, the biggest difference being double the amount of yeast. Hence this version seems a little lighter. I kind of miss the brandy bath the raisins got in my first version, but the orange glaze and the attractive swirling runnels of this new mold make it worth the time.
To the uninitiated, kugelhopf is a cakey bread very much along the lines of Italian panettone. Just a little fancier in shape, and who wouldn’t want that?
2 packages dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water (100°)
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 cups half and half
3 large eggs
1/2 cup unsalted butter (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup raisins soaked in 1/2 cup warm water
- Dissolve yeast and 1 Tablespoon sugar in water. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes.
- Combine flour, yeast mixture and half and half in bowl of a stand mixer. Mix together, adding eggs one at a time, until a smooth paste forms. Blend in butter, remaining sugar and salt. Beat until very elastic, 10 minutes or more. The dough should pull away from the sides of the bowl, and pull of the paddle of the mixer cleanly.
- Drain raisins and fold into dough. Pour dough evenly into buttered and floured kugelhopf pan. Cover lightly and let raise until double in bulk, approximately 1 1/2 hours. Bake at 350° for 60 minutes. Unmold immediately.
- When cool, make glaze: Grate the rind of 1 orange to make 1 teaspoon of fine zest. Add 1/4 cup confectioners’ sugar, stir with a fork to distribute the zest. Squeeze half the orange, and add a dribble of juice 1/4 teaspoon at a time, stirring after each addition, until you make a thick, runny glaze. If it gets too runny, add more sugar. Spoon a bit of the glaze over the crown of the loaf, so that the glaze runs down the rivulets on the sides. Repeat until the glaze is evenly distributed over the entire cake.