Because it is the best breakfast in the whole wide world, because it is the best breakfast in the universe, because it is Alsatian, because it is so beautiful, because it is so goooood…
Today, I’m presenting the most obvious recipe for a foodblog “made in Alsace” : the Kouglopf! (drumrolls)
Let’s be clear, there is an issue: how to spell it??!! There are several ways, I don’t know if one is the real original one… Still, help yourself: kouglof, kougelhopf, kugelhopf, kugelopf, kugelhopf …
It is the oldest pastry made with yeast you can find, basically it is the ancester of all kind of brioche… Nothing less! The kouglopf history goes back to the 17th century. But if you had to remember just one detail, remember that some guy named Stohrer introduced the kouglopf in France. Does this name ring a bell to you?? 😉
Before rushing to the recipe, we can not talk about kouglopf without mentioning the specific mold it is baked in. The famous place for kouglopf molds making is the city of Soufflenheim. They manufacture all sorts of pottery dishes or molds with the specific varnish. Even if you can bake your kouglopf in a metal mold with the famous hole in the center, it will always have a better taste in a terracotta mold. This mold will help with a perfect temperature distribution, it will prevent your kouglopf from drying too much during baking and that makes all the difference between a good kouglopf and an amazing one!
Before revealing the famous recipe from Chef Christophe Felder (I know, him again!! 😉 ), I have to tell you that making a kouglopf does take a little while. As any yeast based pastry, you will need two resting periods. 5 hours seems a reasonable time. After that, you’ll have to wait some more for your kouglopf to cool down…
A few more remarks for a real success in the making of this recipe…
It starts with the preparation of a leaven. Nothing complicated here, don’t worry. The only point I wanted to underline is that you will have to cover your leaven with flour without kneading!! Let is rest and grow, the flour should appear like on my pic below.
Be aware that you’ll have to knead for quite a while. The use of a food processor like my kMix by Kenwood seems mandatory.
I also suggest to put enough butter and flour in your mold if you want to be able to unmold your kouglopf easily… Once buttered and floured, place the almonds and then the dough.
This recipe works for a 18-20 cm diameter mold plus a 8 cm diameter one.
Also, you have to let your dough rest as mentionned. The times are estimated, they will depend on your room temperature, the humidity level. I always leave with dough to rest in my bathroom, it seems to be the right place for me. Avoid air currents… Finally (yes we’re almost there !!) your kouglopf should be like on the pic below before baking. It will grow some more in the oven.
This time, we’re all set! The recipe, Chef!
- 5 g yeast powder
- 35 g water at 20 degrees
- 50 g flour
- 80 g raisins
- 2 tablespoons rhum (white or brown)
- 225 g flour
- 1 egg
- 125 g slightly warm milk
- 40 g sugar
- 4 g salt
- 65 g soft butter
- Iced sugar for decoration
Take a small bowl and place the raisins in it. Pour the rhum. It will marinate during the whole time. Mix with a spoon from time to time.
In your food processor bowl, mix the water and yeast with a spatula. Pour the 50 g of flour and make a little dough. This is your leaven.
Cover the leaven with 225 g of flour without kneading! Let it rest for half an hour in a warm and rather humid place.
After 30 minutes, add the egg, the soft butter, the sugar, salt and milk in the bowl.
Knead for 7 minutes at low speed (2 on a scale from 1 to 6) then 3 minutes at higher speed (4 on a scale from 1 to 6). At this point the dough should come off the bowl.
If not, add one tablespoon of flour and knead again for 2-3 minutes. Start again if needed.
Drain the raisin, add them to your dough and knead at low speed.
Cover with a linen and place in a warm and rather humid place for approximately 1h30. The dough should be twice as big.
Butter and flour your mold. Place the almonds.
Spread some flour on your workplan. Place the dough and work it gently in order to remove the gas. Make a ball shape.
Place the dough in your mold, cover with the linen and set aside in a warm and rather humid for 2 hours.
When your dough is puffy enough, preheat your oven at 170 degrees.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes.
Unmold as soon as you remove the mold from the oven and let cool down on a grid.
When your kouglopf is at room temperature, spread with iced sugar.
You can replace the almonds by flaked almonds or walnuts.
And for more enjoyment, you can melt a bit of butter (30 g approx). Once your kouglopf is unmolded, brush it with melted butter. Then spread a sugar and cinnamon mixture. It’s to die for!!