My dear food lovers and gourmets, here is a delicious Kugelhopf recipe (it’s sometimes written as kouglof in French). It’s perfect for an afternoon snack, for breakfast, for dessert or even for aperitif (especially with a savoury variant)…Kugelhopf is kind of the King of cakes or patisseries in Alsace.
One of the stories about the origins of this brioche, states that the Alsatian brioche actually comes from Bethlehem. A Wise Man, while exiting the nativity scene, had forgotten his hat, a turban in gold thread set with diamonds, and almond-shaped. This headgear would then have been brought back to Strasbourg by a crusader, and would have been used as a baking tin for a pâtissier in town. And then was born the Kugelhopf, a word that means “turban” in Alsatian.
Kugelhopf is indeed quite elegant. To optimize the success of your Kugelhopf, you will need a beautiful terracotta mould. If you have one from a grand-mother that has already been used, it’s even better: doesn’t the French expression say that we cook the best jams from old pots? Well it’s kind of the same thing with Kugelhopf baking moulds… It’s good to know that the more you’ll bake Kugelhopfs, the better they’ll be. And remember, don’t wash them! It may seem strange, but when your Kugelhopf will be taken out of its mould, let it cool down and only clean it with a dry cloth.
For the other ingredients of this recipe, there is nothing really complicated: some Sultanas, marinated in rhum, good almonds for decoration, and your Kugelhopf will definitely make a splash!
Ingredients for a Kugelhopf
- 500g flour
- 25g bread yeast
- 20cl milk
- 125g butter
- 100g sugar
- 80g dried Sultana grapes
- 2 eggs
- 50g almonds
- 10g salt
- A Kugelhopf mould, ideally in terracotta just like this one
Crumble the bread yeast in 10cl of lukewarm milk, add 100g of flour and mix until getting a slightly soft dough: the levain. Let it rise in a lukewarm place.
Let your Sultanas soak in lukewarm water.
In a container, knead vigorously the flour, the eggs, the rest of the milk, the sugar and the salt for about 10 minutes, until the dough doesn’t stick anymore.
Incorporate the softened butter and the levain, which should now have doubled in volume. Work on the dough a bit more, cover it with a cloth and then let it rise for one hour in a lukewarm place.
After this time, knock back the dough and incorporate the drip-dried Sultanas.
Butter the Kugelhopf mould, put two almonds per groove at the bottom and pour the dough in the mould.
Let the dough rise a second time, until it rises above the edge of the mould.
Put in the oven at 180°C and bake it for about 40 minutes.
Photos of the Kugelhopf recipe