One of the things I love about Tuesdays with Dorie is that it makes me bake things that I might not otherwise try for a long time. Who knows how long I would have been intimidated by brioche if it hadn't been for Peabody and the Brioche Raisin Snails? =) And after making brioche (twice, since we also made Sticky Buns), kugelhopf wasn't bad at all.
Both brioche and kugelhopf are yeast breads enriched with butter and eggs. But for the kugelhopf, I got to buy a cool new pan! Dorie says that the cake can be made in a regular bundt pan in a pinch, but I'm not all that thrilled with the bundt pan I have, and I've been looking for a good reason to invest in a better one. So on our way home from grocery shopping Friday night, Brianna and I stopped by Sur la Table. We also came away with one of these for Brianna. (Chocolatechic, that one's for you. =) )
This recipe is definitely not a quick, throw-it-together-at-the-last-minute sort of thing. First you have to mix and knead the dough, which can take a while (though at least your mixer can do most of the work). Then it can take a couple hours to rise, which isn't surprising with an enriched dough like this. Then into the fridge it goes for an overnight rest. In the morning, you transfer the dough to a kugelhopf or other pan and let it rise again. Since the dough is so cold to start, I definitely recommend finding a nice warm spot for it. Warming up your oven just a bit then turning it off before placing the pan inside works quite well. Once the dough has risen almost to the top of the pan, you take it out to preheat the oven. The actual baking time isn't too bad--about 25 minutes for mine. The only problem I had was that there wasn't really enough dough for my mixer to knead well. I think I'd be better off doubling the recipe and then freezing half the dough for later.
A few notes I forgot when I was writing this last night... I used 4 1/2 ounces as my weight for a cup of flour. I used instant yeast instead of active dry, and cut it back to about a teaspoon. Since I was using instant yeast, I mostly ignored Dorie's mixing instructions. I mixed the dry ingredients together in my mixer with the paddle. Then I whisked the milk and eggs together and mixed them into the flour mixture. I switched to the dough hook and worked in the butter, then kneaded the dough for about 10 minutes. Then I stirred in the raisins.
The verdict? I really enjoyed it. Brianna tasted it, but didn't care for it; no surprise there. Gillian liked it just fine. Jamie liked it, but expected it to be sweeter. Of course, maybe it would have been if I hadn't forgotten to put the powdered sugar on it. Oops. I'd like to try a few changes next time, though. I think a bit of nutmeg in the dough would be tasty. And it definitely needed more raisins (or other dried fruit, for all you raisin-haters =) ). I did try Dorie's suggestion of toasting some leftover bread/cake and putting jam on it--that was really tasty.