If somebody told me about a year back, that I would be baking a Kugelhopf one day, I would have probably given them a blank stare... like the ones you give when you hardly believe what the other person is saying yet you try not to express the disbelief in words... the silent 'Yeah right!!' kind of a look you know?
Leave aside this absolutely exotic bread, if someone had just told me I would be playing around with yeast and baking up bread every now and then... I would have given them the same stare of disbelief.
Not even in my dreams did I think baking bread is for me. But here I am today proudly presenting to you my latest bread - the Kugelhopf!
So all you fellow-amaetuer bakers toying on the idea of experimenting with yeast... take the plunge I say!! There will be no looking back I assure you! :)
Now, coming back to Kugelhopf... I had to check online on the exact pronunciation of this bread!! You should try it, its pretty cute the way he spells the 'hopf' part. And his voice.. oh my imagination pictured him to be a royal German soldier of yesteryear's!! :D
Well, what really is a this Kugelhopf?!! A Kugelhopf is a yeasted sweet cake well known in the Alsace region of France, as well as in Germany, Switzerland, and Austria, and variations of this are also found in some countries of Eastern Europe. This is also spelt as Kugelhupf, Gugelhupf or Kugelhoph in the various parts of the world.
However, this month is a savoury-bread month for the 'We Knead to Bake' group and Aparna decided to transform the usually sweet bread into a beautiful savoury one. And ta-da... here we have our savoury Kugelhopf!
Kugelhopf ideally has eggs in them, but then I prefer to keep my bakes egg-free and hence I made an Eggless Kugelhopf. The conversion is simple:
1 egg = 1 tbsp flax seed powder + 3 tbsp boiling water
It works like a charm and I got the similar kind of fluff in my bread,that eggs impart. And by going eggless, I managed to keep my dough less sticky. I used coarse flax seed meal instead of fine powder and hence my dough had a lovely dotted look to it.
Adapted from: My Diverse Kitchen
Makes: 1 large loaf
Prep Time: 2-3 hrs
- Dough preparation: 10 minutes
- First rise: 1 - 1.5 hrs
- Second rise: 1 - 1.5 hrs
[I halved all the ingredients for my bake. It works just fine.]
Instant Yeast - 2 tsp
Salt - 1 tsp (or to taste)
Butter - 75gm, at room temperature
Milk - 3/4 cupFlax seed Powder - 2 tbsp + Boiling Water - 6 tbsp (OR Eggs - 2, beaten lightly)
Oil - 1 tsp
Capsicum - 1/3 cup, chopped
Tomatoes - 1/3 cup deseeded, pulp-free and chopped
Onions 1 cup, finely chopped
Cheese - 1/2 cup, diced
Walnuts - 1/3 cup coarsely chopped
Black Pepper - 1 1/2 tsp, coarsely crushed
Italian Seasoning / Dried Herbs - 1 tsp
Mix together the flax seed powder and boiling water and set aside for few minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, put 3 cups of flour, yeast, and salt. If using a mixer, pulse a couple of times to mix, else mix with a ladle. Add the butter, a little at a time, and mix till incorporated.
Add the warm milk and mix till mixed. Now add the flax seed powder/water mixture OR eggs and process till mixed. You will now have a soft and sticky dough. Knead some more, adding more flour, a little at a time and just enough till the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Do not be tempted to add more flour than absolutely necessary.
Your dough will be very soft, elastic and just short of sticky. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and let it rise until double in volume. This can take from 1 1/2 hours to 2 1/2 hours.
In the meanwhile, heat 1/2 tsp oil in a pan. Add the chopped capsicum, the tomato and a pinch of salt and stir-fry till the raw smell disappears but the vegetables are still crisp/ crunchy. Remove and keep aside. To the same pan, add the remaining 1/2 tsp oil and saute the onions with a pinch of salt till they turn golden brown. Remove and add to the capsicum and keep aside.
Grease an 8” kugelhopf mould or bundt pan well especially around the centre. Even an ordinary loaf tin would do... like what I have used.
Once the dough has risen, deflate it. Then work the cheese, stir-fried onions, bell pepper and tomato, the remaining walnuts, black pepper and thyme into the dough. The best way to do this is to flatten the dough out and spread all this over the surface, fold the dough over and then knead it. This will ensure a more uniform incorporation of the “filling”. The dough will be a bit sticky, so use a scraper to help you with the kneading. Add only a little dough, if at all needed. Do not add too much flour!
Roll the dough into a longish log, long enough to fit into the mould comfortably.
If using a bundt pan, lift the “log” of dough and place it in the mould in a circular fashion and pinch the two ends together to close the “circle” of dough.
Cover and let the dough rise for about an hour or so, until it reaches the edge/ rim of the mould.
Bake the Kugelhopf at 200C (400F) for about 35 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when it is tapped. Unmould the Kugelhopf and let it cool on a rack. Slice and serve.
Note: I baked in a microwave oven with convection mode and the temperature of 180 worked just fine in my oven. After about 10 minutes, the crust had browned to my liking after which I took out the bread pan and covered it with aluminium foil and created scars all over it to allow heat to get in and bake the bread but not further brown the crust in the process. After this I quickly shoved the tin back into the oven to continue baking. Hence, adjust the temperature according to your oven.
Best eaten warm right out of the oven, when the bread is still soft and fluffy but I LOVED it then next day, lightly toasted over the stove with a dab of olive oil smeared on both sides. Ah... I couldn't decide if it was the crispness or the exotic blend of flavours that I loved more!