Thursday, November 17, 2011

How to make a Gugelhupf

The typical Gugelhupf is baked in a ring-shaped mold and made with yeast.  With yeast, not with baking powder: important difference! This, at least, is what I learned and what my mother  and my  "Badisches Kochbuch" confirm.  The "Badisches" is the first cookbook I ever owned. It lectures extensively -yet without pictures- about the cuisine I grew up with.  Gugelhupfwise, I suppose, it's influenced by our brioche loving French neighbours...

To make a Gugelhupf is easy if you keep in mind some very important prerequisites:

  • close all doors and windows of your kitchen
  • turn on the heating; the temperature in your kitchen should be at least 21°C
  • ALL ingredients must have room temperature
  • you should plan about 3 hours for the whole process (you don't have to spend all this time in the kitchen; the dough has to rise several times, to be baked, to rest...) 

the dough:

500g flour
1sachet dry yeast
60g sugar
a pinch of salt
3 eggs
250g butter
1/4 l milk

 the filling:

200g walnuts,  finely chopped
4 tbs sugar
5 tbs rum

First mix the flour and the dry yeast, then add the remaining ingredients and kneed the dough ( with your hands or the dough hooks of your mixer) until it is soft and glossy. If it comes out sticky, add some more flour.
Dust the dough with flour, cover the bowl with a cloth and let it rise for one hour in the warmest corner of your kitchen.

Now you have time to prepare the filling: chop the walnuts and mix them with the sugar and the rum. Put them aside to allow the flavours to mingle.

One hour later: on a flour-dusted table spread the dough  into a rectangular form. Use your hands, you don't  need a rolling pin. Then spread the filling evenly onto the dough and roll it up lengthwise. Place it into the greased Gugelhupf mold. (Any ring-shaped mold is fine!)

Cover the mold and let the dough rise for another half an hour.

Put it into the preheated oven at 180° and bake it for 50 minutes. Have a look after 30 minutes; it might be necessary to cover it loosely with a tin foil to prevent the surface from overbrowning.

Let the Gugelhupf rest for about 10 minutes before you remove the mold. Finally dust it with icing sugar.

Et voilà: your Gugelhupf!

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