Kouglof, Kougelhopf or Kugelhopf is a brioche made with dry raisins and decorated with almonds, and it is a specialty from Alsace (France) that is traditionally cooked in a specific circular bundt cake mold made from enameled terracotta or copper.
I have never made a Kouglof before and I was excited to attempt to follow a recipe from Master Pastry Chef Christine Felder that I mentioned in one of my previous posts, Stollen from Christine Ferber.
I was not disappointed, as the Kouglof was delicious, moist, and flavorful with its touch of rum. It didn’t last for a very long time in my house :-)
Kouglof can be eaten for breakfast, as an appetizer with a glass of Gewurztraminer (white wine), or for dessert.
A Kouglof can usually be kept for 2 at 3 days well–packed in aluminum. When the Kouglof becomes too dry you can make French toast (well-known in French as “pain perdu”) or you can toast slices in the oven/toaster for a few minutes.
Kouglof (Christine Ferber)
For 1 kg of Kouglof dough
- 500 g flour
- 60 g sugar
- 250 ml whole milk (warm)
- 180 g butter (room temperature)
- 25 g fresh yeast (or 1 dry yeast package)
- 1 egg
- 10 g salt
- 100 g raisin
- 50 ml Kirsch or Rum
For the mold
- 50 g whole almond
- 20 g butter
For the decoration
- 15 g powder sugar
- The day before : in a bowl, macerate the raisins in the Kirsch or Rum.
- The same day : in the bowl of a stand mixer, mix the yeast, 1 tbsp sugar, and the milk. Add 100g flour and mix again to have your starter dough. Add the leftover of flour (400g) on the top of the starter dough, cover with a dishtowel and let set during 20 min in a warm place.
- Break the egg on the flour which covers the starter dough, add the salt and the left-over of sugar all around. Mix the dough slowly, at first with the dough hook, then knead vigorously for 5 to 8 min. The dough will become a slightly lighter shade and will be ready when it comes off the mixer's bowl.
- Add the butter in the dough and knead until well incorporated. Your dough will be soft and shiny. Drain the raisins and add them to the dough. Knead again for a few minutes.
- Put the dough in a big bowl. Cover with a dishtowel. Let it rest in a warm place for an hour and a half.
- When the dough has doubled in volume, roll it for a few seconds by hand. Cover again with a dishtowel and let it rest at room temperature for 40 min.
- Humidify the almonds by submerging them for one min. in very hot water. Butter well the bundt cake pan and inside of each groove of the mold, put a few almonds.
- Put the dough in the bundt cake pan.
- Cover with a dishtowel and let it rest for an hour and a half in a warm place. The dough must double in size.
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. When you are ready to put the Kougelhopf in the oven, lower the temperature to 360 F. Cook for approximatly 45 min.
- Remove the Kouglof from the mold by flipping it onto a grid.
- Let it cool and sprinkle some ice sugar.