Wednesday, June 11, 2008

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Something's A Kuchen

Last week I was doing what I do best and I was talking about food and baking. Because I am such a professional I was doing all this at work and in front of the big bosses (Hi Edgar! Hi Steve!). I had just received my box from Amano and was so excited that you would have thought I won the lotto or something. Somehow the topic of puff pastries came up and I was going on about how cool I thought puff pastry was (layers of dough and butter are cool in my book). Then Steve asked me if I had heard of kuchen and if I had done any ethnic desserts. I had never heard of kuchen and never made any ethnic desserts unless I made it through TWD or Daring Bakers. That night I set out to find a recipe for kuchen and I found a few but I wasn't satisfied because they didn't seem authentic. The benefit of my search is that I found out what kuchen was; "kuchen" itself is the German word for cake and can refer to sweets such as coffee cake pastries and pie-like pastries. I also found out that it's the state dessert for South Dakota. (Click here to read more on kuchen.)

I emailed Steve the next day and he was kind enough to give me the recipe from a German Lutheran cookbook he had. When I saw the recipe I was impressed. The author of this recipe must have loved to make kuchen because the ingredients could have cleared out a supermarket. Just to give you an idea, the original recipe called for 14 cups of flour. I quartered the recipe and was still left with a huge amount of kuchen. Since I have never had kuchen before I have no idea if what I made is what a kuchen is supposed to taste like. Either way, it tasted good (especially with a glass of milk). This dessert is not for those counting carbs because it is loaded with flour. The dough in this recipe came out more like a bread than a cake, so once it was baked it was dense. The streussel topping was perfect because it highlighted the sweetness of the dough. As I sit here eating a slice I think a honey butter would go perfect as a spread.

Thanks Steve for the recipe!


3-4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup milk
4 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp, plus 1/8 tsp yeast
1 Tbsp warm water


3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup flour
4 Tbsp butter
1 tsp cinnamon

Combine the flour and the salt in a bowl and set aside.
1. Heat milk, butter, and sugar over low heat in a small saucepan. Once warmed, set aside and let cool
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the eggs with a fork.
3. In another another bowl combine the yeast and the warm water. Add this mixture to the eggs.
4. Slowly add 1/4 cup of the milk mixture to the eggs and combine (this will temper the eggs and prevent them from scrambling). Slowly add the rest of the milk mixture to the eggs.
5. Using the dough hook attachment, add the flour 1 cup at a time to the liquids. (Note: this dough is sticky!). Knead the dough for at least 10 minutes.
6. Transfer the dough to a lightly greased bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let it sit in a warm place for at least an hour. Once it has risen, place the dough in a greased pan (I used a 9 inch springform pan) and let it sit for 30 more minutes. At this time, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
7. Combine the ingredients for the streussel and sprinkle over the kuchen.
8. Bake for 45-60 minutes, or until a knife inserted comes out clean.
9. Remove from oven and cool.
10. Cut yourself a slice and enjoy! (Make sure to store the kuchen in an air-tight container.)

Fresh out of the oven

All sliced up.

Pretty dough.

Enjoy your slice :)


bethanyjg said...

The texture looks beautiful! I am sure that he will be impressed!

Monica said...

I am jealous that you got to try that and I didn't. It looks yummy and fluffy!

Linds said...

Yum, that looks delicious! My husband's late German grandfather owned a bakery and he is always talking about missing 'Grandpa's treats'- I think I may surprise him with this one. :)

Cara said...

That looks delicious! all that cinnamon sugar on top sounds heavenely.

Tag, you're it! See my blog :)

SpinachNPeace said...

that looks really yummy!

too bad i stink at baking. i cant measure stuff:(