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 tablespoon sugar, and the milk. Add 100g flour and mix again to have your starter dough. Add the leftover flour (400g) on the top of the starter dough, cover with a dishtowel, and let sit for 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 to 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 dish towel 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.
- Cover with a dish towel 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 approximately 45 min.
- Let it cool and sprinkle some icing sugar.