The Fresh Loaf

A Community of Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts.

A Kugelhopf that isn't dry?

bshuval's picture

A Kugelhopf that isn't dry?

Hi all, 

Having recently bought the amazing Nordicware Kugelhopf pan, I just had to bake some kugelhopf. For my first attempt, I baked the kouglof from "Paris Sweets" by Dorie Greenspan. It seemed scrumptious, and since it is soaked in sugar syrup, I was sure it would be plenty moist. The dough is a lean brioche dough, made from 280 grams of flour, a little yeast dissolved in about a quarter cup of water, 2 eggs, 1 egg yolk, a couple pinches of salt, 25 grams sugar, and 115 grams of butter. 

I made the dough according to the directions, and got a silky smooth, beautiful dough, studded with raisins. I let it rise and retarded it as instructed, and then placed it in the greased pan. It filled about a third of the pan, and I was certain I needed more dough. Nevertheless, I let it rise, and it filled the pan completely. I baked the kouglof and immediately brushed it with the syrup. It was stunning to look at, smelled divine, but it was dry inside. My guests expected something cakier. The crust was delicious, though. Moreover, the raisins pretty much disappeared in the dough. As this is not a very sweet bread, this was slightly disappointing. 

I decided to try again. I gave Dorie's recipe a second chance, but with a few changes. This time, I doubled the amount of raisins (I actually used raisins, dried apricots, and chocolate chips). I was quite generous. Also, I have read that Savarin and Baba au rhum are soaked with hot sugar syrup when they are cold. I tried that here: I let the cake cool (it took about 30-45 minutes), made triple the amount of syrup, and poured it all over the cake. This was a better attempt: the extra filling made the cake much nicer. However, it was still dry. 

I haven't given up yet. I need to try a different recipe. I was wondering if anyone has any recommendations. The recipe in Tartine looks interesting. I am also thinking of making a richer brioche dough (I like the one by Richard Bertinet), and adding some soaked raisins and other goodies to it. Any other suggestions would be most helpful. 

PaddyL's picture

The only thing I can think of is if you poked small holes in the top of the cake and then drizzled it with the glaze.

GermanFoodie's picture

the way I know it has a caky, but sweet-bread-like texture. The dough is kind of tricky to work w/, but it shouldn't be THAT dry. If it filled your pan completely, it may have been overproofed - the oven should give it that last push, it should at best have doubled. Also, I have only ever seen it dusted w/ powdered sugar. Last but not least, this cake traditionally is not terribly sweet, which is probably why that one recipe you had drowned it in syrup. But b/c it is usually eaten w/ a young wine, it's not supposed to be that sweet. I can try and dig up a recipe for you and see if you have any success w/ it.

gary.turner's picture

I have made  the Tartine version, and found it remained moist and fresh tasting for several days in a covered cake carrier from Tupperware;  even after slicing. The key, from what I've been told, is using brandy, rum, or whiskey to soak the raisins. I used an apricot brandy. I also soaked the apricots. It has been suggested to me, but not yet tried, to use some of the soaking liquor in place of an equivalent amount of water.

I don't think I'd use any sort of glaze/syrup on it. A bit of confectioner's sugar sprinkled on is more than sufficient. It's not supposed to be all that sweet.



nicodvb's picture

are in my opinion the most likely cause of the dryout. The recipe you followed seems good to me, but I'd replace egg whites with plain water or milk.

I had the same effect in several occasions, until I discovered that the proteins in egg whites sqeeze out water while coagulating during baking.

Babas are made with whole eggs exactly because they have to dry out in order to absorb the soaking liquid.

annjamaican's picture

how well is your pan covered during the final proof? I have to cover mine top and bottom because of the center hole. It's still a little dry but it's an excellent texture for having with coffee.