Pastry chef Christine Ferber's not-too-sweet kugelhopf recipe has just a few choice raisins per slice. The classic Alsatian Christmas cake is baked in a distinctive ring mold. Traditional kugelhopf molds are available online, but in a pinch, a standard fluted cake pan works, too. Note: Don’t rush the mixing and fermentation periods for this dough; the flavor and open-crumb structure of the delicate cake are at their best when allowed to develop slowly.
Featured in: The Incredible Kugelhopf of Christine Ferber
- 1⁄2 cup raisins
- 2 tbsp. kirsch
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tbsp. plus 1 tsp. fresh yeast
- 2⁄3 cup plus 2 3⁄4 cups bread flour (1 lb. total, divided)
- 2 tbsp. superfine sugar
- 2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 large egg
- 13 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus more for greasing
- 1⁄3 cup whole almonds
- Confectioners sugar, for dusting
Note: Fresh cake yeast, which dissolves well in cool liquid, is the ideal leavening for heavily enriched, high-hydration doughs like this one. Look for it in the fridge or freezer section of well-stocked grocery stores. Can’t find it? Substitute one third the quantity by weight of instant dry yeast; in this case, 1 2⁄3 teaspoons.