Guglhupf | Kougelhopf | Alsatian Brioche

When in Alsace

After hours of driving from Germany, L’Atelier De Yann was the first place in France to sit down and have some rest. Located in central Colmar, next to the cathedral and our rented apartment, it was my first impression on French desserts. Though bretzels and croissants got most of my attention during that trip, elegant Kougelhopf was among the treats I pointed to first when placing my order.

L’Atelier de Yann
Address: 10 Place de la Cathedrale, 68000
Phone: +33 3 89 20 01 00

Kougelhopf, L'Atelier De Yann, Colmar, France
Kougelhopf, L’Atelier De Yann, Colmar, France
Kougelhopf, L'Atelier De Yann, Colmar, France
Kougelhopf, L’Atelier De Yann, Colmar, France

No matter what your eating priorities are in this region of France, you would at least notice this Alsatian brioche displayed literally everywhere.

Kougelhopf, Colmar, France
Kougelhopf, Colmar, France

And the next thing you see everywhere in Alsace is ceramic Kougelhopf molds. Aren’t they attractive? It was tempting to bring one home, but the practicality of buying this relatively heavy and fragile object in the middle of the trip was questionable.

Ceramic molds for Kougelhopf
Ceramic molds for Kougelhopf

“Qu’ils mangent de la brioche”

What we call brioche is a bread highly enriched with milk, eggs, and butter. The more eggs and butter in the ratio, the puffier the bread, the more tender its crumb, the longer it stays fresh and soft (read it as moist). Similar dough recipes exist in many cuisines and have different uses. Differently shaped and cooked, brioche is loved all over the world. There are many recipes to choose from, even in my online recipe collection:

Alsatian brioche can be less sweet and served with foie gras and Riesling and can be sweeter and served as a dessert with coffee.

Guglhupf | Alsatian Brioche, Foie Gras, Riesling
Guglhupf | Alsatian Brioche, Foie Gras, Riesling

How to Give Experiences Instead of Gifts

My Gugelhupf mold is made of 1.5mm thick solid copper and lined with a non-stick ceramic “Premium-CeraSigno-Versiegelung.” It’s unique state-of-art bakeware from Germany by Kupfermanufaktur Weyersberg GmbH I got a gift for my birthday from a friend who inspires me to learn more about German and Alsatian cuisines through her amazing historical discoveries, references, and stories. The ratio of ingredients for this recipe comes from my friend’s blog. Thank you, Anna!

Guglhupf | Kougelhopf | Alsatian Brioche

Prep Time2 hrs
Cook Time50 mins
Total Time5 hrs 50 mins
Course: Bread, Dessert
Cuisine: Austrian, French, German
Keyword: almond, bread, breakfast, cake, dessert, French, German, lycooking, lyukum cooking lab, recipe
Servings: 1 6" cake

Ingredients

  • 165 g wheat flour all-purpose, King Arthur brand
  • 3 g Saf Instant Yeast
  • 100 ml milk whole
  • 70 g butter European style, unsalted
  • 2 g kosher salt
  • 30 g sugar
  • 2 each egg yolk
  • 50 g raisins
  • 15 each almonds
  • 2 tbsp rum for soaking raisins
  • 1 tsp honey for soaking almonds
  • 3 tbsp butter melted, for brushing baked cake
  • 3 tbsp sugar fine, for dusting baked cake

Instructions

  • In a small nonreactive bowl, combine 2 tbsp rum and 2 tbsp water. Submerge raisins and let soak until plump, for about an hour.
  • In another small bowl, combine almonds, honey, and enough cold water to submerge nuts. Let soak for about an hour.
  • In a small pan, combine milk, salt, sugar and gently heat it over low heat until salt and sugar are dissolved. Add eggs and whisk lightly to combine.
  • In a stand mixer bowl, combine sifted flour and Saf yeast. (Note: Saf yeast doesn't need presoaking/activating in advance. If using another dry yeast, follow instructions on the packaging.) Add room temperature milk mixture. Using K-shaped attachment and "stir" speed, combine all ingredients. Switch to high speed and knead the dough for 5 minutes. Add cubed room temperature soft butter and stir to combine. Switch to high speed again and knead the dough until it all gets together around the attachment, sides of the bowl almost clean.
    Guglhupf | Brioche Dough
  • Shape the dough into a ball, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough ferment at room temperature until it doubles in volume, for about 1 hour.
  • Strain raisins and if they are large, chop them to pea-size pieces. Deflate the dough and fold in the raisins.
  • Preheat the oven 325F. Butter the mold generously with butter. Place the soaked almonds on the bottom, one almond into each cavity.
    Guglhupf | Almonds on the bottom of the mold
  • Shape the dough into a long cylinder and gently place it into the mold on top of the almonds. Make sure there is no air trapped between the almonds and the dough. Your mold should be half filled or less.
    Guglhupf | Brioche Dough
  • Let the dough rise again until it fills the mold to the top and a little higher.
    Guglhupf | Brioche Dough
  • Bake for about 40-45 minutes, until the top is golden brown. Immediately take the cake out the mold, brush it with melted butter and dust with sugar. Let cool to room temperature and serve.
Kougelhopf| Guglhupf | Alsatian Brioche