Kugelhopf

method

  1. Soak the raisins and dried cherries with the apple (or orange) juice while preparing the dough.
  2. Stir the flour, sugar, yeast and salt by hand in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the hook attachment. Add the milk and eggs and mix on low speed until most of the flour has been incorporated, then add the butter a few pieces at a time. Increase the speed by one level and knead the dough for about 5 minutes, until it becomes smooth and elastic. Add the soaked fruit and any excess juice and mix again until the fruit has worked in (you may have to pull the dough from the hook once or twice to better blend the fruit in). Place the dough in a clean, ungreased bowl, cover the bowl with plastic wrap and leave on the counter to rise until doubled, about 90 minutes, punching it down once halfway.
  3. Grease a Kugelhopf pan or 10-12 cup (2.5-3L) bundt pan. Arrange the blanched almonds in a nice pattern at the base of the pan (often there are divots where the almonds fit in.) Turn the dough out onto a flour-dusted work surface and shape the dough into a smooth boule (round ball), adding floured to your hands and the works surface as needed. Use your fingers to press a hole in the centre and stretch it enough that it fits into the kugelhopf or bundt pan. Cover this with a tea towel and let rise until it comes two-thirds up the pan, about an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 ºF (180 ºC). Bake the Kugelhopf for about 45 minutes, until a rich golden brown on the surface. While the kugelhopf is baking, prepare the hot glaze. Bring the sugar and water to a full boil, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Remove this from the heat and stir in the vanilla or almond extract. Keep the glaze warm to use.
  5. As soon as the Kugelhopf comes out of the oven, turn it out of the pan onto a cooling rack set over a baking tray. Spoon the hot glaze over the Kugelhopf, getting it to fully cover the bread – you can also use a brush to dip and brush the glaze in hard-to-reach places. Allow the Kugelhopf to cool completely.
  6. For the cool glaze, whisk the icing sugar and enough milk to make the glaze fluid but not runny. Spoon the glaze over the top of the Kugelhopf so that it drips over the side but doesn’t run all the way down the sides. You can use your spoon to coax drips where needed. Let this set for an hour to dry.

The Kugelhopf is best served within a day of baking.