For the next celebration: Savory Kougelhopf

Let's face it, today I don't want to eat anything (at least not until diner time), I don't want to move much either, my couch, my TV and my DVD player are my best friends at this moment. I drunk 2 liters of tea so far, and ate 2 tangerines. It's all I need after the last two days, where meals seem to last so long that you don't know where one stops and the other starts.

I know aboundance is part of the christmas spirit, but still, 3 big meals in 2 days is a bit much to handle for me. But, I had a lovely Christmas, we had a great time, delicious meals and a fun time preparing everything. So even if the appropriate recipe for today would be something like a soup, I'm going to post something more "festive", that you can reapply for next week-end.

Because one of the problem of this time of year, is we're not quite done yet, New Year is still upon us, with it's partying and fancy diner. A classical appetizer around here on special occasions, is the Kougelhopf (or Kuglof, Kugelhupf, Gugelhopf... and oh so many ways). Based on a southern german tradition, it has many versions thru Europe.

The traditional one around here, is the sweet version with raisins and almonds, but I went for the savory recipe with speck (or bacon) and walnuts. If you don't have a stand mixer, you'll need more upper body strenght than I do, because it takes a lot of "beating" the dough. But hey, look at it the bright side, after all those family reunions, you might have some extra anger to express, and what better way to do it than baking!


For a 20 cm mould

400gr of Flour
25gr of Fresh Yeast
20cl of Tepid Milk
10gr of Salt
2 Eggs
150gr of Butter at room temperature
150gr of Speck, cut in cubes or slices (or Bacon)
100gr of Walnuts, plus about 10 whole ones to decorate

Crumble the fresh yeast in a bowl and combine it with 10cl of the milk, add 100gr of the flour and place it in a warm place until it doubles in size. It takes about 20 or 30 minutes.

Mix the rest of the flour with the eggs, the remaining milk and the salt for about 15 minutes to add air in the dough.

Add the butter, that you have cutted into cubes, little by little in the dough. Then add the yeast mixture to the dough, and work it until the dough detaches itself from the side of the bowl.

Cover the bowl with a clean cloth, and let it rise in a warm place (close to a radiator for instance) for 1 hour.

On a floured worksurface, place the dough and bring it back to it's original size, add the speck and the walnuts to the dough and work it for the minute or two to combine the ingredients well.

Butter the mould well, and place the whole walnuts on the lower part of the mould, so it would end up on top of the crown. Place the dough as evenly as possible in the mould, and let it rest until it rises to the edges of the mould.

Preheat the oven to 200°C and cook it for about 50 minutes. If the dough get too much color, cover it with a baking paper. Carefully invert the mould on a rack to let it cool down.

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