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Kugelhopf recipe with step-by-step photos. A kugelhopf is a yeasted bread, similar to a French brioche, which is perfect at breakfast or morning tea. Make this kugelhopf plain, with raisins or other dried fruits.



To prepare the dried fruit

  1. If you are using prunes, chop the prunes into 1 cm pieces.
  2. Soak the prunes (or other dried fruit) in the Armagnac (or warm water), preferably overnight if they are really dry. Otherwise, soaking them for as long as it takes for the dough to rise should be sufficient.

To make the dough

  1. Place the flour, sugar, salt and yeast into the bowl of an electric stand mixer and attach the dough hook.
  2. Add the egg and milk, and mix on medium speed for 6-8 minutes, or until the dough is soft, smooth and elastic in texture.
  3. With the motor still running, add the butter a bit at a time.
  4. Mix on medium speed for 5 minutes until the butter is thoroughly incorporated into the dough.

Proving the dough the first time

  1. Place the dough into a lightly oiled large bowl.
  2. Cover with a clean towel and leave it somewhere warm until it has doubled in size (about 1 hour). Alternatively, you can place the bowl in the fridge and let the dough rise slowly overnight. (See Kitchen Notes below)
  3. Meanwhile, generously butter a kugelhopf mould, about 20 cm or 8 inches wide.
  4. Place a whole almond in each of the grooves at the bottom of the kugelhopf mould.

Shaping the dough

  1. When the dough has doubled in size, punch it back lightly to knock out the air.
  2. Drain the prunes and lightly knead them into the dough.
  3. Shape the dough into a ball and poke a hole through the middle.
  4. Place the dough into the mould, and make sure that the middle of the mould is visible.
  5. Lightly brush the dough with some egg wash.

Proving the dough the second time

  1. Cover with a clean tea towel and, again, leave it somewhere warm to double in size (about 45 minutes). (See Kitchen Notes below)
  2. Once the dough has doubled in size, preheat the oven to 200°C (390°F) (without fan).

Baking the kugelhopf

  1. Brush the dough with some more egg wash and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean.
  2. If the kugelhopf is browning too quickly during the baking time, cover it loosely with some foil.
  3. Remove the kugelhopf from the oven and leave it to cool in the mould for 10 minutes before turning it out on a wire rack.
  4. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Kitchen Notes

* Please note that there is a difference between instant yeast (also called instant dried yeast or fast-action dried yeast) and dried yeast (also called active dry yeast). If you are not sure what type of yeast you have, please check the packaging for instructions on how to use the yeast.
* With instant yeast, you can add it directly to the flour mixture without having to activate it first.
* With dried yeast, you will need to activate it first as per the recipe above.

Given the butter content, it is easiest to make this kugelhopf using an electric stand mixer or a food processor fitted with a dough hook. However, you can, of course, make the dough by hand if you don’t mind a bit of an upper-body workout.

You can substitute the prunes for the same quantity of other dried fruit. You can also substitute the Armagnac for another liquor. The original recipe calls for Cognac, rum or brandy. If you prefer not to use alcohol, you could instead use fresh orange juice or even warm water.

The original recipe instructs you to leave the dough in the fridge overnight for the first session of proving. This method often produces a dough with a better texture. I’m an impatient person and prefer to let my dough rise in an oven at the lowest possible heat, around 50°C (120°F).

If you don’t have a kugelhopf mould, you can also use loaf pan. I would go one step further and proceed to bake them in a loaf pan as you would make brioche. That is:
* Line the loaf pan with baking paper and scatter the base with whole almonds.
* After the first session of proving, divide the dough into four pieces and place them side-by-side in the pan.
* Brush the dough with egg wash.
* Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to rise in a warm place as per the recipe.
* Before baking, use a sharp pair of scissors to make a deep incision in the middle of each section of dough (to create 8 pieces in total).
* Brush with more egg wash and proceed with the recipe.

This recipe is adapted from My Little French Kitchen by Rachel Khoo.

All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.

To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.