Well I am guilt-ridden when I am not working on my book...but I am unhappy when I don't make time for cooking: I am struggling to find a balance this summer. Today was very cool and a Sunday. So I indulged in a whole day of baking. Earlier I had promised thirschfeld a savory kugelhopf. Finally here is a gluten-free version. This pairs well with a dry brut, cava, or proseco. Because I only had manchego cheese, not gruyere, I then decided to cast a Spanish spin and add a pinch of saffron. I first enjoyed a classic version of this in the Alsace region of Europe where I lived for a few years. This cake had me at "hallo." It is much easier to make than a yeasted bread. The aroma will get you first....and then, the smokey eyes. —Sagegreen
Test Kitchen Notes
As I savory, gluten-free option, this kugelhopf is delicious and meaty in flavor. I used one package of active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp if you purchase it in larger quantities) as I wasn't sure if fresh yeast cubes came in different weights, so erred on the side of caution. If using manchego, I suggest not using one made from raw milk. I did and it slightly overpowered the subtle flavor of speck. Keep an eye on it around 35 minutes as the crust cooks very quickly. —Victoria Ross
cube fresh yeast or envelope of active dry yeast
whole eggs, beaten gently
pinch of Spanish saffron threads
gr.(@1/4 c) of German speck, minced (real Black Forest ham or Italian smoked meat can substitute)
(@1/4 cup) grated manchego cheese (or gruyere)
Meyer lemon zest (or regular lemon)
butter for pans
Add the rice flour, brown sugar, and potato starch to a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center. Add the yeast and eggs to the well. Mix quickly and then let rest for 10 minutes.
Add the saffron and salt to the lukewarm buttermilk (not warmer than 108 degrees). Beat in the softened butter. Add the minced speck, grated cheese,and zest to the milk mixture and then to the flour. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon for 10 minutes or 5 with a dough hook. Cover and let rise for an hour.
Generously butter the kugelhopf pans. Evenly divide and spoon the dough into the two pans. Allow these to rise for an hour.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees convection with fan or 375 regular. Bake the dual (@2.5 cup) loaves for about 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool in pan for 15 minutes, then turn out onto a rack for cooling. Best to eat same day: Any leftovers toast up beautifully later.