Italian Coffeecake Swirled with Dates, Pecans & Orange Zest

By • February 17, 2017 0 Comments

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Author Notes: This recipe was inspired by King Arthur Flour's Tuscan Coffeecake. The original recipe is made in a round cake pan, is not too sweet and uses dates, raisins and walnuts for the filling. I think this coffeecake should be made in a short coffee cake ring (aka Monkeybread pan). I added a bit more sugar and use Medjool Dates, pecans and orange zest for the filling. I also add Fiori Di Sicilia to flavor the bread in true Italian style. I like this bread sliced and toasted for breakfast. It also freezes nicely. Cut into slices before you freeze so you don't have to defrost the whole cake if you just want one piece.
COOKS NOTES This is a very slack dough. The dough should be soft and sticky but should not stick to the bowl when mixed enough. Add more flour if the dough seems too wet; just a tablespoon at a time. When the dough reaches the right consistency it should be smooth but very limp.
Lorraine Fina Stevenski

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Makes 16 slices

STARTER:

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cool water
  • 1/16 teaspoon instant yeast
  • DOUGH:
  • all of the starter (from the overnight rise)
  • 2/3 cup lukewarm water
  • 2-3/4 cups all-purpose flour, plus more if needed
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened, 1/2 stick
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 teaspoons instant yeast
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon Fiori Di Sicilia, from King Arthur Flour

FILLING:

  • 1 cup Medjool dates, remove tips and pits, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup pecan halves, toasted and coarsely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon orange or tangerine zest
  • cinnamon sugar blend
  • GLAZE:
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cool water
  • pinch of ground allspice
  1. MAKE THE STARTER THE NIGHT BEFORE BAKING: In a small mixing bowl, stir all the starter ingredients together into a ball. Cover with plastic and let rest overnight at room temperature. The mixture should double in size and look flat, dimpled and have a very yeasty smell. That's good!
  2. MAKE THE DOUGH: To a stand mixer bowl fitted with the dough attachment, add the starter and all the dough ingredients. Mix on low (2) speed until the dough is smooth and no longer sticks to the sides of the bowl. If the dough seems too wet, add more flour a tablespoon at a time. Mix for about 10 minutes. Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise for about 1 hour. This dough will not double in bulk and that's OK.
  3. Lightly spray and flour a short 10" coffeecake pan. On a lightly floured surface, turn out the dough. Pat into a rectangle about 15X8. Evenly sprinkle the filling ingredients over the surface of the dough to the edges. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Roll into a 16" log, push into a circle and pinch the edges together to seal. Place in the coffeecake pan, cover with plastic and let rise for an hour.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. MAKE THE GLAZE: In a small mixing bowl, stir all the glaze ingredients together to a smooth consistency. Place the filled coffeecake pan on a 1/2 sheet pan. Drizzle the glaze gently and evenly over the risen cake. Do not deflate the dough so be careful in pouring the glaze.
  5. BAKE THE CAKE: Bake the cake on a lower oven rack for 50-60 minutes. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes, cover loosely with foil and then continue to bake at 325 for another 30 minutes. Cool in the pan 15 minutes. Loosen the cake around the edges with a silicone spatula. Turn out on a platter and cool completely before slicing or freezing.

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