Monday, December 21, 2009
Walnut Coffee Cake - Blue Monday
As you read this, we'll be on our way to Texas for the first leg of our Christmas adventures. We'll be in Austin through the 26th and then head to Connecticut to meet our newest heir and greet the New Year. While my correspondence may suffer, there will be a new recipe and a, hopefully, pithy observation each day I'm gone, so please don't be strangers. I'll do my best to respond to your comments, but should reality trump intent, know I'll be back and in fine fettle for the New Year.
The walnut coffee cake featured today is the very nicest surprise of my Christmas baking adventures. I stumbled on the recipe and clipped it to use as a filler, never expecting it to become a holiday superstar. It is a wonderful yeast bread that is decidedly simple to make. It requires patience rather than kneading. The dough is mixed and then put to bed for the night in the refrigerator. It is filled, rolled and baked the following day. While there are several steps required to make this, none of them are difficult and no special equipment is required. The loaves can be frozen, but if you choose to take that route don't frost them until they've been thawed and are ready to serve. The loaves are very sticky, so don't let them sit for more than 15 minutes in their pans. When you turn them out, cover your cooling rack with plastic wrap or parchment paper to keep them from sticking to the ribs of the rack. Once cool, they'll be fine and the paper can be removed from the bottom of the loaves. This cake comes very close to being my all-time favorite coffee cake. It would be in first place if it weren't for the fact I know that there is another one out there that is just waiting to be discovered. On a scale of one to five, this cake is easily a five. Please try it.
Over-Night Walnut Coffee Cake...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite, courtesy of Epicurean.com
4 cups flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, softened
4-1/2 teaspoons (2 pkg.) active dry yeast
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup warm water
1 cup cold milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons melted butter
3/4 cup butter
1-1/2 cups powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups finely chopped walnuts
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 tablespoon hot water
1) In large mixing bowl, combine flour, 1/4 cup sugar and salt. Cut in butter until it resembles corn meal.
2) In small bowl, combine yeast with 1 tablespoon sugar and warm water; stir to dissolve.
3) In another bowl, combine eggs, milk and vanilla; stir until well combined. Stir in yeast mixture, then add to flour mixture with a wooden spoon mixing until well combined and a rough dough forms. Cover bowl with plastic wrap; refrigerate overnight.
4) When ready to proceed, cream butter. Gradually beat in gradually beat in powdered sugar and vanilla. Spread 2 tablespoons of mixture in bottom and up sides of two 9 x 5 loaf pans. Reserve remainder for filling. Sprinkle 1/4 cup chopped nuts in bottom of each pan.
6) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
7) Divide dough in half. On lightly floured board, roll each half to a 10 x 18 inch rectangle. Spread each half with remaining filling, then sprinkle each with 1/2 cup chopped nuts. Cut each half cross wise into 3 equal strips, 6 x 10 inches long. Starting at long edge of each strip, roll up jelly-roll style to form 10-inch long rolls; twist slightly. Braid 3 rolls together; place in pans, tucking ends under.
8) Bake for 50 - 55 minutes. Remove from pans; frost when cool.
9) To make frosting, place powdered sugar, butter, corn syrup and water in a small bowl and combine until smooth. Add additional water as need to make a heavy but pourable icing. Yield: 2 loaves/cakes.
This post is being linked to:
Smiling Sally - Blue Monday
Wild Yeast - Yeast Spotting