Hungarian Braided Coffee Cake
Delicious Holiday Breakfast Coffee Cake
First thing, and don't let it scare you, is that the next time you roast a chicken you need to save a little of the chicken fat. That ingredient is also known as schmaltz, which you can make from scratch and keep on hand.
Don't worry if you don't have any on hand, or if you decide against it, you can still bake this lovely breakfast bread. Just know that the chicken fat adds a certain "je ne sais quoi pas" that is fabulous. Know that it can add flavor to noodles and vegetables, too.
Okay, Ready To Bake?
It will feed a family of 6, unless they are swept away by your wonderful home baking talents and gobble more than their fair share.
As with all recipes, you can substitute the fat that you feel best using, add the raisins or not, etc. but if you want the authentically delicious taste, stick with the recipe.
Yeast Raised -Approximate Cook Time
- 5 cups Flour, Sifted
- 1 Tbsp. Sugar
- Small amount Water, heated
- 1 package Yeast
- 1 Tbsp. Chicken Fat, melted
- 1/2 lb. Butter
- 1/2 stick Margarine (or butter)
- 3/4 cup Sugar
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 Rind of Lemon, grated
- 3-4 Egg Yolks
- 1/4 tsp. Vanilla
- 2 cups Golden Seedless Raisins
- 2 cups Warm Milk
- Cinnamon and Sugar, Mixture
- Place flour in a large bowl and make a hole in the middle.
- Add yeast, sugar, and warm water in center to activate the yeast. Let stand 1/2 hour.
- Cut up butter, margarine and add chicken schmaltz. Then add to flour mixture with the 3/4 cup sugar, salt, lemon rind, vanilla, egg yolks, and warm milk.
- Knead until bubbles appear.
- Let dough rest until it rises.
- While waiting for dough to rise, soak raisins in some hot water for about an hour. Squeeze out water and then add to risen dough.
- Then knead dough well. Allow dough to rest.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Grease a large tube pan (angel food cake pan).
- Divide dough into 2 pieces shaped into balls. Roll out each like thick pie dough, sprinkle with cinnamon sugar and roll up tightly.
- Twist each into a rope, braid together, then spiral into the angel food pan.
- Allow to rise for final time in the pan, then bake for an hour at 350 degrees.
Oma's Tube Pan Breakfast Coffee Cake
Another Name For This Coffee Cake
German's call this type of cake Kugelhoph
More eggs, less fat, and I love Oma's helpful tips.
My grandmother's recipe has more shortening and is a rolled dough, rather than a soft batter cake.
You may notice in some of the old recipes that the amount of eggs and fat can seem more than what you are used to. I think many of the changes came about when sugar was not so dear, and before the large amounts of egg and fat became frowned upon.
Speaking of fat, many older recipes called for lard, and until recently that was the preferred shortening for pie crust. It is still considered more a more flavorsome ingredient than vegetable fats.
When I was first cooking in the sixties and seventies, you find "Oleo" or margarine is widely called for. This is no longer considered a more healthy choice, and I haven't bought margarine in years.
If you want a healthier diet the answer is probably to take much smaller portions of the carb-laden cakes and add fruits to bring out full flavor, make it more filling and satisfying. I am of the opinion that it isn't cutting out desserts, but cutting down amounts that is the answer. Maybe that is a cop-out because I love them so much.
European Directions for Similar Coffee Cake
Using Bundt Pans for Coffee Cakes
Many coffee cakes are simply baked in square pans, but if you have a larger recipe like this one a bundt pan gives a much prettier presentation. In line with the original intent of serving a simple delicious sweet when company drops by, makes this pan a real boon to the baker.
While there are variations in form, most have a decorative shape with a central opening. This center circle is perfect for some flavored whipped cream! Or simply dust the finished, cooled cake with confectioners sugar.
Bundt forms have some beautiful curves for drizzles and glazes, too.
Don't underestimate how this shape will add to the tempting look of your cake.
Fat In Your Diet
People who give you Hungarian recipes so often say, "It isn't for dieters" or tell you it is unhealthy in some way. The recipes do traditionally incorporate plenty of dairy and fat, usually in the form of sour cream and butter. But also with nuts and eggs, etc.
The new nutritional information that is transforming what we know about healthy diets is that fat is no longer the bad guy.
Usually what we need to watch out for is the modern inclusion of antibiotic and hormones, along with other things that are so different from our grandmother's food sources; things that cause inflammation in our bodies. Some fats are necessary and they certainly are a source of flavor that make the foods more satisfying to our appetite.
What are you going to do? Tailor your diet to your own health needs, and use the best nutritional information available.
I remember a special jar to save bacon drippings that was always in my mother's and grandmother's kitchen. I don't do that, but I think the idea of using schmaltz might have a place in my cooking future. Jewish cooking often includes it. It is what makes the difference between plain old noodles and delicious noodles, for me.