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.
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 rolled rather than a soft batter cake.
If you would like to try another variation, this is a simple one. If you get some of the old recipes you find that the amount of eggs and fat can seem more than what you are used to. I think many of the changes same about when sugar was not so dear, and converse the large amount 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. Then when I was first cooking in the sixties and seventies, you find "Oleo" or margarine is widely called for.
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, and add some of the recommended fruits to your daily bill of fare.
I am of the opinion that it isn't cutting out desserts, but cutting down amounts. Maybe that is a cop out because I love them so much.
European Directions for Similar Coffee Cake
My Original Bundt Pan
These cakes are traditionally baked in a decorative tube pan.
Now we call them Bundt pans.
Although any tube will do, the ridges of this one make a pretty result that can be served with something in the middle or with a garnish of confectioner's sugar.
Oma's Tube Pan Breakfast Coffee 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.