Now I realise that the German’s do have good taste – this sweet bread is beautiful or as Rich said “well nice – doughy, fruity, not too doughy, light and fresh”. If you really want to sell your house you should bake this instead of plain old bread. The aroma is heady with spice and citrus; actually I am pretty surprised that supermarkets don’t bake this in store.
Recipe: Apple and Blackberry Kuchen
- 350g Strong White Flour
- 1/2 tsp Salt
- 50g Caster Sugar
- 3.5g Easy-Blend Yeast or 7g of Fresh Yeast og 1/2 tbsp of Dried Yeast
- 2 Large Free Range Eggs
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Grated Zest of 1/2 a Lemon
- 1/4 Nutmeg Grated
- 125ml (1/2 cup) Milk – Luke warm
- 1 tsp Vegetable Oil
- 1 Large Free Range Egg
- 1 tbsp Cream
- Grated Nutmeg
- 3 Apples – Peeled, cored and roughly chopped
- A Handful of Blackberries
- 1 tbsp Demerara Sugar
- 1 tbsp Caster Sugar
- 2 Allspice Berries – Finely crushed
- 2 tbsp Flaked Almonds
- 3 tbsp Icing Sugar
- 1 tsp Water
- Mix the milk yeast and 1 tsp of sugar in a bowl; leave is a warm place for the yeast to activate; this should take about 10 minutes. You’ll know when the yeast has started to work as there will be bubbles on the surface.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, the rest of sugar and salt.
- Add the eggs, lemon zest, nutmeg and vanilla to the bubbly, yeasty, milk.
- Tip the liquid into the dry ingredients (flour etc) and mix to form a loose dough
- As the dough is quite rich it is very loose and sticky, if you use the traditional method of flouring your surface it will dry out the dough. Then it won’t be as lusciously soft when its cooked. Instead you need to oil the surface. Pour a little of the oil onto your surface and oil you hands (I always think that it must be good for your nails) it should be lightly oiled not an oil slick. Knead the dough for about 10 minutes until it turns silky smooth.You will probably think that this will never happen but persevere, it will.
- Put the dough into a lightly oiled bowl and cover will oiled cling film or a tea towel. Leave in a warm place for about 1 1/2 hours for it to double in size. You can do all of this in the evening and leave it to prove over night if you like.
- Once the dough has doubled in size knock it back – the easiest (and most satisfying way is to punch it a couple of times). Knead the dough for 30 seconds and then shape it to fit into your oiled tin. Cover with a tea towel (or oiled cling film) and leave in a warm place for 20 minutes. Put the oven on at gas mark 6 or 200 degrees C.
- Mix the egg, cream and the nutmeg. Brush the glaze over the proved dough; don’t feel that you need to use all of it.
- Combine the sugars and allspice.
- Scatter the chopped apple and blackberries over the glazed dough.
- Sprinkle the spiced sugar over the apple and blackberries. Place the cake into the oven for 10 minutes.
- Take the bread out and sprinkle with the flaked almonds. Return to the oven and lower the temperature to 180 degrees C or gas mark 4, cook for another 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and place the cake onto a wire frame
- Mix the icing sugar and water to form a paste; drizzle over the warm cake using a knife. I like to think of myself as a bit of a Jackson Pollock at this stage.
- Leave to cool for about 10 minutes and then eat; I enjoy it with tea or a glass of bubbly.
You can use any fruit that is in season but you may need to adjust the sugar amount
Diet type: Vegetarian
Number of servings (yield): 8
Culinary tradition: German