There are many reasons why we love baking yeasted goodies with the We knead to bake group and this loaf brings all of them to life. It is baked in the graceful and regal ring-shaped Kugelhopf pan that comes from Europe and is usually reserved for lightly sweetened cake-y breads laced with raisins and nuts. Crowned with chopped walnuts that sink into a dough made rich with eggs and salted yellow butter, our savoury edition emerged from the oven with a golden crust, stippled with bits of caramelised onions and peppers, a soft and airy crumb and bursts of cheesy Italian flavours in every delicious bite.
- 2 tsp active dry yeast
- 3/4 cup warm milk
- 1 tsp sugar
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp salt
- 75gm salted butter, at room temperature
- 2 eggs, beaten lightly
- 2 tsp oil
- 1/3 cup chopped green bell peppers
- 1/3 cup deseeded, pulp-free chopped tomatoes
- 1 cup finely chopped onions
- ½ cup diced gouda or cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts, lightly roasted
- 1 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried basil
- ½ tsp dried oregano
Soak the yeast in the warm milk along with the sugar for 5 minutes.
To make the dough using a food processor – Put the flour, milk+yeast and salt in the bowl of the processor. Pulse a couple of times to mix. The add the butter, a little at a time, and process till incorporated.
Add the warm milk and process briefly. Now add the eggs and process till mixed. The dough will be soft and sticky. Knead some more, adding more flour, a little at a time and just enough till the dough pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Do not add more flour than necessary. You can also knead by hand or use a stand mixer or bread machine.
Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover and let it rise until doubled, about an hour.
Meanwhile, heat the oil in a frying pan. Add the onions and fry until golden. Add the chopped green bell pepper and tomato, saute briefly, then remove from heat and set aside.
Grease an 8” kugelhopf mould or bundt pan well or use a large loaf tin. Scatter some of the chopped walnuts in the bottom of the mould. If you’re using a loaf tin or brioche moulds, then press in the walnuts on top of the dough after the second rise, just before baking.
Once the dough has risen, gently punch it down. Then work the cheese, stir-fried vegetables, the remaining walnuts, chillies and herbs into the dough. The best way to do this is to flatten the dough out and spread the flavouring elements all over the surface, fold the dough over and then knead it. The dough will be a fairly sticky, so use a bench scraper to help knead.
Roll the dough into a log and place it in the mould in a circular fashion and pinch the two ends together to close the “circle” of dough. Cover and let the dough rise for about an hour or so, until it reaches the edge/ rim of the mould.
Meanwhile pre-heat oven to 200°C (400°F). Bake the Kugelhopf for about 35 to 40 minutes until the top is golden brown and the inside temperature reaches 80°C (190°F).
Unmould the Kugelhopf onto a cooling rack and let it cool completely before slicing.