Melting? Try Baking!
I don’t know why, on a day where I’m melting and waiting for sweet death to take me, I decided to bake. I’m deeming it completely worthwhile today as I enjoy the end results, but geez… you think I could’ve made myself wait just a bit longer for it to cool off around here! I guess the simple fact of the matter is that there is little in this world as awesome as…. coffee cake!
Now, my bread bible is the aged yet relevant Beard on Bread, which I recommend to bakers of any skill level. I started off with it to teach myself how to make bread, and I still enjoy the crap out of the recipes I’ve tried years later. I’ve not tried them all (though there are people who are in process of!), but what I have tried has been well received by my immediate and extended family (the in-laws, that is). Perhaps someday I will graduate on to fancier folks for whom bread was more than a sideline, but this… this is a good book, and great for getting the basics down.
Anyways, I thought I’d share the recipe with you. This isn’t exactly novice level, but it’s not terribly hard, either. Enjoy!
4 to 4 1/2 cups Flour
2 packages of active dry yeast
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 stick butter 1/2 cup
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup mashed potatoes
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 cup melted butter
Confectioners sugar icing (optional)
Stir together 2 cups of the flour and the yeast. Heat the water, sugar, butter, and salt over low heat only until warm (100-115F), stirring to blend. Add to the flour yeast mixture and beat until smooth, about 2 minutes on medium speed of electric mixer or 300 strokes by hand. Blend in the eggs and mashed potatoes, then add 1 cup of flour and beat one minute on the medium speed of the mixer or 150 strokes by hand. Stir in more flour to make a moderately stiff dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and satiny, about 8 to 10 minutes. Shape into a ball and place in a lightly buttered bowl, turning to butter all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled, about 1 1/2 hours.
Punch the dough down , divide in half, and let rest 10 minutes. Pat or roll each portion into a square to fit into each of two buttered 9 X 5 X 3 inch pans. Mix together the brown sugar and cinnamon. Sprinkle half the sugar cinnamon mixture over each coffee cake. Drizzle cakes with the melted butter. Let rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Bake in a preheated oven (350°) for 30 minutes. Cool in pans five minutes and then remove.
I should add, for the Brits reading – cake for coffee, not cake with coffee. That’s been a fun thing to point out each time here at Chez In-Law. My only complaint is that I almost prefer my coffee cake to be super tiny cupcake size (more surface area to drown in cinnamon and brown sugar), but it’s very hard to complain about this tasty little loaf. If you try it, I hope you enjoy it, and if you have any good non-machine recipes yourself, feel free to share them!
Oh yes, and if you have a Kenwood or Kitchen-Aid or some sort of mixer, then those times obviously go right down on the blending and beating and whatnot. 😉
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