Salty Gugelhupf with wine
Updated: Apr 27
When I think of Gugelhupf, I think of Alsace. Here, this speciality, served as a dessert with coffee or a glass of wine, is omnipresent.
Originally the cake was baked with yeast, as in former times there was no other leavening known of to make the dough airy. Eggs were also a popular addition to the pastry dough. Therefore, the old recipes often contain a lot of eggs.
Then when tartar baking powder, baking soda and later baking powder were invented, the recipes also changed. But I still like it best with yeast.
The baking pan with the curved grooves and the indentation in the middle is the same for all of the recipes. Due to the enlarged baking surface, the cake is baked though equally in all areas. In addition, the result also looks very pretty.
Alsatian "Kougelhopf" is often baked in the traditional ceramic baking form.
Near Haguenau there are two villages, Betschdorf and Soufflenheim, which still produce traditional pottery. I bought my mould in Soufflenheim, a town with many traditional craft businesses.
There is a nice legend about how the Gugelhupf is said to have come to Alsace:
On their way back home from Bethlehem, the three holy kings are said to have visited Alsace, where they were warmly welcomed. In thanks to their hosts, they baked a cake, to symbolically remind them of their turbans.
The Gugelhupf is also very common in Austria, here it is said that
the Archduchess of Austria and Queen of France Marie Antoinette (1755 to 1793) brought the Gugelhupf from the Alpine country to the Royal Court of Versailles.
To demonstrate that the cake does not always have to be sweet but can also be hearty as a nice variation, I would like to give you my recipe. I like to take the cake as a guest present to a party or serve it together with a fresh salad as a delicious meal.
20 min. yeast pre-dough
Let yeast dough rise for 1 hour
Leave the dough to rise in the mould for 1 hour
Bake in the oven for 50 minutes
Total time: 3 hours and 10 minutes.
The cake also tastes very good warm and can be eaten directly after baking. However, I would let it cool for about 15 minutes.
3 cups flour
1 ounce fresh yeast
½ tsp. sugar
4 tbsp. lukewarm milk
½ cup neutral oil
4 fl.oz white wine, e.g. Gutedel (Chaselas) or Pinot Blanc
1 cup grated Emmental
1 cup raw ham, cut into small cubes
1 cup dried tomatoes, cut into small pieces.
Rosemary (ground or the needles chopped small.)
Put the flour in a bowl and make a well in the middle. Crumble the yeast into the well and mix lightly with the warm milk and the sugar.
After about 20 minutes, when the pre-dough has risen considerably, add the eggs (one at a time), the oil and the wine. Work the dough with the kneading hooks until it can be easily separated from the wall of the bowl. If the dough is too soft, add a little more flour if necessary.
Leave the dough covered in a warm place for about 1 hour, until it has almost doubled in volume.
In the meantime, butter the Gugelhupf form well.
Preheat the oven to 350°F and then bake the cake for 50 minutes in the middle of the oven. It is best to bake without circulating air.
At the end of baking time, do a test with a wooden stick. To do this, insert a wooden stick into the cake. If no dough sticks to it, the cake is ready.
Remove from the oven and let cool slightly on the cake rack. After about 10 minutes, turn out the cake. If it does not come out of the mold easily, wrap a damp cloth around it. Mostly it will fall out easily.
A good Sylvaner or a Pinot Gris from Alsace are excellent accompaniments.
If you want to know more about the Gugelhupf from Alsace: there is a bread museum in Sélestat, which also displays the various baking forms of the Gugelhupf, as each region has its own form.
In the town of Ribeauvillé there is a Kougelhopf-Festival every second Sunday in June and in Saverne they celebrate the "Fête du Kougelhopf" at the beginning of August.