Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake

I love Joy the Baker. A lot. This was an interesting baking experience for me because the first of these cakes I didn’t love and that surprised me. The problem was in the rolling. I didn’t roll the cake quite tight enough and it tasted really bready and not appley enough. The second one, which was devoured with my girlfriends while watching Sex and the City 2 (cocktails required. It’s BAD.), was much better. And that’s not just the cocktails talking. Do what she says and make two. And roll them tight!

Apple Cinnamon Coffee Cake from Joy the Baker:

Makes 2 cakes

For the dough-
2 ¼ tsp (1 package) active dry yeast
¼ c. warm water, about 105 to 155 degrees F.
big pinch of sugar
6 Tb. granulated sugar
¾ c. (1½  sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
½ tsp. ground cardamom
½ tsp. salt
3 large eggs
4½  to 5 cups all-purpose flour
1 c. warm whole milk, 105 to 115 degrees F.

For the filling-
3 large apples, peeled and cut into small cubes (Honey Crisp for life!)
2 tsp. fresh lemon juice
¼ c. brown sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. cornstarch
½  tsp. fresh ground nutmeg
pinch of salt

For the Streusel:
½  c. all-purpose flour
½ c. brown sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon
pinch of salt
pinch of cardamom
3 Tb. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 egg and sugar for brushing and topping the dough before baking

To make the dough, in a small bowl, mix together yeast, warm water and pinch of sugar.  Stir together until yeast is dissolved and set aside for 10 minutes.  Yeast will foam up. 

In the bowl of an electric stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, add the sugar, butter, cardamom, and salt.  Blend on medium speed until pale in color and fluffy, about 3 minutes.

Stop the mixer, scrape down the bowl, and add eggs and 1 cup of flour.  Blend on medium speed until thoroughly incorporated and creamy, about 1 minute.  Stop the mixer and add 2 cups more cups of flour, foamy yeast mixture, and warm milk.  Blend in medium speed until the flour disappears.  Mixture will be very wet. Add 1½  to 2 more cups of flour.  Blend until the flour is almost incorporated.
Dump the dough onto a lightly floured work surface.  Knead for 5 to 8 minutes by hand.  Dough will be glossy and just slightly sticky.  Place dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and a towel and let rest in a warm place for 1½ hours, or until doubled in size. Sometimes if my house is too cold, I’ll put the oven on warm. That usually works.

While the dough rises, make the apple filling and the streusel.

To make the apple filling, toss together diced apples, lemon juice, sugar, cinnamon, cornstarch, nutmeg and salt.  Leave at room temperature and set aside until ready to use.

To make the streusel filling:

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, and cardamom.  Add butter and, using your fingers, work the butter into the flour mixture.  Break up the butter into the mixture, until thoroughly incorporated and crumbly.  Set aside.

Continue on with the dough. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and set aside. I didn’t do this, but even though the pans for pretty messy, they cleaned up easily enough in hot water.
When the dough has doubled in size, dump it out onto a lightly floured work surface.   Use a large knife or a bench knife to divide the dough in two.  Roll each dough piece into about a 10×14-inch rectangle.  Sprinkle with half of the streusel mixture.  Add half of the apple mixture over the apples.  Add a bit of the apple juices too. 

Starting from the longest side, begin to roll the dough.  This isn’t like a cinnamon roll, you don’t have to roll it into a super tight swirl, but as I noted, make it pretty tight or it will be too bready.  Fold in about 1 1/2 to 1-inch folds.  Keep the seam on the bottom.

Repeat the same steps for the second piece of dough.

Carefully lift roll onto the prepared baking sheet. Now is a great time to freeze or refrigerate the coffee cake  dough for later baking. If you decide to freeze the dough, place it in the fridge to thaw the evening before you’d like to bake it.  Once it’s thawed, slice it according to the above directions.  Allow to come to room temperature, and allow to rise for another 30 minutes beyond that.  Wash with egg and sugar, then bake. This is what I did with my second loaf.

If you decide to refrigerate the dough, simple take it out of the fridge, slice according to the above directions.  Let come to room temperature, then allow to rise for 30 minutes beyond that.  Brush with egg and sugar, then bake.
Take a pair of clean scissors and slice into the dough leaving about 3/4-inch of dough still attached.  Slice at 1-inch intervals.  Carefully begin to curve the sliced dough into a semi-circle/horseshoe shape.  If some of the apple juices escape, that’s ok.  Cover with a towel and let rest in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Brush dough with egg wash and sprinkle with raw or granulated sugar.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and cooked through.
Remove from the oven, allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.  Best served warm with cocktails.  Coffee cake will last, well wrapped at room temperature, for up to 3 days. I think we may have made it through most of the movie. Maybe. I think this would be a great addition to a brunch potluck, especially if you make two and keep one in the freezer. Bam! Instant brunching. 

1 comment:

Lesa Monster said...

your ring photo is beautiful.

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