Kugelhopf Brioche With Salted Caramel
Our family in Alsace is the Ferber family from the village of Niedermorschwihr. For decades, the Ferber family preserves the tradition of baking the Kugelhopf, an Alsatian delicacy that one can’t stop eating.
To feel a little Alsatian in Paris, I filmed with my friend Julien Abourmad from The French Bastards, a preparation video of small Kugelhopf brioches in individual Kugelhopf molds, stuffed with salted caramel cream. A wonderful combination of brioche dough, a typical Alsatian shape and a salted caramel cream from Brittany, all regions of France in one pastry.
125g roasted unsalted almonds
Brioche dough (all ingredients should be very cold):
240g eggs (4 medium eggs)
15g whole milk
12g fresh yeast
400g all-purpose flour
200g butter, cubed
120g candied almonds, chopped
Salted Caramel: recipe inside
Sliced almonds for decoration
1. Candied Almonds: Over medium heat, bring the water and sugar to a boil in a heavy-bottomed saucepan.
2. Using a cooking thermometer, check the temperature of the syrup, which should reach 116 degrees Celsius. Add almonds and stir with a wooden spoon, after a few minutes the sugar will first crystallize, that’s fine.
3. Stir until the sugar melts and wraps all the almonds in a fine caramel layer.
4. Remove the candied almonds to a baking sheet and let them cool. Using a wooden spoon, separate the hazelnuts when still warm, then let them cool completely and chop.
5. Brioche dough: in the bowl of a stand mixer put together eggs, milk and yeast. Add flour, sugar and salt. Make sure the yeasts don’t touch the sugar and salt. With the dough hook attachment, knead the dough for about 7 minutes at a slow speed and another 7 minutes at a medium speed.
6. Add the butter in increments and keep kneading for about 10-12 minutes. Make sure to stop the mixer to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl if needed. The dough should be very soft and tacky to the touch. knead the dough until you have reached this consistency.
7. Add chopped candied almonds and knead for 1 minute.
8. Remove the dough from the mixer and shape into a ball. Place in a lightly floured bowl and cover with plastic wrap to prevent dehydration. Place in the refrigerator for 5 hours.
9. Grease the kugelhopf tins with melted butter and sprinkle with sliced almonds.
10. Remove the dough from the refrigerator. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and press down gently to deflate the dough with your hands. Divide into 10 units of equal size. Tighten the dough into balls with a smooth surface (using the edges of your palms). Make a hole in each ball and create a small ring from each one. Place the dough rings in greased kugelhopf tins, cover with a kitchen towel and leave in a warm and humid place to rise for about 3 hours, until the dough doubles in volume.
11. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees Celsius.
12. Bake for about 14-16 minutes until the kugelhopf is golden. Remove from the oven, cool slightly, remove from tins/pan and transfer to a cooling rack.
13. Pour into the socket created in each brioche a generous layer of salted caramel cream.
*It’s recommended to eat warm and fresh, but the brioches can be kept for two days in an airtight container.