Kugelhupf Artisan Bread finished loaf.

Kugelhupf in Words and Pictures

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This kugelhupf recipe is adapted from one in Breads of France by Bernard Clayton, Jr. This was my first real bread cookbook and I love it dearly, but a few of the recipes are real clinkers; this is one of those.

Clayton says this recipe comes from Strasbourg. (German town in France, or a French town claimed by Germany, depending on your point of view.) Whichever it is, this is a very good bread, although the recipe took a bit of effort to make it work. The book was published in 1978, which means the recipe was gathered in the mid-1970s, or earlier, and it shows, since none of the ingredients are done in weights. The recipe posted here is my adaptation of the original; I've included the original amounts alongside the amounts I used -- please don't get confused between them.

The flour is given in cup measure. Working with this and several other recipes in the book, I deduce that Clayton considers a cup of flour to be about 5 1/2 ounces, or 155 grams, which is more than most people today would specify. Once we figure out what he means by a cup, the rest is pretty easy, and the amounts of the other ingredients pretty much fall into line. One minor problem is the relative paucity of fruit in the finished loaf. The recipe calls for 1/2 cup / 120 ml of raisins or currents. I used half-and-half raisins and currents, but 1/2 cup is not enough by a long shot. I suggest you try at least 3/4 cup / 180 ml, maybe a full cup / 240 ml. This dough doubles in final rise and then almost doubles again in oven spring, so it can take a lot more than a half-cup of fruit.

The recipe says to bake the loaf for 1 hour at 400F / 205C. I never trust these types of things on the first trial, so I looked in the oven to see how things were going at 30 minutes. The kugelhupf was as you see it in the pictures, very dark, and the internal temperature was over 200F / 93C. Had I looked in at 20 minutes, I would have put an aluminum / aluminium foil tent over the bread for the last few minutes, and I might have shortened the time to 25 minutes. I also question the baking temperature, since many other enriched breads bake at temperatures between 350F and 375F / 175C to 190C.

Make a Sponge

Ingred Ounces Grams Original
Bread Flour 5 3/4 165 1 1/4 cups
Water 4 115 1/2 cup
Dry Yeast 2 1/4 tsp 7 gm 1 package
And a pinch of salt.

Mix up, put in covered container and let sit on counter overnight.

Ingredients in addition to the sponge

Ingred Ounces Grams Original
Currants or raisins 3/4 cup 350 ml Maybe a bit more
Dry white wine 1/4 cup 100 ml
Bread Flour 18 510 3 1/2 cups
Large Eggs 4 eggs
Warm water 2 T 30
Sugar 1/3 cup 80 ml
Salt 1 1/2 tsp 22 ml 2 tsp
Butter 1/4 lb 115 grams room temp
Slivered almonds 1/3 cup 150 ml To decorate
Butter 1 Tblsp 15 ml To coat pan
Confectioners sugar 1 tblsp 15 ml To sprinkle


  1. Make the starter, cover and let it sit on the counter overnight.
  2. One hour before preparing the dough, plump the raisins in the wine. You can use rum, but Clayton says that rum is too strong.
  3. Pour half the flour into a mixer bowl or large mixing bowl. Add beaten eggs. water and sugar.
  4. Stir for a minute, then cut up the butter and add it to the mixture.
  5. Beat or mix for a minute, then then continue mixing as you add the rest of the flour.
  6. Uncover the starter, deflate it and cut it into several pieces. Add to the dough and knead or mix until roughly incorporated, 1 to 2 minutes.
  7. Cover the dough and let it rest for 20 minutes.
  8. Uncover the dough, add the salt and finish kneading, 4-6 minutes. The dough should be a uniform color, indicating that the starter and the dough are mixed.
  9. Let the dough rest for 5 minutes while you dry the fruit, discarding the wine.
  10. Remove the dough from the bowl and flatten it out.
  11. Drop fruit in the center of the dough, fold the dough over the fruit and continue kneading by hand until the fruit is evenly distributed throughout the dough.
  12. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise until doubled, 2-3 hours.
  13. Take the dough from the bowl and gently deflate it.
  14. Before preparing the Kugelhupf pan, determine how much dough will fill the pan half way up. If you have more than this amount of dough, you can use another small pan for the overage.
  15. Butter the pan. Drop the slivered almonds into the bottom and position up the sides of the buttered pan. If there is to be an overflow pan, save some of the almonds, or get more.
  16. Flatten the dough and force a hole in the center. Expand the hole so that the pan tube will fit through it. Drop the dough into the buttered pan and press it down.
  17. If there is dough left over for a second pan, butter it, place slivered almonds in it and place the dough in it.
  18. Tear a small hole in a piece of wax paper and place it over the pan, with the tube protruding through the hole. Do the same with the overflow pan.
  19. Let the doughs rise for 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  20. Heat oven to 360F. (Original spec is for 400F.)
  21. Place pans in center of the oven and bake for 25 minutes, then check. If the top is baking too fast, cover it with aluminum foil.
  22. Test for doneness with either a metal skewer or a thermometer. The skewer should come out clean when inserted into the bread. The internal temp should be 190-195F / 87-90 C.
  23. If the crust isn't dark enough for your liking, remove the bread from the pan and return it to the oven for 3-5 minutes to deepen the color.
  24. When done, remove the bread from the pan and place it on a wire rack to cool.
  25. Clayton says that the boulangers of Strasbourg leave the bread to mature for a day or two before cutting. Good luck; mine was gone within a day.
  26. Sprinkle with confectioners' sugar.

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Here we go:

Kugelhupf ingredients. Kugelhupf adding eggs to flour. Kugelhupf adding sugar. Starting to mix. Kugelhupf adding butter. Kugelhupf dough after one minute mixing.
Kugelhupf after another minute mixing. Kugelhupf adding pre-ferment. Kugelhupf mixing the two doughs. Kugelhupf mixing some more. Kugelhupf ready for autolyse. Kugelhupf raisins and currants drying.
Kugelhupf after autolyse. Kugelhupf adding salt. Kugelhupf after all kneading. Kugelhupf dough flattened Kugelhupf fruit spread on dough. Kugelhupf starting to roll the dough.
Kugelhupf dough rolled up. Kugelhupf dough flattened again. Kugelhupf dough rolling up again. Kugelhupf dough all rolled. Kugelhupf dough partially rounded. Kugelhupf dough all rounded.
Kugelhupf dough in pot to ferment. Kugelhupf dough finished fermentation. Kugelhupf second-stage ingredients. Kugelhupf dough ready to shape. Kugelhupf dough shaped into a ring. Kugelhupf measuring dough in pan.
Kugelhupf buttering pan. Kugelhupf almonds in pan. Kugelhupf dough in pan for final rise. Kugelhupf dough rising. Kugelhupf dough fully risen. Kugelhupf in oven.
Kugelhupf finished baking. Kugelhupf sprinkled with sugar. Valid XHTML 1.0 Strict