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I developed this recipe after enjoying a wonderful yeast-raised Tuscan-style coffeecake at Pane E Salute, a lovely Italian bakery in Woodstock, Vermont. This high-rising yeasted coffeecake is surprisingly tender. The sugar topping drizzled on top before baking gives it a pretty, crunchy sugar glaze. And, unlike American-style coffeecakes, this isnít super-sweet; the glaze on top, and the fruit inside, are a wonderful complement to the bread itself, which truly isnít sweet at all. My son, an avowed hater of desserts and all things sweet, finds this a palatable substitute for birthday cake.
Follow our step-by-step photos for making this coffeecake at our blog, Flourish.
1 cup King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or European-Style Flour
1/2 cup cool water
1/16 teaspoon instant yeast
Mix the starter ingredients in a small (about 1-quart) bowl, and let rest overnight at room temperature.
all of the starter
2/3 cup water
2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour or European-Style Flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large egg
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 cup toasted walnuts, very coarsely chopped
3/4 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup raisins, golden preferred
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon water
Combine the dough ingredients, mixing and kneading to form a smooth, supple dough. Itíll be very slack; for this reason, I suggest kneading in a bread machine, or with a mixer, rather than by hand. Place the dough in a bowl, and let it rise about 1 hour. It may not double in bulk; thatís OK.
Gently deflate the dough, and knead the nuts and fruit into it. Shape the dough into a flat ball, and place it in a 9-inch round cake pan. Cover the pan with a proof cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaf to rise for 30 minutes, or till it barely crests over the top of the pan.
Combine the sugar, vanilla and water, and drizzle this mixture over the top of the risen coffeecake. Bake it in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 minutes, or until itís golden brown and the internal temperature registers 190°F. Remove it from the oven, and after 5 minutes, carefully turn it out of the pan. Allow it to cool on a rack. Yield: 1 cake, about 8 to 10 servings.
December 30, 2003