Kuchen (German Coffee Cake)

Featured Article, Food, Recipes
on December 5, 2012

“I may not be the world’s best cook, but I certainly appreciate good, healthy food. My favorites are those made with Oregon-grown fruits and vegetables, dairy products and grains. I am happy to share my recipe for Kuchen, a recipe from my great-grandmother that has been handed down through four generations.”

—Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber

1/4 cup warm water (110F to 115F)
2 (1/4-ounce) packages active dry yeast
2 cups milk
1 cup water
1 tablespoon salt
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening, melted
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 cups raisins
8 to 9 cups all-purpose flour, divided
Oil for greasing bowl
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1. In a small bowl, add warm water, sprinkle yeast over it and let stand until yeast dissolves.

2. Warm milk in a large, heavy saucepan over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles form around the edge. Remove from heat and stir in 1 cup water, salt, sugar and shortening. Stir well.

3. Add dissolved yeast, eggs, raisins and 4 cups flour. Add remaining 4 to 5 cups of flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition, until mixture forms a soft dough.

4. Turn dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and pliable. Lightly grease a large bowl with oil, and add dough. Cover bowl with a dishtowel and let dough rise until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Punch dough down and knead again until smooth. Shape dough into 3- to 4-inch balls and place in 3 greased 9-inch round cake pans. Let dough rise until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

5. Preheat oven to 350F.

6. Brush dough lightly with water and sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake bread until golden brown, 30 to 40 minutes.

Serves 24

Per serving: 270 calories, 5g fat, 25mg cholesterol, 6g protein, 49g carbohydrates, 2g fiber, 310mg sodium