I was a little nervous about the braided finish and there isn't a picture in the book so I printed out some of the pictures on this artisan bread site to aid me as I went along. I work much better with a picture or two than by just reading - especially with something like this that seems complicated - so I wanted a little photo guidance. To my relief, the braiding actually turned out to be pretty easy (although my first strip was really tiny so I had to cut the last strips off and tuck them under the first two baby-strips).
Overall, this was a pretty easy cake/bread to make (it's called a coffee cake but the texture is more like a bread, in my opinion) and a small piece was very filling...I can't wait to have another slice tomorrow morning with coffee. The dough itself sort of reminded me of a Portuguese sweet bread - which I love - but the filling was a bit too "wet" for my taste and did not really meld or get incorporated into the dough like most coffee cakes I've had. I think that's why it seemed more like a bread with a nutty-cinnamon filling.
So, even though it wasn't quite what I expected in the end, I really liked working with the dough - it was so well behaved and easy to roll out. I think if I try this one again I would skip adding the egg whites to the nut mixture, use a little less cream, and then maybe roll it up like a roulade, slice it and bake it like cinnamon buns and then top it off with some cream cheese icing. I think adding some lemon zest to the dough and lemon juice to the filling would also be delicious.
|mise en place for the dough|
|sticky sticky sticky dough|
|ready to knead|
|five minutes (of kneading) is a long time, but it came out nice and smooth|
|I used pecans instead of walnuts|
|I also added some freshly ground nutmeg|
|mise en place for the filling|
|time for a wine break...la dee da...|
|nuts and cream mixture, waiting for the whipped egg whites|
|first rise done and ready to roll out |
(didn't exactly double in size, but my fingertip indentation remained in the dough)
|it was so easy to manage this dough (unlike my poor Kouign Amann)|
|something went wrong with cutting my first little strip but the rest was easy|
|baked to a golden brown|
|it smells so delicious|
|time to sample a slice|
Bye for now...