Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Old world braided coffee cake / ABC



Another month of ABC baking. This time we all set out to play with a yeasted dough. We continue to bake from Flo Braker's "Baking For All Occasions", recipe will not be posted here but can be found in her book.

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I would call this type of shaping a “mock braid”, it’s a very easy way of presenting an intricate weaving pattern with none of the fussy braiding. Definitely worth trying and very easy to adapt to any kind of filling, think lemon curd, baker’s cream, jam or fresh fruit in season. Or… be brave and dream up a savory version!


As you can see in the picture rail below -which is obviously not in the correct order but I trust you to find out the correct order all by your self- this braid is not difficult to make. First you roll out a rectangle, divide vertically in 3 equal parts, your filling goes in the middle. Then you cut two little flaps that go over to secure your filling. Next step is slicing strips on the diagonal, on the left as well as the right side of the dough. I like to put little markers out first so my strips are more or less equal.

Then you simply fold your strips one at a time up and over the filling, alternating left and right. You will see that you get that cross braid because the strips are slanted down, just follow the natural direction of your cuts. Easy as pie!

IMG_3434My notes:

- The dough is easy to work with and behaves exactly like stated in the recipe–as in all of her recipes so far-.

- I played around with the filling. I had my walnuts already out on the counter. They were fresh, beautiful and whole. I stood there staring at them and really it pained me to grind up all these lovely walnut halves…
A quick dash to the basement pantry revealed a bag of ground hazelnut filling (one of my German supermarket finds) and I decided to use that. Using the pre-ground filling also meant I had to wing the other ingredients a bit, using the components of the recipe in other quantities to reach the desired consistency.

- Make sure you do not overbake this coffee cake, it has a tendency to get dry. Or maybe use more filling so the moist filling will aid the surrounding dough. 

- Overall, a nice one, but I have a hard time placing this in a category. I think it is too bready to have as a treat with coffee (for us Dutch anyway ;-)) . I can see it serve as a mid morning/mid afternoon snack with a cuppa, or as part of  a Sunday brunch.

Want to know what the other ABC bakers think ? You can find the ABC blog roll HERE.


  1. Looks like an awesome loaf! Well done you!

  2. I actually think that hazelnut filling sounds nicer than walnut! It looks very professional and I'd love a slice with my coffee :)

  3. It was indeed more "bready" than I expected. I've been enjoying it as a snack and love it. A quick zap in the microwave and it's like it just came out of the oven. I deviated from the walnut filling too by using an equal amount of almonds. That was really good. The dough was a breeze to work with. Soft and smooth (I added orange zest to it, yum!). I was looking at your step-by-step pictures and noticed that you made the braid the other way around. I like that. I followed the instruction so mine was much shorter but a little wider. I think I like yours better. Btw, don't forget to add a link to your post on the ABC blog :o)

  4. Thanks David and Aveen, you're both welcome to have a slice anytime!

    Oh Hanâa.. I thought I've covered it all this time around. Will do!

  5. Nice braiding!!! Picture perfect! Hazelnuts sound really yummy. Love it!

  6. Nice job on this. I think it may be the same recipe I chose when I hosted for Daring Bakers. Love that dough and probably should give it another go since mine was on the messy side. Yummy!

  7. That is a really beautiful job with the braid. I tried one like this a while back and it was a mess compared with yours. Hazelnuts are a great filling choice, too.


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