Friday, March 12, 2010
Sweet yeast dough is my ultimate favorite thing to bake. It's like a blank canvas, screaming to be painted on with a multitude of fillings. It's an invitation to go crazy with shaping ideas. From giant cinnamon buns to teeny individual rolls, it's so versatile.
I don't like fresh apricots but give me the dried ones and my oh my am I a happy girl. Here I paired them with orange and used them to fill this yeasted coffee cake. It might sound complicated but it's really not. It starts out like a cinnamon bun but then you cut it lengthwise instead of crosswise. See my Cinnamon Chocolate Twist for a picture of how it's done.
There is a lot of filling in this recipe and it might seem like too much at first but once it's baked the filling gives a lovely moistness to the cake and you get a taste of the sunny orange/apricot flavor in every bite with texture contrasting crunch from the slivered almonds on top. The orange glaze melts into the cake enhancing its moistness even more.
Apricot Orange Yeasted Coffee Cake
1 - 9" Cake | Dough adapted from Flo Braker
Sweet Yeast Dough
About 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup whole milk
1/4 cup butter, melted and cooled
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
2 eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1 orange, peeled and pith removed
Zest of 1 orange
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp orange juice
Approx 1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp sliced almonds for sprinkling
1. Dough: Stir together 2 cups flour, sugar, yeast, and the salt in the bowl of a stand mixer; set aside. In a small saucepan, heat the milk and butter over low heat just until the butter is melted. Remove from the heat, add the water, and set aside until warm (120-130 degrees F) about 1 minute. Add the vanilla extract.
2. Pour the milk mixture over the flour-yeast mixture and mix until the dry ingredients are evenly moistened. With the mixer on low speed, add the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition just until incorporated. Stop the mixer, add 1/2 cup of the remaining flour and resume mixing on low speed until the dough is smooth, 30 to 45 seconds. Add 2 more tablespoons flour and mix until the dough is smooth, soft, and slightly sticky, about 45 seconds.
3. Sprinkle a work surface with flour and center the dough on the flour. Knead gently until smooth and no longer sticky, about 1 minute, adding an additional 1 to 2 tablespoons flour (only if necessary) to lessen the stickiness. Place the dough in a large bowl, cover the bowl plastic wrap and rise in a warm place until doubled in size, 45-60 minutes. Press the dough gently with a fingertip. If the indentation remains, the dough is ready for the next step. While the dough is rising, make the filling.
4. Filling: In a small sauce pan combine water, sugar, oranges and apricots. Cook on low until apricots are softened, adding more water if necessary, stirring frequently until thickened and reduced. Remove from heat and stir in zest, vanilla and cinnamon. Cool then transfer to a blender or food processor. Pulse until pureed.
5. Shaping: roll into a 30-by-9-inch rectangle. Spread filling evenly. Beginning at the long end, roll up tightly, as for a jelly roll. Pinch the seam to seal. Some filling will probably ooze out but you can just scrape it up and put it on top of the coffee cake afterwards once it's in the pan.
After you roll it up, cut it in half lengthwise, giving you two long 30-inch pieces. Carefully turn the halves so that cut sides face up. "Braid/twist" the two halves together and join the ends, pinching them to form one ring, keeping the cut sides up so the filling is visible. Transfer the ring to a greased 9 or 10" spring form pan. Scoop up filling that oozed out during the rolling process and put it over the cake. Cover and rise for 30-40 minutes until it almost reaches the rim of the pan.
6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 180 degrees or other method of testing for doneness. You might need to turn the oven down to 325 degrees F or tent with foil if browning too quickly. While cake is baking make the glaze by combining all the orange juice and icing sugar to reach desired consistency. Set aside. When cake is done remove from spring form pan, cool slightly and drizzle with glaze and slivered almonds.