Dugan-ish Coffee Cake

[image: slice of coffee cake]

Happy birthday to my mom! She requested I make a coffee cake that she remembered from her childhood. She said the Dugan’s Man used to come around the house selling breads and cakes, and her father’s favorite was a coffee cake with cinnamon, almond paste, and raisins. She rarely got to eat it because it was her dad’s and You Do Not Touch Carl’s Stuff.

She found this recipe on Simply Recipes, thought it looked right, and asked me to make it. I did, and it turned out really, really well. So well, in fact, that I’m considering making it again this weekend. (It’s really good.)

My mom says it’s almost exactly like the coffee cake she remembers from the Dugan Man. So: Dugan-ish Coffee Cake.

For more information about the Dugan Brothers’ Bakery:
The Baby Boomer eMuseum
The Old Motor
Roadfood.com Discussion Board
New York Times (subscriber access only)

Dough:
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup butter (half a stick)
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 tsp ground cardamom
1 package yeast (2 1/4 tsp) dissolved in 2 Tbsp warm water
2 cups AP flour, plus extra
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp kosher salt
vegetable oil

Filling:
1 Tbsp butter, melted
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
1/2 Tbsp granulated white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
dash of table salt
1/2 cup raisins
1/4 cup slivered almonds
2 Tbsp almond paste (like 30 grams by weight. ish)

Egg wash:
1 large egg yolk
1 Tbsp whole milk

Sugar glaze:
1/2 c powdered sugar
1 Tbsp water
dash of table salt

Scald the milk (heat in a pot over medium heat until steaming but not boiling) and take off the heat, then stir in the butter, sugar, and cardamom. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer (or a mixing bowl if kneading by hand). Stir in the yeast mixture and egg by hand, then add in the salt.

Add one cup of flour to the bowl. Attach the dough hook and turn the mixer on low. Once incorporated, gradually add the second cup. Turn the mixer up to medium speed. Add more flour if necessary. You want the dough to pull away from the sides of the mixer, but keep the dough soft. (I added another 1/4 cup flour to mine.) Run the mixer for 5 minutes, or knead by hand for 5-7 minutes.

Place the dough in an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise in a warm, draft-free place for an hour or until doubled in size.

Turn the dough out onto a work surface dusted with flour. Press dough out into an 8-inch by 16-inch rectangle. (If it fights you, let it relax for 5 minutes and give it another go.)

Brush the dough with the melted butter, leaving a half-inch border around the edges. Mix together the sugars and cinnamon with a dash of table salt, then spread evenly over the dough. Sprinkle the raisins and almonds evenly over the dough. Either tear the almond paste into little bits and distribute them evenly or roll the paste out into a very, very thin sheet and drape over the dough.

Starting at the back, slowly and carefully roll the long end up towards you. Flatten the seam on the bottom as well as you can, then transfer to a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Shape the tube into a ring and work the ends together.

Using kitchen shears, cut the dough most of the way through at about 1-inch increments on a slant. Pull each piece out or into the circle, alternating. It will look (vaguely) like a wreath.

Cover with plastic wrap and place back in your proofing spot for a half hour.

Heat the oven to 350. Whisk the egg and milk together, then brush over the dough. Bake for 30 minutes.

Carefully remove to a rack and let cool completely. Whisk together powdered sugar, water, and a dash of table salt to make a glaze. (Add more water or powdered sugar if the glaze is too thick or thin.) Drizzle over cooled pastry in zig-zags.

Serve in sliced with a smear of softened butter (and maybe an extra sprinkle of salt if you’re me).

Made a cinnamon/raisin/almond coffee cake for my mom's birthday. Gotta let it cool before I can glaze it.

A photo posted by sarah (@braisinhussy) on

Cinnamon Bread Pudding

[image: cinnamon bread pudding]
[image: cinnamon bread pudding]

I don’t really have much to say about this recipe. It’s really tasty. Assemble the night before, bake in the morning, devour for brunch.

For some reason I decided to turn the broiler on briefly at the end—I thought the crumb topping was supposed to melt, I guess? Don’t do that. That was a mistake. Thankfully I stopped myself before I burnt it. Still, there’s some darker sections. My bad.

[image: cinnamon bread pudding—you can see some of the overbrowned bits]
[image: cinnamon bread pudding—you can see that I overbrowned some of it]

cooking spray
1 loaf challah (the one I used had raisins, but any challah should work)
8 large eggs
2 cups milk
1/2 cup cream
3/4 cup white granulated sugar
1 tsp + 1/2 tsp kosher salt, separated
2 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 stick butter, COLD, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup AP flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
pinch fresh grated nutmeg

Prepare a 9×13 baking dish with cooking spray.

Cut the challah into cubes (1-inch or so). If your bread is fresh, dry out the cubes in a low oven for 10–15 minutes or leave out on the counter for a few hours. Put them in the 9×13.

In a mixing bowl, combine the eggs, milk, cream, white granulated sugar, vanilla extract, and 1 teaspoon of kosher salt. Whisk to combine. Pour over the bread. Smush the bread into the liquid a bit. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

The next morning, heat the oven to 350. In a food processor or mini-prep (or by hand with a pastry blender sort of thing), pulse the butter with the flour. Add the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and pulse a few more times to combine. You should have a crumb-like texture. Sprinkle evenly over the bread, making sure to get all the way out to the edges.

Bake at 350 for 45–50 minutes. Cool on a rack for 5 minutes before cutting.

[image: cinnamon bread pudding, I couldn't decide which photo I liked better]
[image: cinnamon bread pudding at a slightly more dramatic angle]

Potato and Gorgonzola Pie

[image: slice of potato and gorgonzola pie]
[image: slice of potato and gorgonzola pie]

HOLY COW THIS IS SO GOOD. Stopping myself after two pieces was a struggle. I wasn’t sure whether to call it a quiche, since there’s just the one egg in it. The original recipe I read called for a tart pan, but since I didn’t have one, it’s now a pie.

I guess I could have done a better job arranging the potatoes, since that slice up there just looks like I stacked everything up vertically. I don’t even care though, it’s just too delicious.

1 pound small red potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1-4″ thick
1 cup heavy cream
1 egg
1 cup crumbled Gorgonzola
1 Tbsp chopped fresh thyme and rosemary
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pie crust, homemade or purchased (I bought one from Trader Joe’s because I’m lazy, but since it cracked while unrolling, I still had to take to it with a rolling pin to get it back together, thereby sort of undoing the convenience)

Heat oven to 350.

Put the potatoes in a pot and cover with 2 inches of water. Add a dash of salt. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 10 minutes, or until tender. Drain.

Line a pie plate with the crust, trimming excess. Arrange potato slices in circles, overlapping each other. Sprinkle gorgonzola on top evenly.

Whisk the cream and egg together, then pour on top. Sprinkle herbs on top, as well as 1/2 tsp kosher salt and a few grinds of black pepper.

Place pie plate on a rimmed baking sheet and put in the oven. Bake at 350 for 45–60 minutes or until browned and bubbling (the original recipe called for 45, but I ended up going for an hour). Cool for a bit on a rack before slicing.

[image: potato and gorgonzola pie]
[image: potato and gorgonzola pie]