Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Kugelhopf

Today we are going to discuss fears. Well, actually just one of my fears, but first lets see what the dictionary says fear is. Fear [feer] n. (plural fears) frightening thought: an idea, thought, or other entity that causes feelings of fear, irrational fears.

Have you ever noticed that some people (me) “fear” the weirdest things? For example, I have spent most of my adult life avoiding recipes that contain yeast. I have no idea why? I cannot even remember trying to bake something with yeast that could have possibly led to this type of trauma. Yet, the very mention of yeast has me grasping for my asthma inhaler. Why am I so scared of yeast? It’s very irrational. Which leads me to one of my New Year's resolutions: to face and hopefully conquer my fears.

You see, I couple months ago I joined a little group known as the Daring Bakers. In the hopes of conquering my fear of yeast. I figured, I have made this commitment to the Daring Bakers and I must bake whatever the challenge is. And wouldn’t you know it; my second challenge was bread, with yeast. Dang.

Do you know what happened? I did it. I baked bread. It wasn’t easy and the bread was ugly, but I didn’t care. (Most fights end ugly anyway.) And I won the fight ugly bread and all. Now that I am fearless, I can go back to all the recipes I skipped over because they listed yeast as an ingredient. That’s the real prize, all the beautiful yeast based goodies that I can now make. I still have a couple of “irrational-fear” fights left, (...ahem) French macarons. Oh, how I love/hate you. Eventually I’m sure I’ll win this one too.

The recipe for the Kugelhopf is from Dorie Greenspan’s book “Baking”. It’s a long recipe with lots of waiting around for the yeast. Which means you can go about your day without too much worry. It’s definitely worth the wait and it makes great leftovers. It's a simple yeast cake/bread filled with raisins and then glazed with butter-sugar-cinnamon mixture. Just divine with a cup of coffee.

18 comments:

Katie said...

Yay! Congratualtions on overcoming your fear of yeast - and its only 2nd January! The cake looks wonderful.

VeggieGirl said...

oh my goodness gracious, Gigi, you and I are very much alike - I too avoid yeast-containing recipes, because I'm afraid that the bread/dough will not rise!! but wow, with the success of your recent bread-baking adventure (such a stunning Kugelhopf), I feel waaay more confident now!! thank you!! :0D

hope your new year's celebration was enjoyable!!

slush said...

You would never know you had a fear of yeast looking at that scrumptious cake! It looks fabulous darling!

Deborah said...

I'm glad that you are conquering your fear of yeast, because this bread looks amazing!!

Nora B. said...

Facing our fears is a great thing to be able to achieve. I'm glad that you faced your yeast fear - this Kugelhopf looks perfect!

Best wishes for the new year.

Nora

Judy said...

I share your fear of yeasted baking, as well as candy making. Perhaps two fears I shall work to overcome in 2008.

Mary said...

Well you seem to have definitely overcame your fear of yeast! Your cake looks delicious!

Big Boys Oven said...

Great to hear of how you had conquer your fear....... let me tell you babe... you can conquer macarons at no time..... macarons is easy, just need some tender loving care! :)

Emily said...

I saw this recipe in my Dorie book and was tempted to make it. After seeing yours, I think I will!

Annemarie said...

Well down for conquering the fear to thoroughly that you are making yeasty things even when the daring bakers aren't compelling you to do so. :) Hope you have enjoyed every last, sweat crumb of your kugelhopf success.

Tracy said...

Oh my gosh, I'm the same way! I fear anything baked with yeast! I'm glad to see yours turned out so well. It looks fabulous! Maybe I should overcome my fear too.

Mallow said...

It looks great - good job!

Zen Chef said...

Well i must admit I'm a chef with a fear of kugelhopf. I don't remember ever making one. Yours looks amazing, maybe I should tackle the challenge one of this days! :-)

Tartelette said...

Happy New Year! This is one my favorite breads during the holidays. Yours is just gorgeous! My dad asked me recently what I feared and I could only answer "You"...I think that made him feel good that is grown up daughter still felt that!

Peabody said...

Great way to overcome your fears! Looks good.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I like your new header GiGi... new year new look!
I'm not real wild about snakes...

KayKat said...

Yum! I *have* to try this now.

Ohh, I know that yeast fear - one bread flop was all it took for me to get there, but am over it now. And yes, being part of Daring Bakers has definitely helped :)

Lyrically speaking said...

This pic is incredible! My fear is to bake a cake from scratch, tried it once but my mom was there to assist so of course it was good. But without her there or someone who is more of an expert than me, I feel helpless so I don't bother to try it myself.