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Kugelhof 2 Moister, more lemon cranberry

happycat's picture

Kugelhof 2 Moister, more lemon cranberry


Version 2.0

Last week I made a lemon cranberry kugelhof and quite enjoyed it. However, Naturaleigh mentioned getting more out of my lemon zest by mashing it with the sugar. I started wondering what other innovations I could try to amplify flavour, loft and richness.



I modified last week's recipe as follows:

  • doubled cranberries from 80->160g
  • quadrupled lemon zest and juice from 1 to 4 small lemons
  • quadrupled nutmeg from 1.4->5.4
  • doubled vanilla
  • prepared enriched dough the night before
  • food processed the zest, spices, sugar and butter to make a flavour paste
  • incorporated the flavour paste into the basic enriched dough
  • let the enriched dough sit overnight in the fridge
  • reduced bake time 5 mins 40->35

Original Inspiration

adapted from:

Modified Recipe


  • 500g flour
  • 10g instant dried yeast
  • 200g milk, lukewarm
  • 125g butter, softened
  • 100g sugar
  • 1 Tahitian vanilla bean seeds
  • zest 4 small lemons (10g)
  • juice 4 small lemons (132g)
  • 5.3g fresh ground nutmeg
  • 160g dried cranberries (soak in the lemon's juice)
  • 2 eggs, room temperature, beaten
  • 50g almonds
  • 10g salt
  • tube mould for baking


Night Before

  1. Soak fruit in lemon juice or rum overnight
  2. Set out eggs, milk, butter to come to room temp
  3. Food process lemon zest, vanilla, nutmeg and sugar until caster fine paste
  4. Food process softened butter into sugar mix to make smooth paste
  5. In separate bowl, beat eggs into 100g milk, then stir in salt, then 400g flour and mix into dough low speed
    1. did for 10 minutes but was probably way too long
  6. Incorporate sugar butter mix into dough (may turn into a paste, but ensure it's well blended)
  7. Place dough in fridge overnight

Next Day

  1. Allow dough to come to room temperature
  2. Add yeast to 100g of warm milk, add 100g of flour and mix and let rise
  3. Mix doubled levain into dough (high speed, 10 mins until cleans bowl)
  4. Cover and let rise (about 1 hour)
  5. Stretch dough into rectangle on work surface
  6. Sprinkle dough evenly with fruit
  7. Roll up dough into long cylinder
  8. Roll cylinder in sliced almonds
  9. Butter mould
  10. Fit cylinder into mould and pinch ends together
  11. Let dough rise second time, until above edge of mould (about 1 hour less preheat time, e.g. 15 mins)
  12. Preheat oven 180°C (350f) 
  13. Bake 35 minutes (until top is dark brown)


This was the major innovation: while the cranberries soaked in lemon juice, I made up the spice mix with the sugar with fresh vanilla and fresh nutmeg and lots of lemon zest.

I then blended the sugar spice mix into a paste

I added the butter and creamed everything together. This was a major change: instead of making the basic enriched dough with sugar and then gradually adding butter to it, I would have to combine this entire paste with the sugarless and tighter dough.

The basic enriched dough now lacked any sugar. It was quite tight. I might have kneaded it too much.

I blended the butter sugar flavour paste into the dough.

I don't have a picture for what happened... it turned into a paste and wouldn't come together. I was quite concerned and tried manual folding of the paste. It had some strength but not much. I put it in the fridge overnight.

The next day, I let the dough warm up. I made the levain from instant yeast, flour and warm milk. It quickly doubled and tripled and I combined it with the paste and put my mixer on high speed.

Hurrah! Within 10 mins it all came together in a dough ball.

More good news... it rose nicely within the same 1 hr as before.

I spread out the dough thinking it was more extensible and less elastic. Made sense if I damaged the gluten network with my altered process. I added the 2x cranberries and rolled it up, rolled the roll in almonds, then fit the roll into my silicone tube mould and pinched the ends together. I tried to move the dough around to make it more even than last time.

This time I buttered the mould but did not add any almonds to it directly.

Hurray again... the dough lifted without problems.

I reduced bake time by 5 mins from 40 to 35. Still got a nice lift and browning,

I waited until the following afternoon to cut in. It's a moister and more flavourful version. Plenty of fresh, natural lemon power in the fruit and bread. Lovely crumb. More yellow colour.

I'm quite happy with these improvements.

 One issue is I left the bread in its mould after it bake. This may have resulted in keeping the outside moist and allowing the bread to shrink a bit. It's possible that if I had removed it right away that the crust would have remained rigid and kept the loaf a bit more lofty.




naturaleigh's picture

Looks divine!  Going to have to buy a kugelhopf pan now I guess, between Ming's lovely posts and now yours too ;-)

With all the modifications, I guess you won't know if rubbing the zest into the sugar amped up the citrus flavor for you.  Great distribution of fruit and spices.  I can't imagine going with 1/4 less fruit though per the original recipe as it looks like you got the amount of cranberries spot on.  I love the idea of a flavor/spice paste.  It doesn't look like the dough rise was impeded in any way...the cake has nice loft and the crumb looks nice and light.  

I've got one question for you though...where is the lemon glaze!?!?!?!?  LOL...that would have been one more layer of citrus (although some might think it a zing too far).

Great post!  Hope I can give this a try soon.

happycat's picture

Thanks Leigh. I think food processing helped integrate the zest better. I'm not sure about the spices but my wife said she tasted them. I tend not to detect aromas and nuances as well as she does.

The crumb is quite nice and moist. I'm not sure if I should have integrated the food processed sugar mix into making the dough then added pure butter after. It might affect getting a fluffier bread crumb vs cake crumb?

I didn't do a glaze as my wife doesn't like them. I ended up quite liking it without... it's pretty powerfully lemony in this version with all those juice-soaked cranberries.

I plan to do another one. Maybe cocoa-espresso-currant with some citrus zest frangipane :) 

Hope you share if you give it a try.

Benito's picture

Love it David.  Again I think these breads look very panettone like without all the trouble of a panettone.  I’d be tempted to try this using cranberry orange which I always think are a great combination.  


happycat's picture

Thanks Benny. I suppose it could be a poor man's pannetone for sure. For the Hokkaido Milk Bread King this would be a breeze.

Cran-orange would be great. Also in TO we'll be getting a great variety of citrus soon. Tangelos / mandoros have a wonderfully nuanced zest that goes beyond, say a navel orange. And their juice is sweet and tangy, too, which would get picked up in the soaked fruit.

I use a microplane and a light touch to just get the colourful zest and avoid the pith.

JonJ's picture

Delicious, moist, must bake one too. Love the jammy appearance in the photo.


happycat's picture

Thanks Jon. The jam look is the result of soaking the dried cranberries in lemon juice overnight. The result is a sweet/tangy juiciness with no added sugar.

Kistida's picture

I love citrus-y (and I see rum in there!) bakes like this, thank you for sharing David! :) Must bookmark this to try since I've plenty of candied lemon and orange peels.

- Christi

happycat's picture

Thanks Christi

It sure would be interesting to see one baked with candied peels.

I did an experiment this past weekend to incorporate a frangipane in the roll-up. I knew it was risky. It mostly worked though. You can do so many things with this.