Kouglof Salé/クグロフ サレ
Kouglof, Gugelhuph or kuguroufu…many spellings for the name of the signature wavy design mold (unfortunately mine has straight lines). Also the name of Alsace region in France’s specialty cake. Brioche like dough,often with liqueur soaked raisin in this kouglof pan and baked – it has a nice sweet flavor.
In contrast, salé means salty in French, hence, this is a savory cake/bread. Positioned near Shimotakaido (下高井戸) station in Setagaya district, is Noliette French pastry shop which just celebrated it’s 20th anniversary in September. The owner, Noriyuki Nagai’s recipe produces a superb texture of Cake salé , salty cake - soft, moist, buttery. At the beginning of his career, he was trained as a chef not a pastry chef - that may have contributed to this creation. Use of kouglof pan will put you in a festive mood. I think it will be gorgeous presentation at the Thanksgiving table. Bon appetite!
I just want to let you know that Noliette is now taking pre-orders for Christmas cake. I wonder if the store would ship to the US? Probably not…I guess I have to think of something fabulous to make!
Stand mixer with hook, 2 kuglof pans or a Bundt pan.
- 1/4 of medium size onion minced
- 1/2 teaspoon of butter and vegetable oil
- Bread flour 250g plus 2-3 Tablespoons; sift.
- Milk 55g
- Eggs 165g (about 3 eggs) beat well in a medium bowl.
- Granulated sugar 15g
- Yeast, fresh if possible 12g
- Salt 4g
- Butter 90g melted
- Walnuts 1/3 cup chopped
- Bacon about 2 slices, remove fat and chop small
Day 1 – Preparing dough
- Heat 1/2 teaspoon of butter and oil in the skillet at medium-low heat. Add onion and sauté till golden. Transfer onion to paper towel. Press gently to absorb excess oil. Cool and set aside
- Mix milk and beaten eggs. Set aside
- In a stand mixer bowl, put 250g flour, milk mixture(#2), sugar, yeast. Note: making the dough process should not take more than 20 minutes, otherwise it will ruin the good texture so start timing yourself. Run the mixer at medium speed. At first the dough will be sticky but eventually, it will pull away from the bowl. If the dough is still gooey and does not come together after 10 minutes, add more flour 1 tablespoon at time.
- Add salt and mix 2-3 minutes more.
- Lower the speed then pour butter in a little bit at a time. When the dough is slick and shiny, add onion, bacon and walnuts. Mix for 30 second or so..
- Make a ball and double wrap the dough with plastic wrap and let it rest overnight in the refrigerator.
Day 2 – Day of baking
Flour for dusting, Pam non-stick spray, foil
- Dust a flat surface with flour. Divide dough in two - If you’re using a bundt pan then skip this process. Tap dough lightly to release gas trapped in the dough first then kneed the dough 1-2 minutes.
- Shape dough into big donuts. Here my husband made a hole with his elbow.
- Spray the pan with Pam. Press dough hard into the pan then wait about 1 hour for the dough to rise.
- Pre-heat oven to 446F. When it has reached this temperature, put the bread in and lower the temperature to 420F. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove foil and bake for 5 minutes.
- Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Serve with olive oil or butter.
Tip#1: Although you may lose the “ooh, la, la” moment you could bake this in ordinary rectangular bread pan and it would be suitable for sandwiches - perhaps turkey?
Tip #2: If you like to make a sweeter Kouglof, add 25g of sugar and 100g of softened raisins (Chef Nagai recommends sultana raisins) in place of onion, bacon and walnuts.
Speaking of bread, my husband and I dined at our favorite Maki restaurant last week. One of the few Japanese restaurants that offer good desserts and sells home made bread. We bought the Japanese style rolls.
We had a surprise visit from friends bearing gifts – chicken thigh mushrooms – the Indonesian name for matsutake mushroom. I leaned the name from an amazing Dentist food blogger, dentistvschef. Okay…that name doesn’t sound appetizing. Anyway, they were wild matsutake harvested from Mt. Hood. How in the world? Compared to regular size one in front, it is Humongous, right? It was bigger than my thigh, I mean my hand!