This is a picture from Grandma Block’s village in Germany. Carts like these are still used for a variety of purposes; now, just as in Grandma’s childhood, children find endless fun in playing with them. Grandma and her sisters used a cart exactly like this one to carry their unbaked loaves of bread, well protected by a large cloth, to the town’s big public brick oven to be baked.
Apfel Kuchen (Apple cake)
Cinnamon Toast Fingers
Biernebrod (Dried-apple or dried-pear bread)
Schnitzbrod (2) (Simplified recipe)
Stollen (Braided Coffeecake)
Streusel Coffeecake (Coffeecake with Crumb topping Zucchini Bread and Pineapple Zucchini Bread)
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APFEL KUCHEN or SCHWETCHE KUCHEN (Apple or Plum Coffee-Cake)
Basic Coffeecake dough:
2 eggs, well beaten
¼ C. milk
1 pkg. (or 1 Tb.) dry yeast
¼ C. warm water
½ C. softened butter
¼ C. sugar
½ tsp. Salt
1 tsp. Grated lemon peel
2 C. flour, more if needed
1. Pour lukewarm water, yeast, and sugar in mixing bowl.
2. Add melted (not hot) butter, warmed milk, salt, lemon peel, and beaten eggs. Mix well.
3. Add flour, 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each cup. Add more flour, if necessary, to make a smooth dough, and turn out onto a floured surface.
4. Knead very lightly.
5. Let rise for about 1 hour; punch down and let rest for 10 minutes.
6. Spread dough in 9-inch cake or pie pan, pushing it up on the sides as for a pie crust.
TOPPING for APFEL KUCHEN
2 medium sized apples
1/3 C. sugar (white or brown)
2 tsp. Cinnamon
2 TB. melted butter
Peel and core apples, then cut into ¼ inch slices.
Arrange in overlapping circles (or in random fashion if in a hurry)
on top of dough. Sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar.
Bake at 350 degrees for 35 or 40 minutes.
TOPPING FOR SCHWETCHEKUCHEN
(1 large Plum cake)
1 ½ lb. Italian (or other) plums
¼ to ½ C. white or brown sugar
¼ C. bread crumbs
2 tsp. Cinnamon
¼ C. melted butter
Form dough into pan as for Apfel Kuchen. Mix sugar, crumbs, and cinnamon together. Sprinkle about 1/3 of this mixture over the crust, Arrange sliced plums in overlapping rows over dough. Drizzle melted butter over crust and fruit. Sprinkle with mixture of sugar, crumbs, and cinnamon. Let rise 30 minutes. Bake as for apple cake. If desired, add the following custard filling, after partially baking crust and fruit, then adding custard before finishing the baking process..
CUSTARD FOR SWETCHEKUCHEN
After arranging plums on the dough, sprinkle them with cinnamon, sugar and crumbs. Let dough rise for 30 minutes, then bake for 7 minutes at 375°. (Covering the crust lightly with aluminum foil may help to avoid excess browning.) Remove from oven, and pour this mixture over the plums:
1 beaten egg
1/3 C. cream
1 TB. sugar
Beat all together, pour over partially-baked cake, and continue baking at 350° for 15 minutes longer, or until the custard is set.
*We recommend that you bake one of these fruit coffeecakes at a time, unless you are serving several hearty eaters. For a small family, you might want to either use ½ of the recipe or use the rest of the dough for Cinnamon Rolls or a Streusel Kuchen.
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Stollen (Braided Coffeecake)
Grandma’s Stollen was one of her very special productions. The dough was always beaten, at great length, using her bare hand and beating in only one direction. She was sure that this procedure made the dough strong and very light. The Christmas Stollen had candied fruit added to the dough, but Stollen was also made without fruit, and just decorated with almonds. The following recipe has been adapted for use with a KitchenAid Mixer.
7 Cups flour
1 Cup sugar
½ lb. butter, softened
2 pkg. dry yeast
6 eggs (grade AA large. Should be 1 1/3 Cups eggs)
½ Tsp. Mace
2 Tsp. salt
Grated rind of one lemon
1 ½ Cups milk, lukewarm
Optional: 3/4 - 1½ Cups finely chopped candied fruit, mixed with "golden"' raisins
1 beaten egg for glaze
1 Cup blanched almonds to decorate outside.
1.In the large KitchenAid bowl, starting with mixing paddle: dissolve yeast in milk, add 2 Cups flour and ¼ Cup sugar to make a sponge. Mix and let stand while assembling other ingredients. (About 15 min.)
2. Add eggs, butter, lemon rind, 1 Cup flour, 3/4 Cup sugar, salt and Mace; mix till smooth.
3. Add fruit. 4. Add remaining flour, 1 Cup at a time, changing to dough hook when the mixture becomes too stiff for the paddle.
5. Knead for about 15 min., or until dough is smooth and shiny, scraping sides of bowl when necessary. If it is sticky because of the moisture in the fruit, add a little more flour. Dough will be soft, so don't add too much more flour. (If moisture in fruit makes dough sticky, add a little more flour.
6. Put into large greased bowl to rise in warm place, about 2 hours, or till doubled. 7. Turn out on floured board, cut into 4 pieces. (Knead a little flour into each if dough is too soft.
8. Cut each piece into 3, roll each section into a short rope about 1 ½ -2 inches in diameter and about 9 inches long. 9. Lay these 3 side by side, pinch together at one end, and gently braid, loosely, just a few crossings.
10. Transfer to cookie-sheet (either greased or non-stick.) 11. Repeat with the other 3 pieces, putting each finished braid on a separate cookie sheet. 12. Allow to rise till nearly double. (Additional rising will take place in oven.)
13. Brush with beaten egg, decorate with halves of blanched almonds, and bake at 335-350o for 25-30 minutes. Sprinkle with powdered sugar if desired.
TO BLANCH ALMONDS: Put 1 Cup shelled almonds into pan, cover with hot water, bring to boil. Turn off heat, allow to stand for 5-10 minutes. Drain hot water off and cover almonds with cold water, letting them stand for a few more minutes. Skins will readily slip off when pinched. Split each almond in half; otherwise they are too bulky, do not cling to the dough as well, and are too hard to cut through after Stollen is baked.