Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Krantz (yeast cake) with Nutella and Halva filling (with GF option)

This is a Krantz, which is a braided yeast cake (not to be confused with Frankfurter Kranz). You can fill the dough with any filling you like and braid it using the same technique. This particular version, made from a recipe from pastry chef Karin Goren is filled with Nutella and bits of halva - a middle-eastern treat made from sesame. However, if you can't get your hands on halva, just nutella will work as well.
The result is a firm, warm, fragrant cake, filled with gooey delicious chocolatey goodness.

For the gluten free version (which you see in the picture) I simply substituted the regular flour with the same weight of Cup4Cup gluten free flour, and it worked fabulously well. Easy to work with and delicious. I did have to add a tiny bit more milk to the dough to get it to mix, but other than that it was the same recipe. Since this is the third recipe I've published with this flour, I think I should make it clear that of course I am not an advertiser for the flour nor do I have any connections with C4C or its manufacturers. I've just been finding it a really great flour to work with. 

Krantz (yeast cake) with Nutella and Halva Filling 

Ingredients (for 2 cakes, each made in a small loaf pan or  "English cake" tin): 

For the dough:
- 500 grams/17 oz all purpose flour (or cup4cup gluten free flour)
- 1 tbsp active dry yeast
- 100 grams/3.5 oz/6 tbsp butter
- 150 ml (a little over 1/2 cup) milk
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 6 tbsp sugar
- 1/2 tsp salt

For the filling: 
- 1 cup nutella
- 100 grams/3.5 oz halva ( In the US, Joyva makes gluten free halva)

- 1 egg, whisked, for egg wash


1. In a mixer with a dough hook, combine the flour with the yeast. Melt the butter, allow to chill a bit, and add to the flour together with the milk, eggs and sugar. Mix in medium speed until you get a dough (if necessary, add a bit more milk). Add the salt, and keep working the dough in the mixer for another five minutes, until you get a smooth, shiny and slightly sticky dough. (Note: you can do all this by hand if you don't have a mixer)

2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, and leave the dough to rise in a warm place for a couple of hours, until doubled - or overnight in the fridge.

3. Divide the risen dough into two equal parts. Roll each dough into a rectangle about 1/2 cm/1/4 inch thick. Spread each rectangle with half of the Nutella spread and then sprinkle with half of the halva. Roll each rectangle into a roulade.

4. Slice one roulade down the middle, so that you get two lengths of dough layered with filling. Carefully turn the two pieces on their side, so that the part with the exposed filling is on top. Press one end of the two pieces together and then gently "braid" them (you can see the picture of this  here ). Do this for the other roulade, and gently transfer each one of them into a small loaf tin or long cake tin.

5. Allow the cakes to rise until about doubled. Gently brush with egg wash. Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F. Bake for about 25-30 minutes, until the cakes are fragrant and beautifully browned. If you gently knock on the dough, the cake will make a hollow sound. 

These are best served slightly warm, but are also delicious cold.

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