Coffee Cake & Cuban Bread? What do they have to do with each other?

My Urban Kitchen

Please keep in mind that  I am cooking/baking in Austria and adapting recipes all the time with ingredients that are available here.

I am also browning mushrooms for homemade cream of mushroom soup as I write this.  More on the soup later. I am planning a soup category for this blog too.  The Coffee Cake and Cuban Bread are for tomorrow’s breakfast at church.  The soup will be our dinner tonight.

An adopted and adapted recipe.   A missionary friend shared this with me years ago while she was living in Vienna.  She made it often and always for a crowd.  So, I guess, if you want a Christian Coffee Cake  :) that pleases people, this is it.

I have changed it and made it slightly healthier.  Robert, my husband, says any fat that I like, I call healthy fat, any fat that he likes, I call bad fat.  You can be the judge.

This cake gets lots of compliments and I am always surprised when people praise it as it  never turns out exactly the same.

Coffee Cake for the Masses

4 1/2 cups of flour   or  2 1/2  cups white  & 2 cups whole wheat

3 cups of sugar  or  1 cup white – 1 cup brown sugar (I make my own here in Vienna: white sugar and blackstrap molasses), & 1 cup of what Austrians call Demerara Vollrohrzucker (extra fine).

1 1/2 tsp salt

3 3/4 baking powder

1 cup oil  (sunflower oil or rapeseed)

Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl.  Next add the oil and mix well.   Remove 3 3/4 cups of this mix and put aside in another large bowl. You will need this later for the topping.

The Cake Batter

Now, to what is left over add the following ingredients (this will be your cake batter):

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

3 eggs

Mix well and pour into a  lined 9 x13 inch pan.

The Topping

Take the 3 3/4 cups you set aside for the topping  and cut in 6 -8 tablespoons margarine with 1-2 tablespoons of cinnamon.

Sprinkle this crumbly topping over the top of the batter in the pan.

Bake for approximately 20 minutes at 400༠ F 0r  200༠ C.

Cuban Bread (courtesy of Julia Child’s male counterpart, James Beard.  The manly man’s chef.)

A simple recipe, easy to make and probably the best baguette recipe out there for a conventional home oven.

My dear friend June Ivey told me about this recipe.   She came here to work at the Vienna Christian School after retiring from a full career teaching gifted students in Philadelphia.  She also left behind her James Beard cookbook!  Thank you June!

DO NOT PRE-HEAT your oven.  Starting this bread in a cold oven is what makes the crust so good.

1 package dry yeast

2 cups lukewarm water

1 1/4 tbsp salt

1 tbsp sugar

6 to 7 cups flour (about a kilo)

Dissolve the yeast in the water and add the salt and sugar, stirring thoroughly.  Add the flour, 1 cup at a time, beating it in with a wooden spoon.  Or use dough hooks on an electric mixer at low speed.  Add enough flour to make a fairly stiff dough.

When the dough is thoroughly mixed, shape into a ball.  Place in a greased bowl and grease the top.  Cover with a towel and let stand in a warm place (80 -85 degrees) until double in size.  Turn the dough out onto a floured board and shape into 2 long loaves or two round loaves.

Put them on a lined baking sheet or generously sprinkle cornmeal on the sheet and allow to rise 5 minutes.  Slash the top of the loaves with a very sharp knife in 3 -5 places.  Brush the loaves all over with water.

Place in a cold oven with a pan of boiling hot water on the bottom shelf.  Bake for about 45 minutes at 200༠ C. or until golden brown and the crust is crispy.

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