christine ferbers gugelhupf

i wanted to post this one for over half a year. it was june when i went to the alsace to interview the world famous christine ferber. it was a rainy sunday - just the perfect wheater to visit her in her wonderful little bakery and stand at the stove for 2 hours to stir some jam and talk about the world and all it's beautiful things in it.
christine is a baker (and also a cook and a icecream-queen) you wont find anywhere else in the world. there is not one pre-made product in her bakery. the chocolate glaze, the marzipan, the fruit, the veggies, the tarts and pies and all the adorable little cakes she bakes from tuesday to sunday make you believe you just ended up in a fairy tale. more about that later, as i still got some pics of the jam-queen herself in the bakery from last summer...

before i went to see her, i had to bake one of her signature-cakes: the gugelhupf. a recipe that was given to her by her father. actually, he didnt tell her how to do it. he just told her to take some butter, flour, eggs and raisins and bake a gugelhupf out of it. christine herself almost fell into despair as she baked loads of these gugelhupfs, but never ended up with one as soft and buttery as her father's. finally - after some years of practice and alot of patience she handed mer her recipe - which i proudly share with you. it takes a heck of a time to make it. the dough needs a lot of rest - but dont even think about skipping a minute of it. it's what makes this gugelhupf so airy and soft. really, just the best gugelhupf in the whole wide world!


makes a gugelhupf (kugelhupf) of about 1kg

100 g and 300 g flour
60 g icing sugar
200 ml cold milk (full fat)
180 g soft butter
25 g fresh yeast
one small egg (about 40 g)
10 g salt
100 g raisins
1,5 cl kirsch
1,5 cl water
50 g almonds (whole)

15 g icing sugar, for dusing
the best jam you have in your house

ready to go into the oven

soak the raisins in a bowl in the water and the kirsch.
sift 100g of the flour into a bowl and mix with the yeast and the milk. cover with a kitchen towell and let rest at room temperature (about 22 c°) for about 15 minutes.

sift 300g of flour onto the working surface and form a hollow. scatter salt and sugar at the boarder of the hollow. pour yeast/milk/flour mixture and the egg into the hollow. working slowly from the out- to the inside, knead into a dough and knead for about 5 minutes. it will become lighter in colour in time and is finished as soon as it doesnt stick to your fingers any more. add the soft butter in cubes and knead well. you will end up with a very silky and shiny dough.
then drain the raisins and add to the dough. form a ball, put in a bowl and cover with a towell. let rest at room temperature (22 c°) for 1,5 hours. when the dough has doubled in volume, knead it one more time (just a little...), then cover again and let rest for 20 minutes.

dive the almonds into very hot water for about 1 minute.

butter the gugelhupf / kugelhopf-tin generously with butter and put an almond into each of the rills on the bottom. form dough into a ball and put in the tin, cover and let rest for about 1,5 hours until it doubles in size.

heat oven to 200 °C, reduce to 180 c° before you put the cake into the oven. bake for about 45-55 minutes. then take out of the oven, take gugelhupf out of the tin and let cool on a cooling rack. dust with icing sugar before serving. cut into slices and spread with some homemade jam.

christine ferber sells not only her world-famous gugelhupf, but also the traditional gugelhupf-tin (that's actually made of clay) at her wonderful little shop in the alsace. christine ferber, 18 rue des trois epis, 68230 niedermorschwihr -FR