03 February 2013

Tuscan Coffee Cake

This is where it all began.  

My sourdough starter needed to be replenished, or "fed" and I hadn't mixed the sponge for waffles on Saturday Night.  I began searching for something to make for breakfast so as not to have to throw a cup of the starter away.  On the King Arthur Flour site I found a recipe for popovers using half a cup of the starter, then I'd only have to throw away 1/2 cup. 
.  The search continued, coffee cake sounded good for a change.  Clicking on sourdough starter led me to this coffee cake.  The recipe called for dates and golden raisins, having lots of dried cherries I substituted them.  It was a successful substitution.  I can imagine this cake with dried apricots and almonds.  

We were in such a hurry to eat breakfast that I forget to take a picture before we chowed down! 

My husband is so thoughtful, Super Bowl Pre-Game is turned on for me as I type this, ...like I care.  He's in his office working!  Ok honestly, I am enjoying the stories about the two Harbaugh brother coaches, their parents win no matter what!  Go Giants!  Oops, I meant 49ers!

 (I used my sourdough starter, and didn't start the night before)
1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cool water
1/16 teaspoon instant yeast

Mix the starter ingredients in a small (about 1-quart) bowl, and let rest overnight at room temperature.

all of the starter
2/3 cup water
2 3/4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 large egg
2 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt

1 cup toasted walnuts, very coarsely chopped
3/4 cup chopped dates
3/4 cup dried cherries

2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon water
Combine the dough ingredients, mixing and kneading to form a smooth, supple dough. It’ll be very slack; for this reason, I suggest kneading in a bread machine, or with a mixer, rather than by hand. Place the dough in a bowl, and let it rise about 1 hour. It may not double in bulk; that’s OK.

Gently deflate the dough, and knead the nuts and fruit into it. Shape the dough into a flat ball, and place it in a 9-inch round cake pan. Cover the pan with a proof cover or lightly greased plastic wrap, and allow the loaf to rise for 30 minutes, or till it barely crests over the top of the pan.

Combine the sugar, vanilla and water, and drizzle this mixture over the top of the risen coffeecake. Bake it in a preheated 350°F oven for 35 minutes, or until it’s golden brown and the internal temperature registers 190°F. Remove it from the oven, and after 5 minutes, carefully turn it out of the pan. Allow it to cool on a rack. Yield: 1 cake, about 8 to 10 servings.  

Slightly adapted from King Arthur Flour

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