Friday, 31 August 2012

Szilvás lepény - Plum Küchen

Kuchen is made with a slightly sweet yeasty dough (means 'cake' in German) topped with usually fruit and sometimes nuts or a buttery crumble, eaten for breakfast or with coffee anytime of the day. 
I made this one with plums as they are in season at the moment and it's a very traditional lepény topping, but equally good with apples, blackberries, cherries. The recipe I used filled a gigantic baking tray and while proving and baking it kept spilling out around the edges. So I am giving you half the quantity as it will still be plenty to go around and enough for a normal size baking tin, causing less stress in the kitchen :-)

For the cake base:
350g plain flour
half packet (3,5g) dried yeast
pinch of salt
50g caster sugar
2 eggs
few drops of vanilla extract
few drops of almond extract
125 ml milk
50g butter

Blend the flour, yeast, salt and sugar together. Warm the milk a little and beat the eggs, add these to the flour mix together with the vanilla and almond extract. Knead it by hand or a machine until well mixed. Melt the butter and work this into the dough until it is a soft, smooth and springy texture. This will take 5-10 minutes. Cover with a damp tea towel and let it rest and double in size in a warm place for about 1-1,5 hours. Prepare the topping.

For the topping:
1,5kg plums
sugar to taste
1 tsp cinnamon

Wash and stone the plums, cut them into long quarters. Mix it with a few tablespoons of sugar and the cinnamon. Let it rest until needed.
When the dough is ready, knock it back on a floured surface and stretch it out by hand (or roll it out with a rolling pin) into a medium size rectangular baking tin. Arrange the plums on top, pressed slightly into the dough. I like to line them up overlapping, with pointy end sticking out of the dough - these will nicely caramelize while baking and the lines are easier to cut more neatly.
Let it rest and rise for another 30 min/1hr in a warm place. Preheat the oven to 180C and bake until cooked through for about 35-40 minutes. By this time your house will be filled with delicious, sweet cinnamony bread smell. When ready, cut them into slabs, dust with more sugar and serve warm. 

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