Boston this one’s for you! Back to Basics…Back to Baking

Boston, Massachusetts

Boston, Massachusetts

To all our friends in Boston, this one’s for you!

As a survivor of the 9/11 World Trade Center disaster in New York City, I wanted to offer my love and support to everyone who was directly or indirectly affected by this most hurtful attack in Boston.

Healing takes time, lots of love and understanding.  Personally, living through 9/11 changed me forever. It shook me to my very core.  Miraculously enough, it sparked a seed of change in me that took ten years to cultivate.

The physical act of cooking literally helped me get my life back on track after being so greatly derailed.  Cooking was the inspiration that helped me move on from being stuck.  It gave me the ability to lift myself up in a fun and invigorating way.

Food is a fantastic way to nurture oneself from the inside out. In times like this, I can think of no form of cooking more comforting and heartwarming than baking.  Baking is an easy and satisfying way to feel and share the love. Working with yeast doughs takes patience. 

As you nurture the dough, you, too, can be nurtured. Baking also fills a home with the most soothing aromas.  These aromas can transport us to our safe place and wrap us like a baby in a blanket where we can regain our focus, heal, and return back to life again…Refreshed!

So Boston, this one’s for you: a “back to basics – back to baking” recipe that will hopefully place a smile on many a Bostonians’ face and a comforting warmth in their hearts.

Boston Coffee Cake

Boston Coffee Cake

I share with you one of my all-time favorite coffee cake recipes.  This is a simple, classic recipe.

The aromas from the baking of it will not only be mouthwatering, they will be soothing to the soul as well.

Boston Coffee Cake Recipe

Ingredients:

  • Yeast (fresh) – 25g or 0.9oz.
  • Butter (unsalted) – 1/4 lbs (one stick)
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Salt – 1/2 teaspoon
  • Sugar – 1/2 cup
  • Cinnamon- 2 teaspoon
  • Flour (all-purpose) – 3 1/4 cups 
Filling:
  • Butter (softened) – 3 ounces
  • Almonds (ground)1/2 cup
  • Hazelnuts (chopped) 6 tablespoons
  • Vanilla sugar – 1 teaspoon
  • Powdered Sugar – 1/2 cup

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg, beaten
  • pearl or sanding sugar (for garnish)
To Bake:

  • Melt butter, add milk and heat the mixture gently to 100°F
  • Crumble the yeast into the milk mixture, whip lightly to dissolve.
  • Add salt, sugar and cinnamon.
  • Gradually add the flour. First stir with a wooden spoon, then knead into smooth, elastic dough that no longer sticks to the bowl nor to your hand.
  • Cover and let rise until doubled in size (about 30 minutes).
  • Preheat oven to 400°F and grease a 9-inch round cake or springform pan.
  • Lightly flour the baking board and turn the dough on it.
  • Roll the dough out into a rectangle, 15 ins. x 17 ins., roughly .
  • Spread the softened butter on the dough; combine the remaining filling ingredients and sprinkle on top of the butter.
  • Roll the dough up starting from the longer side and cut into approximately 1-1/2 ins. pieces.
  • Place the pieces into the prepared pan on their side, and quite close to each other. Cover and let rise until doubled (about 30 minutes).
  • Brush the top with the beaten egg and sprinkle with pearl sugar.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Cover with a clean kitchen towel while cooling.
You can omit the pearl sugar if you want: just brush the cake with egg before baking and dust with some powdered sugar on top of the cake once it has cooled.

 

Happy Baking to our friends in Boston!