I'm here to help you get your Memorial Day Weekend off to a good start.
For those of you outside the US, Memorial Day is celebrated the last Monday of May. It's meant to honor those who lost their lives in war, such as my grandfather's youngest brother, who was shot down over Italy in WWII, but mostly, people celebrate the beginning of summer. Especially for those of us in the northern part of the country, that is great cause for celebration, indeed. Count me among those pulling sleeveless dresses out of the closet!
Anyway, back to food, which is why you're here.
Remember my Cool Rise breads? Yes, of course you do. This is the same technique, except you get to have a cup or 2 of coffee or tea while you get good and hungry. And by preparing this tonight, you'll have coffee cake for the entire weekend (unless you happen to be in my household, in which case you'll have "a small smackerel", to quote Pooh). And, trust me, this is better than Mr. Entenmann ever thought of making, and he's pretty darned talented.
COOL RISE COFFEE CAKE
5 to 6 cups flour
2 pkgs (6 tsp) yeast
1/2 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 4 ounces) softened butter
1-1/2 cup very warm water
2 eggs at room temperature
1 can apple pie filling (or whatever flavor you have handy)
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp sugar
Pour the water into a bowl; sprinkle the yeast over it. Add the flour, sugar and salt, followed by the butter, cut into small chunks, and eggs. Mix the ingredients together with either a Kitchenaid or hand mixer at low speed. With the stand mixer, let it knead the bread at low speed for 10 minutes; if using a hand mixer, after it starts to protest, dump the dough on a floured surface, and knead by hand, pushing the dough backward with the heel of your hand, folding the back over to the front with your fingertips, and turning it 90 degrees, then repeating the process, until the dough is smooth, 5 minutes or so. Regardless of the mixing process, let the dough sit for 10 minutes after the kneading is complete.
Roll the dough out to the length of a cookie sheet by almost double its width (in my case, about 17"x20"). Place centered on the cookie sheet, with 1/4 of the width of the dough hanging over either side. Spread the pie filling over the center of the dough, and fold the sides inward to meet in the center. Slash the dough on a diagonal along either side. In a small bowl, mix the 2 tsp milk and sugar; brush the top of the cake with this mixture.
Cut off a sheet of waxed paper, and brush one side with cooking oil. Cover the cake with the oiled side of the waxed paper, then wrap loosely with plastic wrap. Put the tray in the refrigerator overnight.
In the morning, take the coffee cake out of the refrigerator, then preheat the oven to 375F. Remove the coverings, let the coffee cake sit for 10 minutes, then place it in the oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until your cake is nicely browned. Then lean back and enjoy a great breakfast treat, and the start of a very fine weekend!
And, tomorrow I'll show you why we should be happy that this summer is 2010, instead of 1910!