Amazing what you can do with flour, sugar and butter! Okay- add a bit of yeast, milk and eggs.. still pretty much ingredients you would have in your pantry at any time.
The first time I had this was the first time I met my then-boyfriend, now-husband's parents. That was a big deal... we lived in Montreal and came to Kitchener to visit/meet them. So - the handwriting was on the wall so to speak.
Kitchener has a strong German heritage, as anyone who has enjoyed Oktoberfest here knows! The city used to be called Berlin but that name fell out of favour with World War I so they chose a new, more Anglo name.. after Lord Kitchener in 1916. Well my husband's family have helped form part of that German social fabric since the end of WW II.
Back to the Streuselkuchen.. because our first visit was such a 'big deal'... my mother-in-law cooked up all the family favourites. One of them is her Rouladen recipe that I have been making for years. And another was this gem!
And guess what? When it first appeared it was at the breakfast table!!! I had never seen dessert at breakfast before!! I am not sure how other German families serve this traditionally. It certainly qualifies as a sweet brioche type thing. It is absolutely perfect for the kaffee/kuchen (coffee/cake) ritual that Germans love. And what's not to love? Good strong coffee, a delicious cake item and a good visit.
A couple of notes - butter in European recipes is unsalted unless otherwise noted. Many North American cooks have learned that the hard way!
Vanillin Sugar- there is a brand called Dr. Oetker that is readily available in the Kitchener area but I am not sure about other areas. They sell things like baking powder in one recipe portions, puddings, cake mixes and yes the thin crust pizzas! Vanillin sugar is sugar that has vanilla flavoring. You can make vanilla sugar by placing a vanilla bean in a few cups of sugar until the sugar has absorbed the vanilla flavour. That takes a while but you have it on hand for lots of treats.
Or you can just use regular icing sugar. If I use regular sugar then I add a teaspoon of vanilla to the crumb topping mix.
This kuchen is best the day it is made because of its bread-like nature. If you are not serving same day or have left overs seal tightly or better yet freeze as soon as it is cool.
- ½ cup milk
- 2 ¼ teaspoon yeast
- ¼ cup sugar divided
- 2 ¼ cups flour
- 4 Tbsps unsalted butter cold
- 2 large eggs room temperature
- ¾ cup flour
- 6 Tbsps icing sugar
- 6 Tbsps cold unsalted butter
- icing sugar or vanillin sugar for sprinkling see Recipe note
- Heat the milk in the microwave on High 1 minute till there are just bubbles forming around the edge. Be careful not to boil it over. Let the milk cool for about 10 minutes til it is warm to your finger tip. (110 - 120 F).
- Sprinkle the yeast and 1 teaspoon of the sugar into the milk and stir well. Let stand about 10 minutes til foamy and bubbly,
- Manual Method: Mix the flour and remaining sugar in a bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the flour looks mealy. Add the yeast and eggs and stir with a wooden spoon til you have a moist, thick dough. Beat with a dough hook or by hand for approximately 5 minutes. Dough should be very stretchy. Transfer dough to a clean bowl and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon flour. Cover and let it rise til doubled - about 1 hour.
- Bread Machine Method: Mix the flour and remaining sugar in a bowl. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender until the flour looks mealy. Whip the eggs lightly and stir into the yeast mixture. Add the yeast mixture to your bread machine and add the flour mixture on top. Start dough cycle. Continue with instructions below when dough cycle has finished.
- Butter a 13" X 18" baking sheet.
- Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Roll it out lightly till it is about ¼" thick. Move to the buttered pan and push out to fill the pan. Do not form an edge crust.
- Cover with a kitchen towel.
- Mix the Streusel Topping ingredients except the sugar for sprinkling. Pulse in a food processor or work with a pastry blender until mixture is crumbly. Do not process beyond the 'crumb' stage.
- Uncover the dough. Press the crumb topping between your fingers to get pea-size lumps. Sprinkle them evenly over the dough.
- Cover the dough and topping with the towel and let rise a further 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
- Uncover the kuchen and place pan in the oven. Bake 30 minutes and check with a toothpick. Toothpick should come out clean. Remove from oven and sieve icing sugar over the kuchen while it is hot. (Note -I check mine after 15 minutes. If dough is getting too dark cover lightly with a sheet of parchment paper).
- Cool on a wire rack. Cut into portions and serve.