Moose Mountain Coffee Cake
Lifting a stanza from Plum's Christmas poem -
I am from cold winter
Skiing and Sledding
Ice skating and Snow forts
I am from warm cups of hot chocolate
From coffee-cake on Christmas morning
The crystallized sugar at the bottom of the pan
- 3 cups hot water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/4 cups cold unsalted butter (20 tablespoons), plus more for pans
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon ground cardamon
- 2 tablespoons dry yeast
- 8 - 10 cups flour
- 1 1/2 cups brown sugar
- 4 teaspoons cinnamon
Combine water, salt and sugar in a large bowl. Melt 1/4 cup (4 tablespoons) butter and add to bowl. Stir in eggs and cardamom and sprinkle yeast over ingredients. The mixture will look like you have done something wrong. Let stand until yeast starts to bubble, about 5 minutes. Stir in flour adding just enough so that the dough can be picked up and gently kneaded into a ball. Transfer to a clean buttered mixing bowl, cover with a damp cloth and let rise about 40 minutes. Butter two 9" tube pans and sprinkle the bottom of both with 1/4 cup brown sugar each. Combine remaining cup brown sugar with cinnamon, divide mixture in half and set aside. Divide remaining 1 cup butter in half. Slice into thin slivers and chill. You should now have two small bowls cinnamon sugar mixture and two distinct plates of cold butter. Use one bowl sugar and one plate butter for each of the two cakes.
Turn raised dough onto a lightly floured board. Divide dough in half. Working with one half at at time, roll dough out to form a large rectangle. Sprinkle the middle third of rectangle with 1/3 of the thinly sliced butter and 1/3 of the sugar. Fold the two sides equally over the middle section, turn 90 degrees. Roll the dough once again into a rectangle. Sprinkle another 1/3 butter and sugar over the middle third of the dough. Fold both sides in over the middle and turn again. Repeat one more time, three sprinklings/turnings in total. The final rolling should yield rectangle about 6" x 12". Using a serrated knife, cut rectangle into 6 equal strips. Twist each strip into a tight roll and place into prepared pan. Fill pan with rolls and repeat process with remaining dough, butter and sugar.
Preheat oven to 375. Line oven rack with a baking sheet or tin foil as - inevitably - this cake will drip molten sugar. Cover cakes with a damp clothes and let rise about 30 minutes. Bake cakes until golden brown on top, bubbly and delicious, about 30 minutes. remove from oven and let cool about 10 minutes before inverting. Serve hot - pulling (rather than cutting) rolls apart.