Traditionally bakers make this rich Alsatian bread in hand-painted earthenware molds, but steel, nonstick aluminum or glass molds are fine too.
More Delicious Side Dishes
4 slices of bacon, cut crosswise into 1/4 -inch strips
1 small onion, finely chopped
3/4 cup lukewarm milk
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon active dry yeast
1 large egg
1 teaspoon salt
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 sticks (6 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature—11 tablespoons cut into small pieces, 1 tablespoon melted
2/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts (about 3 ounces)
17 whole almonds
How to Make It
In a medium skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring, until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to paper towels. Add the onion to the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened but not browned, about 5 minutes; using a slotted spoon, transfer to paper towels.
In a standing mixer fitted with a paddle, combine the milk, sugar and yeast and let stand for 5 minutes. Add the egg and salt and beat at medium speed until blended. Gradually add the flour and continue beating until the dough is elastic, about 4 minutes. Gradually add the 11 tablespoons of softened butter, beating until the dough comes cleanly off the side of the bowl, about 8 minutes. At low speed, beat in the bacon, onion and walnuts until evenly distributed throughout the dough. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let the dough rise at warm room temperature until doubled in bulk, 2 to 3 hours.
Generously butter a 9-inch kugelhopf mold or fluted tube pan and set the almonds in the indentations in the bottom. Punch down the dough, shape it into a ball and make a hole in the middle. Set the ring of dough in the mold, cover and let rise until the dough almost reaches the top of the mold, about 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 375°. Bake the kugelhopf for about 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Transfer to a rack and let stand for 10 minutes, then unmold. Brush with the melted butter while still warm and serve at room temperature.
The unbuttered kugelhopf can be wrapped in foil and stored at room temperature for up to 1 day; do not use the melted butter.
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