Savoury Kugelhopf-We Knead to Bake #7

Traditionally,  Kugelhopf’s are sweet and baked with nuts and dried fruits, but this savory version retains the integrity of the name and the pan this brioche-like bread is baked in.  Sauteed green peppers, tomatoes and onions  are combined with diced cheddar cheese, chopped walnuts, crushed black pepper and dried thyme, then this heady  mixture is kneaded into the yeast risen dough for the final rise.

Said to have originated in the Alsace region of France, variation of Kugelhopf’s are also found in other European countries close to Alsace. There are many legends on exactly when and who created the bread like cake, one I like is that it originated in Vienna when the Hapsburg army defeated the Turks at the gates of the city. To celebrate the victory, Viennese bakers created a cake make in the shape of a sultan’s turban. That sounds plausible to me, but the fact is the Kugelhopf, whether sweet or savory is a beautiful bread for all occasions.

iPhone Image-Savoury Kugelhopf Diptych

For our “We Knead to Bake” group, Aparna chose this Savoury Kugelhopf, the seventh in our year of bread baking. I’d like to say I’m proficient with yeast breads, but I usually shy away from those with cooked onion. I guess it comes from not liking onion bagels, however, this bread is an exception to the rule. Next time I make it, I will use bacon as in this recipe. Try sun-dried tomatoes and toasted pine  nuts for a change. Also, I will use individual brioche molds that I use when I make brioche rolls for picnics. A proper Kugelhopf pan is on my bucket list of kitchen batterie de cuisine.

Savoury Kugelhopf


3-3-1/2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons instant yeast

1 teaspoon salt, or to taste

75 grams butter (2.6 ounces or just shy of 3 tablespoons), room temperature

3/4 cup milk, warmed (105°-110°F)

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon oil

1/3 cup chopped green bell peppers

1/3 cup deseeded, pulp-free and chopped tomatoes

1 cup onions or scallions, finely chopped

1/2 cup diced cheddar cheese

1/3 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

1-1/2 teaspoons coarsely crushed black pepper

1 teaspoon dried thyme

Method-Food Processor

Put 3 cups flour, yeast and salt in the bowl of the processor. Pulse a few times to mix. Then add the butter, a little at a time and process until incorporated. Add the warmed milk and process until mixed together. Add the eggs, processing until mixed. This makes a soft, sticky dough. Add more flour, a little at a time and just enough until the dough pulls away from the pan. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl, cover and let rise until doubled in volume-1-1/2 to 2-1/2 hours. The dough is a slow rise, so plan accordingly.

Meanwhile, heat 1/2 teaspoon oil in a pan. Add the chopped green pepper, the tomato, a pinch of salt and stir fry until the raw smell disappears, but the vegetables remain crisp. Remove and set aside. In the same pan, add remaining 1/2 teaspoon oil and saute the onions with a pinch of salt until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove to bowl with green pepper and tomatoes. Set aside

Well grease an 8-inch Kugelhopf mold or bundt pan especially around the center. Place some of the chopped walnuts in the bottom of the mold. If you are using a loaf tin or individual brioche molds,  omit the chopped walnuts for the bottom of the pan. Instead, press the walnuts on top of the dough after the second rise, just before baking.

Once the dough has risen, deflate it and remove to a silicone mat. Work in the cheese, stir-fried onions, bell pepper, tomato, the remaining walnuts, black pepper and dried thyme. The best way to do this is to flatten the dough and spread the ingredients all over the surface, then knead it in. The dough will be a bit sticky, but refrain from using more flour.

Roll the dough into a longish log, long enough to fit the mold comfortably. Lift the log of dough and place in the mold in a circular fashion. Pinch the two ends together the close the circle. Cover and let rise for an hour or so, until it reaches the edges of the mold.

Bake in a pre-heated 400° F (200C) oven for 35-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and sounds hollow when tapped.

Let rest 5 minutes before removing to a rack to cool. Serves about 10.

Black and White Bundt -iPhone image
Post processed with Topaz BW2 Software

The above image is my contribution to BWW #93 hosted by Satsuki of Satsukien Cuisine. As most of you know, BWW was created by Susan of The Well-Seasoned Cook and is now managed by Cinzia from CindyStar Blog. Yours truly will be hosting BWW #94. Look out for the forthcoming announcement.


Please do not use images or text without my permission. 


  1. Justagirl fromaamchimumbai
    July 24, 2013 / 11:41 am

    Lynne that is a lovely looking bread. Love the shape and the color. Superb job.

  2. Nivedhanams Sowmya
    July 25, 2013 / 6:12 am

    yum yum yummy!!! nice pictures!!SowmyaEvent – Flavors of GermanyEvent – VFAM–Onions

  3. Lynne Daley
    July 25, 2013 / 11:17 am

    Justagirl–thanks for commenting. This bread was a winner in my family and I love being part of We Knead to Bake!Nivedhanams–Thanks, a great pick from Aparna.

  4. Sandhya Ramakrishnan
    July 25, 2013 / 2:49 pm

    Beautiful Pictures Lynne! The bread looks lovely!

  5. Rosa's Yummy Yums
    July 26, 2013 / 8:43 am

    A wonderful kugelhopf! Great job.That black and white picture is beautiful!Cheers,Rosa

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