INGREDIENTS (one large loaf)
2 large room temperature eggs
1/2 cup very soft butter (115 gr.)
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1/2 cup room temperature whole milk
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp honey
360 gr. all-purpose flour (about 3 cups) plus extra flour for kneading
12 gr. fresh yeast + 1 tbsp. dried sour dough starter or 2 1/2 tsp. granular yeast
grated rind of one organic lemon
optional: 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg and a pinch of grated fava bean
Filling: Melt together on low heat or double boiler 1/4 cup butter, 100 gr.(3 1/2 oz.) dark chocolate and 1 “Pocket Coffee” chocolate* (if desired). Mix in 1/3 cup powdered sugar sifted together with 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder. Stir until smooth. Set aside (keep warm as it can harden).
*The addition of this coffee filled chocolate gives your chocolate filling a touch of coffee aroma.
Honey Glaze: Boil together for 3-4 minutes 1/4 cup coconut sugar, 1 tbsp honey and 1/4 cup water. Set aside and keep warm until the Krantz is baked.
1. Mix the yeast(s) if using fresh into 1/4 cup warm water and 1 tsp. honey. Set aside.
2. Now sift the flour and sugar together. (sifting helps for a more airier and tender loaf)
3. Place the flour in a stand mixer with dough hooks (whisk in the dry yeast if using) otherwise pour in the liquid yeast mixture in a well in the center of the flour. Add the yogurt and milk mixture together with the eggs. Add the grated lemon ring and spices if desired.
4. Mix with the dough hook until a soft ball forms – add the salt. if mixture is too dry add a bit of water (1 tbsp at a time) or if too liquid add a little flour.
5. Now on a low speed add the soft butter a little bit at a time until it’s completely incorporated.
Keep mixing with a medium speed until the dough is smooth and moderately firm and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. Transfer the dough to a greased bowl and cover it with wax paper or “Bee’s Wrap” if you have it. You can refrigerate it at this point overnight and continue the next day. Otherwise proceed to rising and shaping.
RISING AND SHAPING
1. If you put the dough in the fridge remove it and punch down the dough, knead it back into a ball and let it rise covered with wax paper or Bee’s Wrap until it doubles for 1-2 hrs in a warm spot. Otherwise if making the same day let the dough rise always covered until it doubles (about an hour).
2. When dough has risen, punch it down and roll it into a thin 10-12 inch (25-30 cm.) square depending on the length of your bread pan.
6. Now keeping the cut sides up, place one of the halves over the other to form a cross. Twist each side to form a braid. Tuck the ends under and gently transfer the braided loaf (with the help of a spatula) into a greased loaf pan (or wax paper lined). If braid is too long you could cut it in half and use two smaller pans. (mine was a 12 inch pan)
7. Place pan covered with a piece of wax paper or a damp towel in a warm spot to rise about an hour. It won’t double at this point but it should rise about 1/3 more.
8. Bake loaf in a 375deg F (180deg C) preheated oven for about 30-35 minutes. Remove from oven when done and flip the Krantz onto a cooling rack. (the bottom should sound somewhat “hollow” when tapped with knuckles). Also that wonderful fragrance lets you know it’s done!
9. Prepare the glaze while the Krantz is baking. When the Krantz is baked and still warm brush the top with it. Let the loaf cool before slicing. Store it wrapped loosely with wax paper and in “Bee’s Wrap” or a tightly covered container. Enjoy!