Braided Dried Plum Coffee Cake
A classic yeast dough is folded over walnut, dried plum and brown sugar filling, then sprinkled with cinnamon-scented crumb topping, for a rich breakfast or tea-time treat.
2 cups (about 12 ounces) chopped dried plums
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 1/3 cup water
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk , divided
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 cup (1/2 of stick) margarine or butter
1/2 cup warm water (105-115ºF)
2 packages active dried yeast
2 eggs, beaten
4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 egg yolk
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons margarine or butter
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Combine dried plums, brown sugar, water, walnuts and lemon juice in saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Continue boiling until mixture is thick enough to spread, about 8 minutes. Set aside.
Heat 1/2 cup milk to almost boiling, stirring constantly; remove from heat. Stir in sugar, salt and margarine. Cool to lukewarm. Place warm water into large warm bowl. Sprinkle in yeast; stir until dissolved. Stir in lukewarm milk mixture, eggs and half the flour; beat until smooth. Stir in remaining flour to make a slightly stiff dough. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead until smooth and elastic, about 8 minutes. Place dough into oiled bowl, turning to oil top. Cover; let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour, then punch down once.
Divide dough in half. Roll out each half into a 16 x 8-inch oblong shape. Place each shape onto greased baking sheets. Spread half the filling down the center third of each oblong. Cut 15 slits in dough along each side of filling, making strips about 1 inch wide. Fold strips at an angle across filling, alternating from side to side. Cover; let rise in warm place, free from draft, until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Meanwhile heat oven to 350ºF.
Combine egg yolk and 2 tablespoons milk; brush cakes with mixture. Sprinkle half of topping (recipe below) on each cake. Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until done. Cool on wire racks.
In small bowl, combine flour, margarine, sugar and cinnamon.
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