Brunsviger is a classic Danish coffee cake of sorts. It comes from Fyn (Funen) in Denmark, the island where Hans Christian Andersen was born. It is a soft yeast dough topped with a generous serving of butter and brown sugar. It’s traditionally served warm in the morning or with afternoon coffee or tea and it’s always best the same day it is made. If you have some left-over cake you can heat it up a little and it’s still delicious.
The challenge I had making this cake was that the pan size called for, was an odd size (16×20 inch) which I don’t have. So the first time I made this coffee cake I made it “free style” if you will, simply just forming it onto a baking sheet. But it resulted in a lot of the topping flowing off the cake and making a big mess in my oven. After a weeks time of pondering I gave it another shot and this time I decided to use my 9 x 13 inch pan which is not the “correct” size but it does have tall sides as oppose to the baking sheet, and I am happy to say that it worked out great. The topping stayed on top and really seeped into the cake. Make sure to make plenty of finger dimples in the cake because this is where the yummy stuff hangs out.
1 cup whole milk, warmed to 110 degrees F (43 degrees C)
4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 tablespoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup butter
Heat milk over low heat to 110 degrees F (100-110 degrees F) (37-43 degrees C), sprinkle active dry yeast over milk, give a quick stir and let sit for 10 minutes. Meanwhile melt butter and set aside.
Pour milk mixture into the bowl of a stand-mixer. Add eggs, sugar, salt and melted butter, stir to combine. Using the dough hook start the mixer on medium-low speed and add the flour in small increments. Note: you may not need all the flour. Scrape down the sides of bowl with a rubber spatula as needed and continue to add the flour until dough is soft, elastic and slightly sticky. Grease a large bowl with a small amount of baking spray or vegetable oil, place dough in bowl, cover with a clean dry tea towel and let rise for 30 minutes.
Spray a 9 x 13 inch (23 x 33 cm) baking pan with baking spray and line with piece of parchment paper extending up to the edges of pan. Deflate the dough and pour into baking pan. If dough is a little too tacky cover your fingers in a light dusting of flour. Press dough evenly out into the corners of the baking pan. Cover pan with the tea towel and let rise for another 20 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
To make the Topping: Over low heat melt butter with the brown sugar. Stir frequently to ensure sugar is completely melted and butter in fully incorporated. Do not boil! Remove from heat and cool slightly.
Pour 2/3 of topping over dough and spread evenly. Press your fingers into the dough to make deep dimples. Pour the remaining 1/3 of topping over dough and bake for 25-30 minutes. Serve Brunsviger warm. Enjoy!
Source: adapted from The Scandinavian Cookbook
This recipe has been submitted to YeastSpotting, a wonderful site filled with recipes containing yeast.