If you have been following the blog for long enough, you would know that I spent some time in Germany as a student. What you probably did not know is that I spent most of my time them in the famous city of Leipzig, where I first had a taste of the widely famous Streusel Kuchen.
What is Streusel Kuchen?
Streuselkuchen (written as one word in German) is a sort of pastry/ cake that is a specialty of Leipzig. In fact, Leipzig is well known for its pastries and cakes culture and it is where the first coffee house in Germany was opened. Saxons were the first German to introduce the tradition of cake and coffee and this pastry will not disappoint.
Streusel is a crumbly topping that is used for cakes and pastries. It comprises of butter, flour and sugar.
Let’s get baking!
This a recipe that is slightly adapted from Bo Friberg’s book, the professional pastry chef. It tastes exactly like the one I used to have in Leipzig, only mine has strawberries instead of plums. I got my hand on some beautifully ripe strawberries and I honestly could not resist.
Although there certainly is a variety of this pastry that is made with a cake batter similar to pound cake. This one, and the one I had in Germany is made of a yeast dough and is equally delicious to the cake variety if not better.
To make the dough, in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast to the warm milk. Make sure the milk is warm to touch and not hot, so that it does not kill the yeast. Also, the recipe calls for bread flour and I have also tested it with all-purpose flour. I must say, there was a real difference in the end result. When I used the bread flour, the dough raised upwards and held its shape beautifully. Unfortunately, the one made with all-purpose flour did not have the texture of the pastry I had in Germany. So, I am afraid bread flour is not replaceable in this recipe. Also, make sure that the eggs and butter are at room temperature, this ensures the dough is soft.
The streusel topping
Streusel in German means sprinkles, and as the name suggests it is meant to be sprinkled on top of pastries. I have seen many recipes for the streusel that calls for equal parts flour, sugar and butter. However, I followed Friberg’s recipe again and found it perfect. The recipe calls for both brown and granulated sugar. The brown sugar adds a depth of flavor to the topping.
Like I said, I used strawberries although it is not a traditional topping. So, feel free to replace it with whatever fresh fruits you have at hand. The varieties I had usually had stone fruits or a pastry cream topping.
If you tried the recipe, tag me in your creations on Instagram @thebitterolive. I would love to hear from you!
Strawberry Streusel Kuchen
This traditional German pastry is the perfect dessert to accompany your coffee!
- ½ cup milk
- 5 g instant dry yeast
- 35 g granulated sugar
- 1 egg yolk
- vanilla seeds from one pod (or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
- 220 g bread flour
- 25 g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
- 30 g brown sugar
- 30 g granulated sugar
- 50 g butter (at room temperature)
- Pinch of salt
- 85 g all-purpose flour
- 500 g strawberries (sliced)
- In a bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast to the warm milk and let it set for 3 – 4 mins. Add sugar, egg yolks, vanilla and half of the flour. Using the dough hook, knead on medium speed for 2 – 3 mins. Add butter then the rest of the flour and mix until you have a soft dough. Make sure not to over mix.
- Allow the dough to rise until it doubles in volume. This depends on the temperature of your kitchen. I let mine set for 30 minutes, but it could take you an hour or more if your kitchen is cold.
- Line a 20X30 cm baking pan with parchment paper. Once dough has doubled in volume, roll it to fit in the prepared pan. Allow the dough to rise again in the pan.
Meanwhile preheat oven to 200°C.
- Top the dough with the sliced strawberries and then sprinkle with the streusel.
- Bake for 12 minutes.
- Allow to cool slightly. Can be enjoyed warm, at room temperature.