Kougelhopf bread by Christine Ferber

A traditional soft brioche bread from the Alsace with raisins and almonds, it always feels a bit like Christmas in “Le relais des trois épis”.


* for one bread of 1000 grams

  • 400 grams of flour
  • 60 grams of icing sugar
  • 200 grams of cold whole milk
  • 180 grams of butter at room temperature
  • 25 grams of fresh yeast (or 13 grams of dry yeast)
  • 40 grams of egg (equals more or less 1 small egg)
  • 10 grams of salt
  • 100 grams of raisins
  • 15 grams of Kirsch (1,5 cl)
  • 15 grams of water (1,5 cl)
  • 50 grams of whole almonds

You need a Kougelhopf baking mould with a content of more or less 1 l.

  • butter at room temperature to butter the mould
  • 15 grams of icing sugar to sprinkle over the Kougelhopf bread for decoration


Put the raisins in a bowl with the water and the Kirsch and leave it to macerate. I left them to macerate over night in water as I had no Kirsch, but I’ve seen a recipe where they also use water instead.

Sieve 100 grams of flour in a recipient, crumble the fresh yeast and blend it all together with the milk.
Cover it with a kitchen cloth and leave it rest for about 15 minutes at room temperature (22°C). In French this is called “petit levain”, it somehow acts like a sourdough starter.
After 15 minutes, sieve the rest of the flour (300 grams) on the working table. Make a hole in the middle and sprinkle the sugar and the salt on the outside.
Poor the “petit levain” in the centre and add the egg to it.
Slowly, but surely, add the flour to the mixture and knead the dough firmly until it no longer sticks to your hands, the colour of the dough should get lighter.
Then add the softened butter and beat the dough until it is well blended in, you should now obtain a soft and flexible dough.
Add the macerated raisins and beat it again until they are well incorporated.
Round the dough, put it in a bowl and cover it with a kitchen cloth and leave it to rest for one hour and a half at room temperature (22°C).
When the dough will almost have doubled in size, roll it gently with your hands and cover it again with the cloth for another 20 minutes.
Moisturize the almonds by dipping them for one minute in hot water.
Generously butter the mould and garnish every furrow with an almond.
Then put the dough in the mould, cover it, and leave it to rest again for one hour and a half at room temperature. The dough should almost double in size and fill the Kougelhopf mould.
Preheat the oven at 200°C, dropping to 180°C when you put the bread in the oven.
Bake the Kougelhopf for about 45 minutes, the house should fill with the lovely smell of freshly baked bread…
Remove the bread from the mould and flip it on a grid to let it cool down.
Besprinkle the Kougelhopf with the rest of the icing sugar.

Of course, you can also prepare the dough in the kitchen robot, this will result in an even softer and lighter dough.

On my way to Spain for Kitchenroots on the roadI was fortunate to discover the magical world of Christine Ferber in Niedermorschwihr. The Alsace truly stole my heart, and I surely also owe it to Christine and her lovely family, read the episode and see why…

Recipe credit to Christine Ferber and special thanks to the whole family for receiving me so generously in their homes and in their hearts.