Using nectarines, this streuselkitchen makes a wonderful summer dessert and can be easily adapted with other fruit to cater for different times of the year. This is based on a recipe from a bread machine cookbook, however you do not a bread machine to make it.
Streuselkuchen (or “strudel kitchen” as my mother named it) literally translates to ‘crumb cake’. It originated in Silesia, a region of Central Europe now located in Poland, the Czech Republic and also Germany, and bordering both banks of the Oder River.
Silesia has an interesting (and pretty complicated) history, as it’s borders and national affiliation have changed many times over the centuries. It was probably part of the Great Moravian Empire in the 9th century and the Bohemian Empire in the 10th century. It was subsequently incorporated into the early Polish state and then in the 14th century came into the possession of the Bohemian crown. Passed to the Austrian Habsburgs in the 16th century along with the rest of the Bohemian crown, Silesia was then taken by Prussia in the 18th century. The Nazi regime established both the Auschwitz and Gross-Rosen concentration camps in the Silesia province. At the end of the Second World War in 1945 it was one of the regions of Germany territory that was granted to Poland by the Potsdam Conference. This is a very basic and simplified version of history: in reality it is much, much more complicated!
Streuselkuchen is now eaten in many countries. It is particularly popular as a desert in Germany, and as such is more commonly associated with Germany cuisine rather than Silesian. Streuselkuchen is traditionally a yeasted cake covered with a crumble topping known as ‘streusel’. Variety primarily comes from the use of different fruits or spreads as a filling between the cake and crumble topping. My version also includes a layer of sliced nectarines. You could make it with other fruit: I think peaches, plums and apples would work well too!
I made the dough for my streuselkuchen in a bread maker, however I see no reason why you can’t just as easily make it by hand (you just need to physically exert yourself a little more). I also split my mixture into half, baking two smaller streuselkuchens, however you could also bake one larger cake. If you do this bear in mind that you will need to extend to cooking time.
I made this as a dessert, assuming that it would cut into 8 servings. However, we all found it quite filling, and instead it cut into 12 slices, 6 slices per cake. It would also make a delicious snack with a cup of tea or coffee!
The cake base is not unsimilar to that for Chelsea Buns; it is basically an enriched bun dough, a sort of cross between a cake and bread. The nectarines do not need to be sliced particularly evenly. In fact, you may find it easier to simply roughly dice them and scatter them on top of the base. There is also no need to remove the skins. The crumble topping can be sweetened to taste. If you find you would like it a little sweeter, simply increase the amount of caster sugar you use or sprinkle some brown sugar on the top. If you are using a more tart fruit you may want the topping to be sweeter than if you are using a sweet fruit.
- 250g bread flour
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 30g caster sugar
- 25g butter (melted)
- 1 tsp dried yeast
- 100ml milk
- 1 egg
- 4 nectarines
For the topping:
- 85g plain flour
- 35g butter
- 20g sugar
- In a breadmaker: Measure the flour into the bread machine pan, followed by the salt, sugar, yeast and butter in separate corners. Pour in the milk and then add the egg. Start the machine using the basic dough setting.
- By hand: sieve the flour and salt into a bowl and add the sugar. Make a well in the flour mixture and add the yeast. Melt the butter and milk together in a saucepan. Add this to the flour, and then add the egg. Stir until the mixture forms a dough. Tip the dough into a floured work surface and knead for a couple of minutes.
- Make the topping by rubbing together the butter and flour until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in the sugar.
- Grease two small cake tins of about 15cm.
- Tip the dough onto a floured worksurface and knead it gently.
- Split in half and roll it out to fit the tins. Press in place.
- Slice the nectarines and arrange them on top of the dough.
- Sprinkle the topping over the nectarines.
- Cover in lightly oiled cling film or with a slightly damp tea towel and leave to rise for about 20 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 190c.
- Bake in the oven for about 20-25 minutes until the topping is golden brown.
- Leave to cool in the tins.