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German Butter Cake (Butterkuchen) (D, TNT)
Source: My Grandmother
Yield: 3 jellyroll-sized pans

2 cups (1 pint) whole milk
1 (1-oz.) package active dry yeast
2 tbsp. (1/8 cup) granulated sugar
1 (4-oz.) stick salted butter, room temperature
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 tsp. salt
6 cups unsifted unbleached all-purpose flour, divided

3 (4-ounce) sticks salted butter, each cut into tiny pieces, cold
1 cup granulated sugar

Make Cake:
Grease large bowl. Set aside.

Pour milk into small saucepan. Cook over low heat until warm. Turn off flame under pot. Add yeast and 2 tablespoons of the sugar. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Cover with clean towel and set aside.

In large mixing bowl, cream butter until soft and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time. Continue creaming until soft and fluffy.

Add salt, 2 cups of the flour, and the reserved yeast mixture. Beat with electric mixer until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl often. By hand, stir in remaining 4 cups of the flour. Beat with wooden spoon until a very soft, sticky, yet firm dough. If uncertain what dough should look like or how long to beat it, circle bowl 500 times. That will definitely be more than sufficient.

Place in large greased bowl, turning to grease top of dough. Cover dough with clean dish towel. Let rise in warm place until doubled in bulk (about 1 hour).

Grease 3 (15"x10"x1") jellyroll pans. Butter your hands. Punch down dough. Divide dough into thirds. Spread each third into greased jellyroll pan, stretching to fit bottom of pan.

Make Topping and Assembly:
Dot each pan with 1 stick butter, very gently pressing cubes of butter into the dough. Sprinkle 1/3 cup granulated sugar over each pan of dough. Loosely cover with towel and let rise until doubled in size (about 1/2 hour). Toward end of rising time, preheat oven to 350°F.

Bake until golden brown and bubbly, and toothpick inserted in center comes out clean (about 20 minutes).

Poster's Notes:
For some reason, this does not freeze well. However, it makes splendid gifts, and keeps well for several days in the refrigerator. Just make sure to encase in aluminum foil and reheat in moderate oven before serving--and to tell your recipients to do so.

Pronounced boot-er-koo-ken, this wonderful buttery kuchen was one of my maternal grandmother's specialties. I have no idea where she originally found the recipe, since she had no German ancestors.

It is very similar to Moravian Sugar Cake, although my family likes it even better because it is somewhat thinner, so there is more luscious topping with each bite (not to mention more butter than sugar). I have never seen this in any cookbook. It is absolutely wonderful, and everyone who tastes it loves it. It is also very easy to make, and virtually infallible. The dough doesn't even have to be kneaded.

This recipe fills three large pans. Although it could easily be divided, the cake is so delectable--and so popular--that I always make the full amount and give two of the pans as gifts. (I once carried a panful with me to Seattle as a birthday gift for a relative who was pining for it. Although my plane was delayed and we didn't arrive until about 2:00am, he insisted upon eating a piece before going to bed--and raved about it.)

This is obviously very rich. However, it is fabulous for a special breakfast, brunch, tea, et cetera, and makes wonderful gifts.

Posted by Virginia Sauer (Sir Angus), Z'L

Nutritional Info Per Serving: N/A