Thursday, March 20, 2014

Small Batch Bread Baking--Coffee Cake

Old Fashioned Coffee Cake--Small Batch Bread Baking

All of us "kids" who grew up going to one of the LA Unified School district schools have fond memories of the coffee cake.  All you have to do is mention the coffeecake to my classmates, and you'll see them salivating and having a big smile on their faces.
I was especially lucky.  My mom was a pastry chef for one of the high schools.  Yes, Mom was one of the nice lunch ladies in the cafeteria!  Sometimes, she would bring us a piece of coffee cake that she had left over from her lunch.  What a treat!

Mom at work (don't tell her I posted it)

Because of her work, I was able to get a recipe for the coffeecake.  I know that Mom started baking from scratch at the beginning of her career and they switched to mixes from headquarters later on.  So the coffeecake may have changed slightly.  

I've downsized this beloved recipe even further, which may change the flavor slightly.  It's easier not to measure 1/2 tsp + 1/16 tsp of an ingredient!  Also, baking in a different pan may change how it bakes up--that can change the flavor.  I added nuts to the topping; I think it tastes better.  But I've tried my best to make a wonderful cake for you.  It tastes great--we polished off a loaf in a sitting.  It's in a size that won't tempt you to eat too much!  That's the purpose of my Small Bread Baking project.


Old Fashioned Coffee Cake

Adapted from Los Angeles City Schools recipe

PORTIONS: 2-4 You can share a loaf and give one away/freeze it   (or two people can eat a warm loaf, LOL)

PANS: 2  mini foil pans, about 6" x 3"  in size.  1 1/2 cup capacity

TEMPERATURE: Conventional Oven, 375 F

BAKE TIME: 20-25 Min.

TOPPING (suggest you make topping first and set it aside so can put cake in oven as soon as mixed, for better rise).

1 TBSP      All purpose flour
1/4 Cup      Brown sugar, packed
1/16 tsp.     Salt
1 tsp.          Cinnamon

1/4 cup       Finely Chopped Walnuts
1 TBSP      Canola oil

In mixer bowl, combine all ingredients except oil. Mix well.  Add oil gradually and continue to blend until topping is crumbly.  I used my fingers.

1 Cup                All purpose flour (4.25 ounces)
2 1/2 TBSP       Non-fat dry milk
1/8 tsp               Salt
1/4 tsp               Nutmeg
1/4 tsp               Cinnamon
1 tsp                  Baking powder
1/8 tsp               Baking soda
1 1/2 tsp            Vinegar
6 TBSP             Water
1/4 Cup             Canola Oil
5 TBSP             Brown sugar, packed
1/4 Cup             Granulated sugar
1 1/2 TBSP       Egg (beat 1 egg, use half)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Grease and flour your pans.

In a bowl, combine flour, dry milk, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon, baking powder and baking soda. Set aside.

Combine vinegar and water in a measuring cup. Set aside.

In a mixing bowl, blend together the oil, brown sugar and granulated sugar for 1 minute on low speed.  Tip:  A stand mixer makes it much easier to make the batter; a handheld mixer would work also.  Mixer timing is for stand mixer.

Add eggs and continue to blend low speed for 1 minute.

Add the dry ingredients alternately with the water and vinegar mixture to the mixture in the bowl.

Scrape down bowl, then blend on medium speed for 1 additional minute.  Just a minute!  If you mix any cake too much, the cake becomes tough.
Divide batter between the 2 prepared foil mini loaf pans. Sprinkle half the topping evenly over batter in each pan.

Bake until tooth pick comes out clean when inserted in the center of cake, approximately 20-25 minutes.

Let the cakes cool on a cooling rack for 15 minutes before removing them so they will come out easier.  After removing them, let them cool awhile longer while they continue to set up. (If you can wait!!!)


I would love your suggestions for more small batch bread baking.  I'm working on ciabatta and cinnamon rolls also.

What would you like to see?

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