Makes two Coffee Cakes
7 grams (0.25 ounces) active dry yeast (or 1 packet if you don't have bulk)
1/4 cup warm water (100-110 degrees)
3/4 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup shortening (crisco)
1 teaspoons kosher salt
3 eggs beaten
4 1/2 cups all purpose flour (675 grams)
2 Tablespoons melted butter
1 can Solo Poppy Seed Cake and Pastry Filling
1 cup powdered sugar (sifted)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons milk
Combine the yeast and warm water in a small bowl and allow to sit for 10 minutes. Add the milk, sugar, shortening and salt to a small saucepan and heat over medium heat until the shortening has melted. Once the shortening has melted remove the pan from the heat and allow the mixture to cool until it is lukewarm (100-110 degrees). Once cooled add the yeast mixture and the beaten eggs and whisk to incorporate.
Add the flour to the bowl of a stand mixer (if using) and add the liquid ingredients. Using a dough hook stir the ingredients until they have formed a ball of dough on the hook.
Lightly dust a workspace with flour and remove the dough from the mixer and knead for 6-8 minutes. I don't normally have to make adjustments but if the dough is too sticky or too dry you can either add a bit more flour or water. After kneading the dough should be soft and elastic.
Place the dough in a bowl that has been sprayed with canola oil. Turn the dough so that all surfaces of the dough have a light coating of oil. Cover the bowl with a kitchen towel and place in a draft free area of the kitchen and allow to rise for 1/ 1/2 to 2 hours. The dough should roughly double in size.
Gently punch down the dough then recover the bowl with the towel and allow the dough to rest for 10 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 Degrees
After the dough has rested, divide into two equal portions. Roll each portion into a rectangle approximately 8 inches by 18 inches. Brush the top of the dough with the melted butter and spread half the Poppy Seed filling on each of the two rectangles. The first time I made this the filling was not easy to spread. The next time I make this I will try warming the filling or diluting with some melted butter. When you spread the filing you will want to make sure you leave about 1/2 inch near the top of the long end of the rectangle free from both melted butter and filing. This will allow you to better seal the seam.
Once the filing has been evenly applied to the dough, roll the rectangle along its longer side into a roll and then pinch the seam to seal. You should now have two long cylinders. Form each cylinder into a circle on a greased cookie sheet and pinch the two ends where they join. It is also important to have the seam of each cylinder facing down. Note: I use parchment paper on my cookie sheet and did not grease.
Cut the rings with scissors at four spots 90 degrees apart. So if the ring was a clock you would cut at 12, 3, 6 and 9 o'clock. These cuts should be made from the outside toward the inside but should only cut approximately 2/3 through the ring. Now make two additional cuts in each segment and again cut only about 2/3 through the ring. This should give 12 slices per ring. Now for each ring, carefully turn each slice slightly to show the filing.
Once again, cover the rings with kitchen towels and allow to rise for 1 hour.
Bake the rings for 18-20 minutes at 350. Remove from oven and allow to completely cool then drizzle with Icing.
Note: I baked the rings one at a time so that I could get the timing correct the first time. Mine were done in 18 minutes. It is ok to cook separately and will not affect the taste or texture.