Cream Cheese and Almond Coffee Cake
- 2 1/4 tsp. (1 pkg./1/4 oz.) active dry yeast
- 1/4 c. lukewarm water (110°-115° F)
- 2 1/2 c. unbleached all-purpose flour, divided
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 3 oz. (6 Tbs.) unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1/2 c. lukewarm whole milk (110°-115° F)
- 2 egg yolks, lightly beaten
- 8 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/4 c. superfine sugar
- 3 Tbs. unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1 egg yolk
- finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- tsp. almond emulsion (or extract)
- 1 c. powdered (confectioners') sugar
- 2 Tbs. whole milk
- 1 tsp. almond emulsion (or extract)
- 1/2 c. sliced almonds, toasted
Sprinkle yeast over water in a small bowl and allow it to bloom; this will take about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, and the salt. Add butter and cut in, as you would for a pie crust, until crumbly. Add the yeast mixture, milk, and egg yolks and stir to combine. Stir in just enough of the remaining flour to form a soft dough. Using your hands, quickly form dough into a ball and place in a bowl. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Just before you're ready to proceed with your dough, combine all of the ingredients for the filling and stir together until smooth. Set aside.
Punch dough down. Transfer to a floured work surface and roll into a 13" x 10" rectangle. Spread the filling over the dough, leaving about a 1" border all the way around. Starting with one long edge, roll tightly just to the center of the dough. Repeat with remaining side so that they both meet in the middle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Using kitchen shears and starting at the outside edges of the dough, cut ⅔ of the way into the dough, towards the center, at 1½" intervals down one side. Repeat on opposite side. When all of the cuts are made, twist each strip to allow filling to show. Your dough will have lengthened a bit.
Cover with plastic or a clean kitchen towel and allow to rise until doubled, ~1 hour.
Preheat oven to 350° F during last 20 minutes of rise time. Remove plastic and slide into oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden. Slide off of pan, parchment and all, onto a wire rack to cool.
Whisk together all of the ingredients for the glaze (except the almonds). Drizzle most of it over the coffee cake when it is still slightly warm. Sprinkle the toasted almond slices over the bread and glaze. Drizzle with remaining glaze. Enjoy!
This is best eaten the same day that it is made, but it can be stored, covered, for a day or two extra, if you wish.