Serious Eats: Recipes

Hutzel Wecken

A dried fruit stand. [Photograph: ming1967 on Flickr]

Up until recently my repertoire of Hanukkah edibles consisted of potato latkes (obviously), jelly-filled doughnuts, and little bags of chocolate coins, aka Hanukkah gelt. But while perusing Joan Nathan's Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous I came across a less familiar Hanukkah treat: Hutzel Wecken, a dense, fruit-studded bread from the Alsace region of France. Alsace shares its border with Germany, which accounts for this holiday bread's German name as well as for the kirsch (a German cherry liqueur) that finds its way into the recipe.

When I set out to make my own Hutzel Wecken I was struck by the sheer volume of fruit and nuts that find their way into the dough—there didn't seem to be a dried fruit or nut that didn't make it into the recipe. But when it comes to fruit and nut- studded breads less is never more, and I'd much rather err on the side of too many raisins.

In Nathan's introduction to the recipe she says that although this bread was traditionally considered a cake, she prefers to treat it is a bread, and I couldn't agree more. This is the kind of fruit bread that's just dying to be sliced thin and served with a cheese plate or at least a pat or two of good butter.

As always with our Cook the Book feature, we have five (5) copies of Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous to give away this week.

Adapted from Quiches, Kugels, and Couscous by Joan Nathan. Copyright © 2010. Published by Knopf. Available wherever books are sold. All Rights Reserved.

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