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This recipe for MA BENNETT'S KOUCHEN RECIPE, by , is from Bennett's & Beyond: A Family Cookbook, one of the cookbooks created at FamilyCookbookProject.com. We help families or individuals create heirloom cookbook treasures.

Maribeth Bennett
Added: Monday, January 19, 2009


2 c thick potato water
1 c milk (scalded)
1 cake yeast
1/2 c lukewarm water
2 tsp sugar
flour (notes - see instructions)
1 T (heaping) each butter; lard; bacon fat
1 c sugar
1 T (heaping) each lemon and orange rind
1 tsp each almond and vanilla extracts
1 tsp mace
1 tsp cinnamon
2 eggs
2 c flour
2 T salt
1 jar each: candied lemon & orange peel
Handful of currents or raisins
The dough makes four pizza pans and the below toppings are to be prepared and spread over 1 type for each pan dough.

TOPPINGS: See below instructions

I made a sponge for Kouchen with 2 cups thick potato water, then scalded 1 cup milk and put it with the potato water. Let this mixture cool to warm and add yeast (dissolved in the 1/2 lukewarm water) and 2 tsp sugar, then I added enough flour to make a soft sponge like sour griddle cake dough and let it rise about 1 1/2 hours.
Next step: I took a good heaping tablespoon each of butter, lard, and bacon fat and creamed it with 1 cup sugar, then I added 1 heaping tablespoon each grated lemon and orange rind, 1 tsp almond & vanilla extract. Added the mace, cinnamon, and the 2 well beaten eggs.
Now, add this mixture to the sponge that has risen. Add 2 cups flour and 2 tsp salt, then enough flour to a make a dough that can be handled, but not as stiff as pie dough.
Then, I added what fruit I wanted (lemon & orange peel, currents or raisins) and cover up well. Let rise. When I had the dough mixed, I greased a new dish and lumped the dough up nice and smooth and put it in the greased dish, cover and wrap in a warm shawl or tablecloth. Let rise about 2 1/2 hours, then greased pans (pizza) and roll dough about 1 inch thick, put in pan, spread melted butter over top, then put on one of the three toppings {shown below} (CHEESE, CINNAMON, APPLE), and let rise slightly.

CHEESE Topping:
1 lb cottage cheese;
1 (8 oz) pkg cream cheese. Mix thoroughly with enough sugar to sweeten to your taste. Spread over one pan of dough.

1 c white sugar;
2 T butter;
1 T cinnamon;
a bit of little flour;
1 c chopped walnuts. Crumble these together and spread over 1 pan of dough. (save about 1/4 cup to use with the Apple topping below)

APPLE Topping:
5 fresh Grannie Smith apples (peeled, sliced - with a little lemon juice) Place sliced apples over top of 1 pan of dough and sprinkle some of the cinnamon crumb topping over the apples.

1 c powdered sugar. Enough melted butter; water; almond extract to powdered sugar for glaze consistency Spread over 1 pan of dough after baked and still warm (to melt into bread)

Bake nice and brown, 45 minutes in 325 degree oven for the CHEESE topped one and 30 - 35 minutes for the CINNAMON, APPLE, and POWDERED SUGAR toppings. However, the POWDERED SUGAR topping will be spread on AFTER the kouchen comes out of the oven - spread while still warm.

Preparation Time:
Preparation Time:
A good 6 hours
Personal Notes:
Personal Notes:
This recipe is copied from my great grandmother's own handwriting as she wrote it for my grandmother. It is time-consuming, but well worth the effort. It is traditionally served in the Bennett family at Thanksgiving Day Eve and Easter, but in recent years, we have included Christmas.




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