The Twist

Come on baby let’s do the…oh that’s too corny for Wednesday morning. The twist can be an intimidating thing for beginning coffeecake shapers, since it’s sort of like open heart surgery on a piece of dough. The first time you do it you feel like all you’re doing is making a big mess. But as long as you carry on with confidence you soon bring order out of chaos. Just take me by my little hand and go like this…

Starting with a standard dough rectangle, again about a 14-ounce piece rolled out and trimmed, sprinkle on some cinnamon sugar (one tablespoon of cinnamon to one cup of granulated sugar, though you won’t need that much for one coffeecake). Cover the whole surface.

Curl over the lip of the square and start rolling it up.

Keep it as tight as you reasonably can. As you get toward the end, pat the ends a little (and/or stretch the corners of the piece) to keep the ends squared.

Once that’s done, it’s time to open. A bench scraper please, nurse. You want the roll seam side-down on the board. Starting about an inch and a half down from the end, press the blade down through the center of the roll, cutting a slit all the way through.

Make a second incision a bit further down, again leaving about an inch and a half of uncut roll at the end.

Open the roll. Nurse, give me some suction there, please. And a sponge. More light!

Now for the first twist. Grasp the top end of the roll. Yes, you’ll have to touch the innards. Eeew…

Flip the end through the opening from underneath. Steady now.

See? Not so hard. Have your assistant dab the perspiration from your brow and continue.

Flip the top end under again.

That’s two twists. Almost there!

Pick up the bottom end…

…and flip it through the opening from above.

Like so.

And the operation is complete. You may now close. Nurse, sutures.

Pick up the shaped cake and transfer it to a parchment-lined sheet pan. Paint it with a wash of beaten egg. Preheat your oven to 400 while the coffeecake proofs, about 45 minutes.

When it’s slightly puffy, apply more egg wash. Insert the pan in the oven and immediately drop the heat to 375. Bake the coffeecake for about half an hour until deeply golden.

Cool for about 15 minutes and apply the icing.

Allow the cake to cool completely before serving, about an hour. Or serve warm if you simply can’t stand it.

2 thoughts on “The Twist”

  1. Joe,
    Love the website. Made the danish pastry dough. How many turns if I am doing the coffee cake twist. Also, what size should I roll it out to?
    Thanks for your help.


    1. Hi Donna! You’ll turn the dough for all the coffee cake shapes: three times. You’ll use about a 14-uncle piece of dough for all of them. Let me know how it goes!

      – Joe

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