Published November 1, 1998.
Because the coffee cake recipe we envisioned was to be light yet rich, with a brioche-type texture, we knew that it would need a relatively high proportion of eggs (we settled on four). We were after richness without heaviness, and this was produced by 1 cup of butter. The richness of the dough also demanded a lot of beating: The eggs had to be well incorporated, the butter evenly combined, and a great deal of gluten released to provide structure and strength. Two rising times, the first at room temperature and the second in the refrigerator, turned out to be important for both texture and flavor in our rich coffee cake recipe.