The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.
I have to admit, I wasn't *super* excited to make a bread that was filled with peel, dried fruit, and rum. It seemed dangerously close to making a fruit cake and I didn't want to spend two days making something that no one in my family was going to eat.
However, I love working with yeast and after I read that its delicious toasted with some butter and a cup of tea I started to look forward to making it.
The recipe calls for dried mixed peel, I can't stand the store bought kind so I made my own using this recipe. I left out the lemon peel and chose to use golden raisins soaked in rum instead of regular raisins.
The dough smelled delicious and Christmassy! Not all scary and fruit-cakey..probably because I didn't use any of those gross red and green neon fruit bits that you see in store bought fruit cakes. Also, because stollen is a yeasted bread it doesn't have the heaviness that fruit cake does.. so really its only similarities lie in the candied peel, rum, and the fact that people make it for Christmas.
After the dough had time to rise overnight in the fridge I rolled it out into a huge (!) rectangle. Traditionally, stollen is shaped into a loaf with a roll of marzipan inside but the Daring Bakers were told to use Martha Stewart's wreath method instead.
Next the rectangle is rolled into a tube and the tube is made into a circle. Since I have a small oven and small baking sheets I couldn't fit a perfect circle. The stollen is HUGE, I had to form mine into an oval.
Traditionally in Germany stollen is aged before its eaten. This makes it a bit stale and lets the flavor of the dried fruits infuse into the bread. I'm not really a fan of drier bread, plus i'm terribly impatient so I took the stollen to the christmas tree decorating party at my parent's house to be eaten right away.
The texture was like a soft white bread and when its toasted it tastes like it has marmalade on it.
because my freaking dog ATE THE STOLLEN. We left for a wine tasting, she got into the dining room and from a table loaded with meat, cheese, crackers and other tempting food she decided to eat half a wreath of stollen.
Luckily we had half a massive wreath left which we ate plain, toasted, and as french toast (yum yum yum)
1. Soak 1 cup of raisins in 1/4 scant cup of rum (its best to let them sit as long as possible so you can do this days ahead if you like. If you don't have time then a few hours is fine)
2. In a small bowl sprinkle 4 1/2 tsp yeast over 1/4 cup warm water
3. Heat 1 cup of milk and 10 tbsp butter in a pot until the butter melts, let it stand until luke warm
4. In a separate bowl beat together 3 eggs with 2 tsp vanilla and 1 tsp lemon extract
5. In the bowl of your mixer combine:
- 5 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- the zest of two lemons
6. Once the ingredients in step 5 are combined beat in the yeast, the milk-butter mixture, and the egg- extract mixture until combined and let rest ten minutes.
7. Add the rum-soaked raisins, 3/4 cup chopped candied orange peel, and 1 cup of flaked almonds and knead 6-8 minutes or until the raisins start to fall off the sides of the dough.
8. Place in a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and let rise in the fridge overnight
1. Bring the dough to room temp, this will take a couple of hours.
2. Roll the dough into a 16x 24 inch rectangle on a lightly oiled surface to prevent it from sticking
3. Tightly roll the dough along the 24 inch side into a long, thin cylinder
4. Transfer the cylinder to a sheet pan, form the dough into a circle. Pinch the ends together trying to overlap the layers to get a better seal
5. Using kitchen scissors, make cuts 2/3 of the way through the dough at 2 inch intervals
6. Brush the dough with a big of oil and loosely cover with plastic wrap
7. Let the wreath proof for 2 hours
8. Bake for 20 minutes in a 350 degree oven, then rotate (careful it's heavy!) and bake for another 20-30 minutes until dark mahogany brown.
9. Remove from pan, brush with left over rum from the raisins, then brush on two or more thick layers of melted butter
10. Coat with 3 layers of powdered sugar, letting it soak in the butter before adding the next layer.
The stollen can be stored for weeks wrapped in tin foil or in a plastic bag