27. prosinca 2010.

Daring Baker's Challenge, December 2010: Christmas Stollen

It's the end of the month, a time when the Daring Bakers around the globe traditionally unveil the secret recipe they have been testing, baking and enjoying throughout the month. This month, the challenge was all about tradition. Christmas tradition, of course.

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie 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.

Stollen is a traditional German cake, eaten during the Christmas season, when it is usually called Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen. It is a bread-like fruitcake made with yeast, water and flour, and a selection of various dried fruits. Traditionally, candied orange peel and candied citrus peel, raisins, almonds, and different spices such as cardamom and cinnamon are added to the Stollen dough. Other typical ingredients are  milk, sugar, butter, salt, rum and eggs. Vanilla, and other dried fruits and nuts can be added too, as well as marzipan or Quark cheese. Except for the fruit added, the dough is quite low in sugar because the finished cake is brushed with melted butter and sprinkled with icing sugar in order to keep its freshness longer. 

The shape of the cake was originally meant to represent the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes but our challenge was to create it in the shape of a wreath, which makes it even more pretty and decorative. You can see a video of Martha Stewart and her mother demonstrating a Stollen in a wreath design here.

I honestly have to say that I didn't think I would ever ever bake a Stollen or anything similar, for that matter. I mean, never ever. I proved myself wrong once again, I guess. My family never thought much about fruitcakes and sweet breads in general. Pound cakes and sponge cakes were also never popular. In other words, a cake that didn't have a creamy filling of some sort was automatically labeled as dry, tasteless and generally unappetizing. As a child, I had no particular opinion on that matter since I never tried a fruitcake, until I once had a store bought Panettone, an Italian version of the German Stollen. It was indeed hard, dry and terribly sweet. I didn't like it. From then on, I embraced my family's verdict and closed the fruitcake case once and for all. At least that's what I thought.

Since I missed out on few challenges over the past few months, I decided to participate in the December one, no matter what. You can imagine the look on my face when I discovered what we were supposed to bake. My husband did mention his inclination towards Panettone and Stollen over the last few years, but I never actually considered baking them just for him. Yes, yes... I'm a terrible wife, I know. Anyway, because of that and the fact that I have lately grown to like and consume dried fruit and nuts quite a lot, I decided to go ahead and dig into this Stollen business. Turns out I kind of liked it, too. It wasn't nearly as sweet or dry as I thought it would be, and the taste was fabulous! D. loved it as well and said that he could die a happy man now that he lived to see me baking a fruitcake.  But, apparently, we were the only two people in the family that liked it. Since the wreath was huge, we took some to both my parents' and the in-laws for Christmas. The Stollen received some pretty strange looks followed by few ironic remarks and eventually never made it to to table. I suspect they never even tried it after we left. They don't know what they' re missing out on.

As far as the recipe is concerned, everything was clear. I had no problems whatsoever, in fact, everything went really smooth and according to plan. I made the dough on Friday and baked it on Sunday. I used fresh yeast and a combination of golden raisins, cranberries and dried apricots. Instead of lemon and orange extracts I used a lovely homemade Limoncello. I omitted the vanilla extract and added some ground cloves and star anise instead. The smell of the Stollen baking was just unbelievable and its flavor was wonderful.

A special thanks goes to our lovely hostess Penny for choosing this eyeopening challenge. I had a great time and loved the result!

Christmas Stollen Wreath
Makes one large  wreath or two traditional shaped Stollen loaves. Serves 10-12 people.
60ml lukewarm water (43º C)
2 packages (14 grams) active dry yeast or 30g fresh yeast
240 ml milk
140 grams unsalted butter
770 grams all-purpose plain flour (plus extra for dusting)
115 g sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon extract or orange extract
135 g mixed peel
170 g firmly packed raisins
3 tablespoons rum
12 red glacé cherries for the color and the taste (optional)
100 grams flaked almonds
melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
powdered sugar for dusting wreath


Soak the raisins
In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum (or in the orange juice from the zested orange) and set aside.

Make the dough
Pour warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely. In a small saucepan, combine milk and butter over medium - low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes. Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add lemon and vanilla extracts.
In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests.
Then stir in (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.
Add in the mixed peel, soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands or on low speed to incorporate. Here is where you can add the cherries if you would like. Be delicate with the cherries or all your dough will turn red! Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing with the dough hook) to distribute the fruit evenly, adding additional flour if needed. The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky. Knead for approximately 8 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The full six minutes of kneading is needed to distribute the dried fruit and other ingredients and to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency. You can tell when the dough is kneaded enough – a few raisins will start to fall off the dough onto the counter because at the beginning of the kneading process the dough is very sticky and the raisins will be held into the dough but when the dough is done it is tacky which isn't enough to bind the outside raisins onto the dough ball.
Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap. Put it in the fridge overnight. The dough becomes very firm in the fridge (since the butter goes firm) but it does rise slowly. The raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and then baked on the day you want. 

Shape the Dough and Bake the Wreath
Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
Punch dough down, roll into a rectangle about 40 x 61 cm and 6 mm thick. Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder. Transfer the cylinder roll to the sheet pan. Join the ends together, trying to overlap the layers to  make the seam stronger and pinch with your fingers to make it stick, forming a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape. Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along outside of circle, in 5 cm intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough. Twist each segment outward, forming a wreath shape. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1½ times its original size.
Bake the Stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom. Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot. Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter. Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first.
The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.  Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the Stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the Stollen fresh - especially if you intend on sending it in the mail as Christmas presents! 

When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.

The more rum and the more coatings of butter and sugar you use the longer it will store.The following is for the recipe as written and uses the 45 mls of rum and two coatings of butter and icing sugar:
1. Stollen freezes beautifully about 4 months
2. The baked stollen stores well for 2 weeks covered in foil and plastic wrap on the counter at room temperature and
3. One month in the refrigerator well covered with foil and plastic wrap. 

Related Stories Widget by LinkWithin

23 komentara:

  1. Kao da si opisala moju obitelj kad su u pitanju ovakvi kolači. Ako nema kreme, kolač je suh i automatski ga ne vole. Ja nemam ništa protiv slatkih kruhova, kuglofa i sl., pogotovo preko tjedna uz šalicu čaja. Predivno izgleda, a sigurna sam da predivno miriše. :)

  2. Prevedite recept, please!!!!

  3. your stollen is splendid! Perfect texture and shape. And your clicks are fabulous.



  4. Ja sam odustala ovaj mjesec zbog manjka vremena, ali isto tako znajuci da ga nitko nece jesti, ne zato sto ne volimo suhe kolace, vec sto ne volimo kandirano voce ni grozdice.
    Kad biramo izmedu panettonea i pandora, bez razmisljanja uzimamo pandoro, iako je panettone (ako je napravljen po propisu) puno ukusniji, mekan i mirisan - sigurno ne odgovaru opisu onog kojeg si ti kusala.
    Stollen si prekrasno napravila. Meni je uvijek jako zao kad nesto sto sam napravila s puno truda ostane u kutu i nitko se ne osvrce na to. Ali kod mojih svekra i svkrve je uvijek tako, sto god da im ponudis.

  5. It looks so pretty!
    I hope that they at least tried it, it looks like it would have tasted pretty great. But really as long and you and your husband liked it that's all that really matters.

  6. I have to say your photographs are stunning and the final crumb of the stollen is exact and a pity that the other family members didn't even give it a try at least your hubby is now a happy man well done on this challenge.

    Cheers from Audax in Sydney Australia.

  7. Meni je isto bio prefin pojel asam cijelog sama.Slikice su prekrasne!

  8. Am glad you chose to try out the Stollen after all! :) Your photos are stunning!

  9. Gorgeous looking stollen!..perfect texture and shape, photographs are awasom!

  10. Your stollen looks wonderful...such lovely pictures! I too was pleasantly surprised...really enjoyed this challenge.

  11. Izgleda prekrasno. Moram priznati da je kod nas situacija kao kod Josipe, nitko ne voli suhe kolačiće. Ja napravim par vrsta da ih podjelim, inače ostanu suhi...

  12. I can't believe it was kept from the holiday table without someone trying it at first! More for you two I guess. It looks perfect, and I'm glad you tried it even if you weren't sure you'd like it. I made my second version a week ago and we were still eating it this morning - as french toast this time, haha.

  13. Your stollen looks beautiful! I'm amazed people didn't want to try it - you would have had to hold me back. I'd be eating too much! Love the sound of the limoncello. Mmm.

  14. I too am amazed no one wanted to try it. That's their bad luck! More for you! It astounds me the concept of fruit cake and fruit bread being dry as that is not the case at all. This is a lot like panatone and with these sort of breads we dip them in coffee or as in Italy spumante (sparking white wine). I love your photo's!

  15. Delicious Stollen! It is a pity no one tried it - they would have loved it!

  16. Evo baš sam ga malo prije gledala i kod Tadeje. Jako mi je lijep i ovaj tvoj i da si ga meni donijela na Božić sigurno ne bi završio u kutu. Razmislim malo gdje ćeš slijedeće godine na božićni ručak. :D ;)
    Inače kad sam bila mala imala sam isti stav o suhim kolačima, samo ja sam iz Dalmacije gdje su suhi kolači tradicija, a bez panettonea (koji su baka i dida specijalno donosili iz Trsta) nije bilo blagdana. Bože me oslobodi užasa koji sam proživljavala kad bi mi umjesto kremšnite to ponudili za desert.
    Kako i većina stvari i to se promijenilo s godinama i sad baš cijenim ovakve kolače. Ko zna, kako sam krenula do penzije ću još tvrditi da je komad voća najbolji deset. :D :D

  17. :D znaš kaj si ja mislim, blog kolegice, da nas dvije napravimo iduće godine jednog, pa svakom mužu po pola? :))
    Priznajem i ja da sam ostala ugodno iznenađena okusom i činjenicom da zapravo nije presuh, pogotovo ne onako mlak i svjež, ostatak sam tak' dobro zamotala, da mislim da će prije popljesnivit, nego se osušiti. :))
    I stvarno nije neki problem za napraviti, pod pretpostavkom da to počneš na vrijeme, a vrijeme je kod mene ionako najveći neprijatelj u svakom smislu.
    Fenomenalno ti je ispao, fotke su prepoznatljivo tvoje i samo potvrđuju koliko su zajedno s tobom nedostajale! :)

  18. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous! We loved the stollen as well and will be making it every Christmas from here on out. Great work on the challenge!

  19. Neobičan oblik za Stollen, ovako poput krune. Inače je prekrasna i djeluje čarobno na tvojim nježnim fotografijama (uvijek se pitam koja je tajna da su ti fotke tako nježnih boja).
    Ja sam je prošle godine radila djelimično po Reinhartovom receptu, a djelimično po Oetkeru i veoma mi se dopala iako ni ja ne marim za takve kolače poput slatkog i suhog kruha.
    Drago mi je da ti se ipak dopao, šteta bi bilo da se toliko potrudiš pa da ti se ne dopada.
    Meni su ipak najdraži biskvitni kolači, ne volim samu kremu.
    Bravo za tvoj savršeni odgovor na ovomjesečni DB izazov.

  20. Ja stollen planiram napraviti za Božić već nekoliko godina unatrag, pa nikako da stignem i napravim ga jer nikad nemam dovoljno vremena. Što se tiče ovakvih kolača ja ih volim, pogtovo ako ima ruma i marcipana, ali ako nije preslatko. Uz to, u zadnje vrijeme ne ljubim baš grožđice. :) Panettone sam prije više voljela, ali zadnjih godina odkad sam počela intenzivno peći kolače, sve kupovno mi je jednostavno preslatko, toliko da me zubi bole od tolikog šećera.

    Prekrasne fotografije i tvoj stollen je divan, svakako ću navratit na tvoj post za detaljne upute kad ga odlučiuma napravit. :)

  21. Odlično si ga napravila, a ove lizice su pun pogodak.Draga Monči, tebi i tvojoj muškoj polovini želim Sretnu Novu 2011!

  22. Beautiful work!! I was wary of a fruit bread too, but it tastes so good toasted that I ended up loving it

  23. Beautiful job on the challenge! Your stollen looks so light and perfect. I love the idea of adding the limoncello. :)