Sunday, December 20, 2009

Stollen

Just in time for the holidays! As Mr. Reinhart states..."Dresden, Germany is considered the spiritual home of this traditional Christmas bread...which symbolizes the blanket of baby Jesus & the colored fruit represents the gifts of the Magi...There are hundreds of authentic versions of stollen..." so I decided to research a bit & find a recipe that was a bit more exotic than just golden raisins & candied fruit...I came cross David Lebovitz's slightly adapted version from Melissa Clark's The New York Times article from Hans Rockewagner...seems like a re-gifting of sorts...I followed the recipe in the Bread Baker's Apprentice, but used the ingredient suggestions from David Lebovitz...So pictured above - dark rum & almost 4 cups of mixed dried fruit - mostly cranberries, golden raisins, dried apricots & dark raisins...Soaked for 24 hours...
The sponge - all purpose flour, water & KAF gold-labeled yeast (which is osmotolerant meaning it helps sweet breads rise better)...Left for one hour to ferment at room temperature...

My messy mise en place...Here are the ingredient variations: toasted almonds...
Fresh nutmeg...
Vanilla bean paste - I used one whole bean...
From top - lemon zest, cardamon, cinnamon, ground ginger, nutmeg, vanilla bean paste, sugar & kosher salt...
Nice foamy sponge after the one hour ferment...
Dry ingredients mixed together with the wet - one large egg yolk & 1 cup melted butter...
Another variation - 1/2 cup chopped candied ginger...
Adding in the sponge in 3 pieces & mixing completely after each addition...
Now for the fun part...Almonds, ginger & rum-soaked fruit...
The dough should resemble cookie dough...
A pretty mess!
Left to rise for about an hour...
Not much change after the hour is over...
Shaping...on a floured surface & divided in two...
Used the "shaping method #2" as featured in the BBA book...1/2 of the dough into a thick rectangle - about 8"x4"...the add more almonds & dried apricots...
With a rolling pin, make an indent or well towards the center & fold the bottom towards the middle indent...add more almonds & fruit...
Then folded the top half over the bottom half & transfer to parchment lined pan while curling it into a crescent shape while setting it down...
I made the other half portion of dough into three smaller crescent shapes using the same method...
Another one hour ferment at room temperature & then into the oven at 350 degrees for one hour...
Pretty! The internal temp was around 200' degrees...
While still hot, brushed with 1/2 cup melted butter...
& then generously sprinkled with gingered sugar...(1/2 cups sugar & 1 tsp ground ginger mixed together)...
After the ferment & into the oven for 45 minutes...
You can see the almonds & fruit sticking out of the ends...
Again, buttered while hot & dusted with ginger sugar...
After leaving out covered only with a piece of parchement overnight, its ready for its dusting of powdered sugar...
Reminds me of snow...
Or butter & sugar overload...
I love this photo - the crescent & white color resembles the blanket of baby Jesus...
Happy Holidays!

33 comments:

  1. Your stollen is just beautiful. I am commenting on it from Grenada, in the Caribbean. We are here for a little holiday. It is known as the "spice island". I may just bring home some ginger, nutmeg and cinnamon and try David's version also. It looks great.
    Happy holidays.

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