December 18, 2010

Christollen

Ich liebe deutsche Weihnachten!!! Do the Germans know Christmas or what?? Well, they certainly know what food to eat during the holiday. Pfeffernüsse and Vanillekipferl can't hold a candle to stollen, or at least this stollen recipe. Remember my Christmas in July post? Well, that doesn't even hold half a candle to this stollen. This not-cake-nor-bread texture tastes just like the store bought version, except it has significantly more flavor than the store bought ones. In fact, this recipe is said to come from Dresden, Germany, the motherland of Stollen.




Christollen
(adapted from Melissa Clark with modifications)


1/2 cup black raisins
1/2 cup cranberries
1/3 cup dark rum
1 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
1 package active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
2 3/4 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved (or 3/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract)
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted (I used only 1 1/2 cup ---3 sticks)
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
1/2 cup mixed candied fruits
2 cups confectioners’ sugar.

  1.  The night before baking, mix raisins, cranberries and rum in a small container. Mix almonds with 1/4 cup water in another container. Cover both and let sit overnight at room temperature.
  2. The next day, in an electric mixer with paddle, set on low speed, mix yeast with milk until dissolved. Add 1 cup flour and mix until a soft, sticky dough forms, about 2 minutes. This is the “starter.” Transfer starter to a lightly greased bowl, cover with greased plastic, and let rest for 40 minutes at room temperature.
  3. In an electric mixer with paddle and set on low speed, mix remaining 3 cups of flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, lemon zest and vanilla seeds. With motor running, pour in 1 cup melted butter. Mix on slow for 1 minute, then add egg yolk. Mix until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute more.
  4.  Divide starter dough into 3 pieces. Add starter to mixture in bowl, 1 piece at a time, mixing on slow until each addition is thoroughly combined, 2 to 3 minutes after each addition. After starter is absorbed, mix dough on a medium speed until glossy, 4 to 5 minutes.
  5. Add almonds, candied ginger and fruits, and mix on slow until combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Add raisins, cranberries, and rum and mix on slow until combined, 2 to 3 minutes more.
  6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until fruit and nuts are inside dough rather than stuck on surface, and dough is smooth and glossy, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a medium bowl and cover with plastic. Rest for 1 hour to let rise slightly. Then knead it once or twice, cover with plastic and let rest for another hour.
  7. Divide into 2 equal pieces and shape each into an oval loaf about 8 inches long. Stack 2 rimmed baking sheets on top of each other, lining top pan with parchment. Place loaves on doubled pans and cover with plastic. Allow loaves to rest 1 more hour at room temperature.
  8. About 20 minutes before this rise is completed, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove plastic covering loaves and bake for about 1 hour. Loaves should look uniformly dark golden brown and internal temperature taken from middle of each loaf should be 190 degrees.
  9. Meanwhile, whisk together the remaining 3/4 cup sugar and 2 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger (I used Agave substitute for this part, tastes the same). When stollen is done, transfer top pan holding loaves to a wire rack (leave stollen on pan). While still hot, brush stollen with remaining 1/2 cup of melted butter, letting butter soak into loaves. Sprinkle ginger sugar on tops and sides of loaves. When loaves are completely cool, cover loosely with waxed or parchment paper or foil and let sit at room temperature for 8 hours or overnight.
  10.  The next day, sift 1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar over loaves, rolling to coat bottom and sides evenly with sugar. Wrap each loaf in plastic and let sit at room temperature for at least 2 days before sifting remaining 1/2 cup confectioners’ sugar over loaves and serving. (This part is mainly so it looks authentic deutsch, otherwise for health reason, can be eliminated)
I can't say more to tell you just how much I love this bread. To me, Christmas is not Christmas without either Stollen or Panettone. I've yet to conquer Panettone, but for the time being, this Stollen has more than enough made up for the lack of Panettone this year. My tiramisu and this stollen are two of my proudest culinary accomplishment to date. Frohe Weihnachten !!!

This one is all packed and ready to spice up someone else's Christmas!

2 comments:

  1. Your stollen was a true delight. I have had this maybe once or twice before and never thought anything of it. Your homemade one was memorable!
    dsr

    ReplyDelete
  2. Makayla (from Texas)December 20, 2010 at 8:59 AM

    Wow your food and website look great! Great job. Keep up the good work.

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