Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Stollen



Merry Christmas to you and your family!















 The Stollen dough mixture


                                                                                                 








                                                                                                           Roll into logs 
  

Baked Stollen Loaves brushed with melted butter
and dust with powdered sugar


Interesting facts about Stollen ~

In Dresden, Germany, friends and associates have long exchanged stollen, a delicious sweet bread, to celebrate the holidays.  Stollen is thought to have originated in Dresden in the 1400s. However, at that time the Catholic Church, as part of the fasting rules in preparation for Christmas, forbade the use of butter during Advent. Thus, the stollen of the middle ages was a somewhat tasteless pastry. 

1650 - In 1650 Prince Ernst von Sachsen at the request of bakers in Dresden, successfully petitioned Pope Urban VIII to lift the restrictions on the use of butter during Advent. The restrictions were lifted only in Dresden and thus began a baking tradition that continues to this day.

I made Stollen last year for the first time for Christmas.  My family and I enjoyed it so much that I decided to make them again this year,  this is probably on the way of being one of our traditions.  I read a few recipes and chose to adapt from (T.T.'s recipe from Playing with my Food Blog).  I made mine without marzipan and I've replaced candied orange and lemon with fresh orange zest.    

Ingredients

300 grams butter, cut butter into small cubes and set aside

200 ml.  milk
20grams yeast
1 large egg

600grams bread flour       )
7grams salt                        )   Mix all dry ingredients together in a bowl
80grams sugar                  )
1/2 teaspoon Cardamom )


50 ml rum                        )
125grams raisins           )   Marinate dry fruits in rum
125 grams cranberries  )
Zest from 1 orange         )

150 grams roasted almonds/walnuts

Method 

In a mixing bowl, dissolve yeast in milk, add egg. 

Add flour mixture into the above liquid and mix until all of the moisture is absorbed. 

Add the butter and mix until dough comes together.  (You can do all this in a food processor or a Kitchen Aid with a paddle/dough hook) 

Add in fruit/rum mixture and nuts. and mix until incorporated.  The dough will be very sticky, cover with a towel or plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes.

After resting, liberally dust a work surface with flour. 

Place the dough on the work surface and divide the dough into roughly 4 equal portions 

Shape the dough pieces into small logs.

Proof for another hour and bake at 350'F until golden.

Brush the cooled stollen with melted butter and when cool, dust with powdered sugar.  

Allow the stollen to sit for a day or two for the flavors to mature before serving

Enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea on Christmas morning.

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