Christmas Stollen, (from Bon Appetit, 12-20-2012)

Hot Bread Kitchen Head Baker Ben Hershberger's Stollen Makes 2 loaves


FRUIT MIX (Make three days ahead of time)

1 cup raisins 1/2 cup dried cherries 1/4 cup candied lemon peel 1/4 cup candied orange peel 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup Meyers Rum 1/2 cup brandy Enough hot water to cover mixture


5 tablespoons almond paste 1 generous tablespoon butter, at room temperature 1 tablespoon and 1 teaspoon sugar 2 tablespoon bread crumbs


1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon ginger 1/8 teaspoon cardamom 1/16 teaspoon cloves 1/16 teaspoon nutmeg


1 cup blanched, unsalted almonds About a packet of instant yeast 1 1/3 cups King Arthur All-Purpose flour Scant teaspoon salt About 1 tablespoon milk powder 1/2 cup butter 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon sugar 1 teaspoon spice mix (see above) 1/2 cup filling Fruit mix


Melted butter, as needed Powdered sugar, as needed



Combine all ingredients and let soak at room temperature for at least three days.


Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. While mixer is running on low, add 2 1/2 teaspoons water and mix until smooth. Divide mixture into two portions and refrigerate.


Combine all ingredients in a bowl.


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spread almonds in an even layer on a sheet pan and roast for 12 minutes. Turn oven up to 350 degrees and preheat.

Heat 1/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons water in a small saucepan to about 98 degrees. Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer, then sprinkle yeast over the top. Let set until all the yeast is dissolved and the water cools to about 80 degrees.

Add flour, salt, milk powder, soft butter, sugar, and spice mixture to the bowl and mix on medium speed until the dough is well developed (about 15 minutes). Gently fold in toasted almonds and drained fruit mix until evenly incorporated into the dough. Cover dough and let rest in a warm, draft-free area for one hour.

Divide dough into two even pieces, and roll each into 6-by-3-inch cylinders, then let rest for 20 minutes. Gently press both cylinders down with your hand until each is an even 1-inch thickness throughout. Holding a dowel the long way, neatly create a trough or canal down the center of each, about 3 1/2 inches wide. Place the chilled filling into one side of each the two troughs, covering the full length of the canals with the mixture. Fold the dough over the filling, cover, and let rest for 30 minutes.

Bake both loaves for about 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and brush liberally with melted butter, dust heavily with powdered sugar, and repeat to create a generous white coating. Let cool.

Wrap loaves separately in plastic. Stollen should set for at least one day before serving and can be eaten for up to three weeks.


HOW Check your schedule. Your fruit needs to soak in its bath of rum, brandy, and hot water for a full three days before you bake the bread. After that, it should take about three hours from the time you start the dough to the moment your loaf is fully cooked. Here's how that breaks down, according to Hershberger: Preparing and mixing ingredients: 35 minutes. Dough fermentation: 1 hour, minimum. Shaping and resting the dough: 15 minutes. Shaping (again) the dough and letting it rise: 1 hour. Baking: about 25 minutes. Once it's out of the oven, the bread is topped with butter and sugar. Then, you should wait at least one day to let the stollen set before you dig in.

Hershberger's King Arthur flour of choice, the Sir Galahad, is a commercial product, but the company's all-purpose offering is a fine alternative. Otherwise, when making stollen at home, look for a European type 80 flour with a high ash content. If you cannot find this, you can also use regular bread flour, but, he advises, you'll have to adjust the moisture of your dough accordingly; bread flour doesn't absorb as much water.

What's most important, he says, is “not to get caught up in the recipe.” Stollen may be a complicated bread, but it allows for lots of creativity and improvisation. You can choose whichever kinds of dried fruit you prefer, and as much or as little as you like.

When you're shaping the stollen, put a bit of flour beneath the lump of dough. That should prevent it from splitting when, using a dowel, you form the canal for the almond paste.

Don't undermix your dough. It's the stollen crime most often committed. If your base isn't properly mixed and developed before you add the nuts and fruit, you'll be left with mush.

recipes/christmas_stollen.txt · Last modified: 2021/12/16 16:04 by mcf
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