Ingredients:

Spice Mixture:

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Sponge:

1/2 cup (70 grams) All Purpose flour

1/4 cup minus 1 tablespoon filtered water (50 grams)

1/8 teaspoon SAF Gold or Red instant yeast

Fruit Mixture:

1 cup (130 grams) dark raisins

1/3 cup (45 grams) candied orange peel

1/3 cup (45 grams) candied lemon peel

1/2 cup (55 grams) slivered almonds, toasted

2 tablespoons Dark or Light Rum

Stollen Dough:

12 tablespoons (160 grams) cold unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups + 1 tablespoon (205 grams) all purpose flour

1/8 cup (30 grams) cold milk

3 3/4 teaspoons (11 grams) SAF Gold Instant Yeast Available on Amazon

1 1/4 teaspoons (5 grams) kosher salt

1 3/4 teaspoons (5 grams) dry malt (diastatic) powder (omit if you don't have it) Available on Amazon

2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated white sugar

1 small egg (30 grams)

Zest of one lemon

Zest of one orange

Spice Mixture (See Above)

Sponge (See Above)

Fruit Mixture (See Above)

Garnish:

about 6 tablespoons (70 grams) butter, melted (can use clarified butter)

Granulated white sugar

Powdered sugar


Instructions:

Spice Mixture: In a small bowl combine all the spices. Cover with plastic wrap. (Can be made ahead and stored at room temperature.)

Sponge: In a medium sized bowl mix the flour with the yeast and water until thoroughly combined. Cover and let sit (ferment) at room temperature overnight (about 12-14 hours).

Fruit Mixture: In a bowl, combine all the ingredients. Cover and let sit at room temperature at least overnight. You can make this mixture ahead and store it in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

Stollen: With a rolling pin pound the cold butter between two sheets of parchment paper until it's pliable, but still cold. Cut into pieces and place in the bowl of your electric stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook. Then add the rest of the ingredients, including the Spice Mixture and Sponge. But don't add the Fruit Mixture. Knead the dough on 1st speed for about four minutes (so everything is mixed together). Increase your mixer speed to 2nd speed, and continue to knead the dough for about 15 to 20 minutes or until the dough cleans the bowl and is smooth and elastic (you want a strong dough). To check to see if the dough is fully kneaded, use the 'windowpane' test. (See video for demonstration.) To do this, start with a small fistful of dough. Gently stretch it. For a fully kneaded dough you should be able to stretch the dough quite thin so it's almost translucent.

Next, add the Fruit Mixture and beat, on 1st speed, until all the fruit and nuts are fully incorporated (this will take a minute or two).

Place your dough in a large lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit (proof) at room temperature (73 - 76 degree F) (23 - 24 degree C) for about 1 hour.

When your dough has proofed, remove from bowl and place onto a lightly floured surface. You want the top of the dough to now be on the bottom. Lightly flour the top of your dough and divide in half (about 430 grams each). When you divide the dough use a pastry scraper or knife and cut, don't pull or stretch, the dough.

Then, working with one piece of dough at a time, pre-shape your dough into a round. Do this by first taking the edges of the dough and folding them into the center. Gently seal. Then flip your dough over so the smooth side is facing up. With the palms of your hands rotate the ball of dough on your surface to create surface tension and to seal the edges of the dough completely. Place the rounds on a lightly floured baking sheet or board and cover with plastic wrap. Let the rounds of dough sit at room temperature for about 30 minutes. (This is to relax the dough and you will notice that the dough will rise a little.)

Next, place the rounds of dough, upside down, onto a lightly floured surface. Lightly flour the top of the dough. (See video on how to form the Stollen.) Form each round of dough into an long oval shape (about 8 inches (20 cm) long). Take the long edges of the top 2/3 of the dough and fold into the center (have a bell shape). Then, starting at the top of the dough, roll the dough five times, sealing the dough after each roll, until you have a cylinder shape. With the palms of your hands gently roll the dough back and forth (to create tension) until it's about 9 inches (23 cm) in length (a batard shape). Have one long edge of the dough closest to you. Next, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) from the long edge of the dough, using a thin rolling pin (or the handle of a wooden spoon), create a 2 inch (5 cm) wide trench (the trench should be almost to the bottom of the dough) down the entire length of dough. Then take the edge of the dough and fold it up and over the trench sealing in the center of the dough. Place the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let ferment (proof) at room temperature for about one hour.

Meanwhile preheat your oven to 375 degree F (190 degree C).

When ready to bake, remove the plastic wrap, and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes or until golden brown (do not over bake or the Stollen will be dry). While the Stollen is still warm brush with melted or clarified butter and dredge in granulated white sugar. Brush off excess sugar. When completely cooled, dust with powdered sugar. Let sit at room temperature until the powdered sugar dries. Wrap in foil and then in plastic. The Stollen can be stored at room temperature for about a week or it can be frozen for about two months.

Makes 2 Stollen.


Description:

Stollen is a buttery rich and dense German Christmas Fruit Cake/Bread. It has a long history and some say its oval shape is said to symbolize Baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes. The ridge on the top of the Stollen is said to represent the hump on the back of a camel, which the Wise Men rode, carrying gifts to Baby Jesus. And the bright candied fruit is said to represent the jewels that the Wise Men wore.

Stollen is a flavorful yeast bread. It contains dried fruit, candied fruit peel, citrus zest, nuts, and ground spices. It may or may not contain marzipan. Once baked the Stollen is brushed with melted or clarified butter and dipped in granulated white sugar. After it has completely cooled, the bread is dusted with powdered sugar. After a few days, the sugar coating dries to form a sugary crust. The sugar coating has the added bonus of keeping the bread from drying out.

As far as ingredients go, for the yeast, I like to use SAF Gold instant yeast which is used in sweet baked goods that are high in fat and/or sugar. This type of yeast gives a good rise and it doesn't need to be proofed. However, you can substitute active dry yeast for instant yeast, by increasing the amount of yeast by about 30%. You also need to first activate the active dry yeast using the milk in the recipe. Warm the milk to lukewarm and then add the active dry yeast and let sit about 5-10 minutes or until the mixture becomes foamy. For the salt I like to use kosher salt. The recipe also calls for dry malt (diastatic) powder which breaks down the starch which gives sugar for the yeast to feed on. Malt powder also aids in browning. However, if you can't find it, you can just leave it out. For the butter in this dough, and I like to use unsalted butter.

We made this Stollen recipe when I took a Holiday Pastries class at the San Francisco Baking Institute. The three day class covered a wide range of Christmas goodies, from Stollen to two types of Yule Logs, and we also got to make a couple of different candies as well as Linzertorte. A really fun time.