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Christmas Stollen

The Christmas Stollen Project

December 8th, 2017 | bread & pastries

Christmas Stollen never played a role in my childhood. We rather preferred Hamburg brown cookies or spekulatius for our Christmas baking. Anyway, without Christmas Stollen Christmas in some places of Germany is not even imaginable…That’s the reason, why I found it always exciting. A heavy yeast dough with candied fruit, raisins and a dash of good rum. The Stollen must traverse several weeks (minimum two weeks) before you eat it – if you do manage to defend it against the family. Attention: This weekend is your last chance to bake a Stollen, which can be served “well matured” at Christmas on your coffee table. Otherwise, you must wait another year…

The Christmas Stollen Project The Christmas Stollen Project

I started the Stollen project this year in early November, together with our 15 year old daughter. She is our declared baking expert and always looking for customers, because we four impossibly can eat as much cake as she bakes. OK, we could of course, but would look very different soon… Mid-November we kneaded our first Stollen loafs and noted that it probably is the pastry that requires the most patience of everybody. Due to the long yeast rising and baking times as well as due to the week-long resting time until it is good.

Two weeks later: The long wait is over! Finally, we can try. And I have to say for the first attempt: quite excellent! Best of all is still coated with good butter. By the way, the amount of butter in the dough is the reason that the Stollen survives the storage and does not get mouldy. However, you should switch off the calorie counter when enjoying German Stollen. But may I quote bio chef Christian Kolb: “Calories are the lifeblood for the Cook.” So, close your eyes and go for it…

Here is the recipe for the last Stollen chance this year:

Christmas Stollen

(makes 4 medium-sized Stollen – Attention: Dried fruits have to soak overnight – preparation time: 60 minutes – let allow to rise for almost 3 hours – baking time: 1 hour)

250 g raisins
100 g currants
100 g almonds, chopped
50 g candied orange peel
50 g candied lemon peel
70 ml good rum (I used Ron Zacapa)
mix and let marinate overnight
1 kg flour
put in bowl and make a hollow in the middle
250 ml milk, lukewarm
1 ts sugar
2 cubes yeast (42 g each)
mix and put into the hollow in the flour, cover with a kitchen towel and let rest in a warm location for about 15 minutes
150 g sugar
1 ts salt
add to the dough
400 g soft butter
add in flakes
2 eggs (medium size)
2 TS grated lemon peel
1 vanilla pod, mark
1/2 ts ground maces
add to the dough and knead with a kitchen blender or by hand for appr. 5 minutes, add the fruit mixture, knead again and let rest for at least 2 hours in a warm location
Knead the dough again, then portion it into 4 pieces, form 2 ovals , fold it lengthwise, style it in the typical German Stollen design.
Place the stollen on a baking tray lined with baking paper, cover with a kitchen towel, let rest for another 30 minutes
Bake them in pre heated oven at 180° C for appr. 1 hour
250 g butter, melted
take out the Stollen of the oven and butter them when still hot
150 g icing sugar
sieve a thick layer of sugar on the Stollen
Cool out on a cooling rack, wrap in aluminium foil and store at least for 2 weeks in a cool place

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