Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Daring Baker's Challenge: Stollen and some lost challenges..





The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.



The fist time I heard about Stollen it was about 25 years ago... I was visiting my friend's Jakob's family in Bonn and, knowing I loved baking, they explained me about this wonderful Christmas bread and I even received a recipe for it. I learned it is traditional to bake quite a few Stollen and keeping them and Jakob's mother told me of when they where living in Moscow and as spring arrived and the snow melted they discovered a hidden Stollen in the balcony !


So I was more than happy to bake Stollen this month thanks to Penny.

I made it as directed but diminished the yeast to 1 teaspoon and used 250 grams of sourdough and 500 grams of flour, I didn't use the cherry nor the candied peels but increased the amount of raisins.

I really loved it and the neighbours did too !!!


You will find a printable recipe here


RECIPE

Stollen Wreath

Makes one large wreath or two traditional shaped Stollen loaves. Serves 10-12 people

Ingredients

¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm water (110º F / 43º C)
2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) (22 ml) (14 grams) (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
1 cup (240 ml) milk
10 tablespoons (150 ml) (140 grams) unsalted butter (can use salted butter)
5½ cups (1320 ml) (27 ozs) (770 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour (Measure flour first - then sift- plus extra for dusting)
½ cup (120 ml) (115 gms) sugar
¾ teaspoon (3 ¾ ml) (4 ½ grams) salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 grams) cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange
2 teaspoons (10 ml) (very good) vanilla extract
1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract or orange extract
¾ cup (180 ml) (4 ¾ ozs) (135 grams) mixed peel (link below to make your own)
1 cup (240 ml) (6 ozs) (170 gms) firmly packed raisins
3 tablespoons (45ml) rum
12 red glacé cherries (roughly chopped) for the color and the taste. (optional)
1 cup (240 ml) (3 ½ ozs) (100 grams) flaked almonds
Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath

Note: If you don’t want to use alcohol, double the lemon or orange extract or you could use the juice from the zested orange.

Directions:

Soak the raisins
In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum (or in the orange juice from the zested orange) and set aside. See Note under raisins.


To make the dough

Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.

In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (240 ml) milk and 10 tablespoons (150 ml) butter over medium - low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.

Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add lemon and vanilla extracts.

In a large mixing bowl (4 qt) (4 liters) (or in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment), stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests.

Then stir in (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.

Add in the mixed peel, soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands or on low speed to incorporate. Here is where you can add the cherries if you would like. Be delicate with the cherries or all your dough will turn red!

Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing with the dough hook) to distribute the fruit evenly, adding additional flour if needed. The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky. Knead for approximately 8 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The full six minutes of kneading is needed to distribute the dried fruit and other ingredients and to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency. You can tell when the dough is kneaded enough – a few raisins will start to fall off the dough onto the counter because at the beginning of the kneading process the dough is very sticky and the raisins will be held into the dough but when the dough is done it is tacky which isn't enough to bind the outside raisins onto the dough ball.

Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
Put it in the fridge overnight. The dough becomes very firm in the fridge (since the butter goes firm) but it does rise slowly… the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and then baked on the day you want.

Shaping the Dough and Baking the Wreath

1. Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly.
2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
3. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
4. Punch dough down, roll into a rectangle about 16 x 24 inches (40 x 61 cms) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick.

Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder.

Transfer the cylinder roll to the sheet pan. Join the ends together, trying to overlap the layers to make the seam stronger and pinch with your fingers to make it stick, forming a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape.


This was before I pinched it together

Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along outside of circle, in 2-inch (5 cm) intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough.

Twist each segment outward, forming a wreath shape. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1½ times its original size.

Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F/88°C in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.

Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot.
Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.
Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first.
The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.
Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the stollen fresh - especially if you intend on sending it in the mail as Christmas presents!

When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.


The stollen tastes even better in a couple of days and it toasts superbly…. so delicious with butter and a cup of tea….mmmmm

Storage
The more rum and the more coatings of butter and sugar you use the longer it will store.
The following is for the recipe as written and uses the 45 mls of rum and two coatings of butter and icing sugar
1. Stollen freezes beautifully about 4 months
2. The baked stollen stores well for 2 weeks covered in foil and plastic wrap on the counter at room temperature and
3. One month in the refrigerator well covered with foil and plastic wrap.




As for November:

The 2010 November Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Simona of briciole. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make pasta frolla for a crostata. She used her own experience as a source, as well as information from Pellegrino Artusi’s Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well.

Ichose to make a rice and custard mini crostatas called budini di riso the pastry shop and famous gelateria near my mother's house (it's called Giolitti and if you have been to Roma I'm sure you have eaten their ice cream !) sells them but they are typical of Florence.

Now I kow I'm really bad enough already but Anita wants coccole and I can't say no so I'll add the budini recipe tomorrow !




You can find a printable version here.


As for October:

The October 2010 Daring Bakers challenge was hosted by Lori of Butter Me Up. Lori chose to challenge DBers to make doughnuts. She used several sources for her recipes including Alton Brown, Nancy Silverton, Kate Neumann and Epicurious.

I did make both yeasted


and buttermilk for the joy of my children...not only !


You can find a printable version here


11 comments:

Valerie said...

Wow, Natalia, 3 challenges in one post! And they all look spectacular. :-)

A very Happy New Year to you and your family!

LDH said...

I have wanted to make Stollen for many years and even printed out a recipe I found earlier this month. I didn't get around to making it for Christmas but I still really want to. I have an aunt who loves it. Your recipe sounds and looks wonderful!

It's alright to make stollen in January, right :)

Cindystar said...

ciao natalia!
spero tu abbia trascorso un Natale sereno in famiglia.
che brava a postare le sfide delle DB, io è da qualche mese che non riesco a seguirle e devo ancora postare l'ultima fatta,credo fosse luglio od agosto!
ma come impegno per l'anno nuovo mi riprometto di rimettermi alla pari e ripartire alla grande, ho imparato un sacco di cose con loro!
un abbraccione e un augurio per un nuovo e ancora più scintillante 2011!!!

TeaLady said...

My, My, Natalia, but you have been busy. And they all look fantastic.

Funny thing is I did equivalents of the challenges on my own including the Stollen (BBA recipe)for the first time for Christmas treats.

Hope the New Year is good to you.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Love that stollen! You are the best of neighbors!
Happy New Year Natalia!

thedaintyapron said...

What a beautiful picture of your stollen...it looks delish! Your other challenges look yummy as well. I say better late than never. I really enjoyed this month's challenge =)

E.K.R said...

All three of your challenges look so good! I love your story about the stollen being found out on the balcony when the snow thaws! LOL. :) Happy New Year!

Ivy said...

Hi Natalia. Hope you had a wonderful time with your family. Your stollen looks beautiful and delicious. I wanted to make stollen but after baking so many things shall keep the recipe for next year.

Simona said...

A kind of DB marathon. Interesting choice of filling for the crostata challenge. I know Giolitti.

Cakelaw said...

Beautiful stollen and delicious donuts Natalia. Hope you had a good Xmas.

elra said...

I had to make that stollen even if Christmas season is over.

How are you Natalia ? Hope you had wonderful Christmas, and Happy New Year !

Baci,
elra