Dec 17, 2013

Stollen w/whole spelt (German Christmas bread)


I'd been buying Stollen for years and eating a lot of it. Than I thought, why don't I make it myself ... and eat a lot of it?

Recipe adapted from Giallo Zafferano
time: 30 min preparation + 1hr 30min inactive + 1hr baking + a couple of days to get better

ingredients
  • 700 g (4 2/3 cup) regular flour OR
    • 300 g (2 cups) regular flour and
    • 320 g ( 2 2/3 cup) whole spelt flour
  • 25 g (.8 oz) fresh yeast or 8 g (2 1/2 teaspoons) dry
  • 1 teaspoon liquid honey
  • 150 g (5 oz) raisins
  • 150 g (5 oz) candied orange peel, diced
  • 100 ml (7 Tablespoons) rum, preferably dark, quantity divided
  • 100 g (2/3 cup) whole almonds
  • 250 ml (a full cup) milk (I used almond milk)lukewarmquantity divided
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half, seeds scraped off
  • zest from one medium lemon, grated
  • 15 g (1 Tablespoon) fresh ginger, finely grated
  • 1 teaspoon cardamon in powder
  • 12 g (1 1/2 teaspoons) salt
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 200 g (1 cup) sugar
  • 300 g (1 1/4 cup) butter, melted and cooled 
  • 200 g (7 oz) marzipan paste
50 g (4 Tablespoons) melted butter
50 g (1/4 cup) powder sugar

instructions 
  1. Prepare fruit: Place raisins and peels in a bowl with 50ml (4 Tbs) rum and enough water to cover the fruit. After about 30 minutes, drain the liquids from fruit (with a sieve). Pat dry fruit with a paper towel. In a bowl, roll dry fruit in flour (extra) to cover them well. Throw the floured fruit on a sieve and shake of the excess of flour.
  2. Prepare nuts: Preheat oven to 170C/330F (fan forced). To remove skins: put almonds in boiling water for 1 minute. Remove from water and slide the skins off. Place almonds loosely on a baking sheet, set it in the hot oven for 5 minutes, till you see a slight color change. Take them out of the oven, let cool and chop.
  3. Prepare vanilla mix: Place vanilla beans and seeds in a bowl with 1/2 cup warm milk to seep (at least 10 minutes). Discard the skins. In another bowl, lightly whisk the eggs. Add vanilla milk, lemon zest, ginger, cardamon and salt. Mix it with a fork till combined. Set it aside. 
  4. Prepare dough: In a small bowl, crumble yeast in pieces, add honey and the rest of the milk. Mix it to dissolve. Set it aside for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a bowl of your mixer, sift it flour(s). Make a well in the middle. Pour in the yeast mix. Using a fork, mix in just a little flour into the yeast mix* (see notes). Cover the bowl with a plastic wrap, put a cloth on top and set it in a warm place for 30 min (it should double in size). Then fix the bowl on your mixer. Add vanilla mix. Using a paddle attachment (speed set on low), combine ingredients, adding sugar and the rest of rum (50ml/4Tbs). Slowly pour in melted butter. Change attachment to needle and knead the dough for 10 minutes, always on low ("stir"). Add almonds and fruits. Stir for a couple of more minutes. Wrap the bowl with a plastic wrap, cover it with a cloth on top. Set it in a warm place for 1 hour (it won't double). Toward the end...preheat oven to 180C/350F (static function).
  5. Forming Stollen: Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. With your hands, roll marzipan paste into a log (1inch/2cm shorter than the length of the baking sheet). Drop the ready dough onto a rolling board. With the rolling pin, form a shape of a rectangle. Crush the center a bit more. Roll to obtain two bulges (one bigger than other) on the long sides. Put the marzipan in right next to the bigger bulge. Fold over the smaller bulge on top of the bigger one. Press it gently with a roller to seal it well and give it a shape of a Stollen. Transfer onto a lined baking sheet. Set it in the hot oven for 55 - 60 min till amber-brown and the toothpick from the middle comes out dry. Remove from the oven.
  6. To finish it off...Immediately, brush the top of hot Stollen with melted butter. Rub it with powder sugar. Let it cool completely for 1 hour. Wrap it in parchment paper and then in aluminum foil. Let it sit a couple of days in a cool place (not fridge) before consuming.

notes
  • Stollen - lightly sweet, not too soft, simple and delicious; an old German tradition;
  • I know, I know...it looks like a project, but I don't mind putting an extra effort for Christmas;
  • I bake for Christmas...my mom and my sister do the rest and they are not exactly sitting around doing nothing these days;
  • Stollen gets better with days, leaving my hands free(er) for later;
  • I heard Germans make it 2 months in advance...good planners they are! the Italian recipe I used suggested a couple of days...enough to absorb some moisture, get softer and tastier;
  • in the prepare dough part : * the yeast mix should reach only a thick-liquid consistency (like a batter for crepes) and around it, there should be untouched flour;
  • the last part (forming Stollen) can present the most troubles;
  • before you start forming the dough, make sure the fruit/nuts are distributed evenly;
  • if they are not, don't be shy about working the dough between your hands to correct the problem; same goes to marzipan - if you think it ended up in a wrong place, take it out and do it again; 
  • this is a big mass of dough and transferring from the rolling board to the baking sheet can be scary; don't be; lift the mass with your hands and forearms; if it changes shape, you can re-shape it on the baking sheet;
  • this is not a fragile, delicate dough; so you shouldn't be either when handling it;
  • I made Stollen last year too; this is a whole spelt/almond milk version - just the things I have around this year together with a little more practice;
  • that marzipan heart was a big hit with my sister; 
  • our kids loved to scrape the sugar off of it with their little fingers; no one mind.

17 comments:

  1. This looks so pretty and delicious!! Thanks for sharing!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. What a beautiful Christmas stollen! Now I want to make my own loaf.

    ReplyDelete
  3. It looks so delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  4. stollen is my favorite Christmas bread, I love this! I bookmarked!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Perfectly made! Such a delicious holiday bread!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oh my goodness, I have wanted to bake stollen for years! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful recipe xo

    ReplyDelete
  7. Looks delicious! I have a weakness for bread.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow what a gorgeous loaf <3 I've never used Spelt but I've been thinking about trying it for some time! Pinning this for later!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Absolutely divine, Ela. I would love a small slice for my chai!

    ReplyDelete
  10. This looks incredible Ela! What a wonderful holiday bread :)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I've always wanted to try making stollen at home - yours came out great! It looks delicious! And perfect for the holidays : )

    ReplyDelete
  12. I'd like to steal me one!!! We have this in Holland too, I never thought to make it myself... delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  13. This stolen looks delicious, and so festive! What a fun holiday recipe!

    ReplyDelete
  14. This looks so festive and beautiful, perfect for the holiday season!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I've only eaten stollen one time in my life and I loved it. I never tried making it myself but now it's what I want to spend the day doing. :)

    ReplyDelete
  16. This is wonderful. I would love to try this. The crust looks simply perfect. Blessings, Catherine xo

    ReplyDelete
  17. Beautiful Christmas stolen! Thank you for sharing and Happy and yummy holidays to you!

    ReplyDelete