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Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Stollen

Every year I make Martha Stewart's mom's Christmas Stollen.  Today I decided to make it again.  I am a baker.  I love baking more than cooking.  It brings me joy.  But I am going to be honest.  I am not happy with my result.  This is a long process, rewarding but long.  You spend a lot of time on your feet over a kitchen counter to work on this Stollen.  My result was a bit darker than I wanted it and a tad undercooked.  Every once in a while that has happened but the last two years the Stollen has come out close to Marthas.  Tonight's end result was a bit undercooked.  I had to put it back in the oven but it didn't come out the way I wanted it to.  I had promised two to a friend and now I'm a bit embarrassed.
I'm including the recipe anyway, because it is a good recipe but it is a lot of work.  Here is my photo of mine.  Not at all like I had hoped.



Makes 4 large loaves
  • 3 packages active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water, 100 degrees to 110 degrees
  • 11 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground mace
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 cups milk, warmed
  • 1 1/4 cups (2 1/2 sticks) plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for bowl
  • 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 1/4 cups currants
  • 1/2 cup Cognac
  • 2 1/2 cups golden raisins
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • Peel of 4 oranges, diced
  • Grated zest of 2 lemons
  • 1/2 pound citron, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
  • 2 1/2 cups blanched almonds, chopped
  • Confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine yeast and 1/2 cup warm water, and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. In a large mixing bowl, sift together dry ingredients. Stir in milk and 1 1/4 cups melted butter. Add dissolved yeast and eggs. Turn dough out onto a floured surface, and knead until fairly smooth.
  2. In two separate bowls, soak currants in cognac, and raisins in orange juice. Let each stand for 10 minutes.
  3. In a medium-size bowl, mix together currants and raisins with their soaking liquids, the orange peel, lemon zest, citron, apricots, and almonds. Work mixture into dough. Continue kneading for about 10 minutes. If dough is sticky, knead in more flour, but be careful not to overwork.
  4. Place dough in a large buttered bowl. Cover bowl with a kitchen towel, and let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 2 hours.
  5. Punch down the dough, and cut in quarters. Roll each piece into a 12-by-8-inch rectangle. Brush with melted butter, then fold one long side to the center. Fold other long side over first side, overlapping it by 1 inch. Turn dough over, taper the ends, and place on parchment-lined baking sheet. Repeat for remaining 3 loaves, using a second parchment-lined baking sheet for the third and fourth loaves. Cover loaves with plastic wrap; let rise again in a warm place, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
  6. Heat oven to 350 degrees, with two racks centered. Bake stollen until golden brown, about 35 minutes, rotating the sheets between the racks halfway through baking. Cool on wire rack; dust with confectioners' sugar, and serve.


Read more at Marthastewart.com: Stollen - Martha Stewart Recipes 

1 comment:

Alexie said...

Just that list of ingredients is impressive. I would have been too intimidated by the water temperature requirement to even try. You did a great job and it looks yummy!