December 23, 2010

German Christmas Stollen

German Christmas Stollen


My hubby had an aversion to Stollen for the same reason, those vile candied fruit bits. But it wasn't until my brother-in-law came back from a trip to Austria several years ago, with a stollen in hand that things changed. My hubby's friend, Christian, is a pastry chef and owner of Kaplan am Kurpark in Austria and he sent home a "ChristStollen" for my hubby as a gift.

Wrapped in a beautiful box, little did we know that we were embarking on a moment that would change our lives forever. We cut two slices of the stollen and noticed right away, it was free of candied fruit bits. It was a hallelujah moment! Astonished and surprised that it was possible.

Then, we took a bite.

The outside was mouth-watering. It was a crystallized melange of candied icing sugar and rich buttery goodness. And the inside, moist and chockfull of ambrosial-tasting fruits. Words do not even come close to describing the moment of eating it.

The hubby and I savored every bite of that stollen and paced ourselves as long as we possibly could. If we heard the other rustling in the kitchen, there was always 100 questions. "What are you doing?" "What are you eating?" "Why are you handling the stollen?" We knew there would be no trips back to Christian's bakery to get more, so we were guarding it, not trusting each others will power.

Mini Stollen Loaves

And since this monumental moment, my hubby has experimented and tried and tested many versions to come up with a recipe that will compare. We have been fortunate in our household that my hubby has been making stollen every year. Is it as good as Christian's stollen? Of course not, he's an amazing pastry chef who has been at it for more than two decades. But, my hubby makes a mean stollen and it knocks people's socks off.

I have friends and family always asking questions on how he makes it and what the recipe is. This is the latest and greatest version. Good luck!

*Pictured above are fresh out of the oven stollen. They have yet to be buttered and coated with icing sugar.

...

German Christmas Stollen
makes 2 loaves

Fruit:
1-2 cups dried fruit (raisins, dried apricots, dates, etc)
3 tbsp dark rum

Sponge:
1 tbsp or 1 pkg active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water
2/3 cup warm milk
1 tsp honey
1 cup all-purpose flour

Dough:
1/3 cup honey (my hubby puts in an additional 1/3 cup of sugar or splenda)
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp each: cardamom, cinnamon, nutmeg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup almonds flour
3-4 cups all-purpose flour
Oil, for coating bowl

Filling:
1/2 cup chopped marzipan

Topping:
melted butter for brushing loaves
icing sugar for dusting



Fruit Prep: Combine the mixed fruit and rum and set aside while prepping the rest of the recipe.

Sponge Prep: In a large bowl, add the yeast to the warm water. Add warm milk, honey and 1 cup of flour. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free area for a minimum of 30 minutes.

Dough Prep: In a large mixer bowl, place the sponge and fruit/rum mixture. Add honey, egg, butter, salt, spices, extract, almond flour, and 2 cups of the flour. Beat, using a paddle, on medium-low for about 5 minutes, gradually adding the enough of the remaining flour so that dough pulls away from sides of the bowl. Changing to a dough hook, knead the dough for another 5 minutes, adding any additional flour if needed.

Form into a ball and place into an oiled bowl. Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free area for a minimum of 60 minutes.

Punch down dough and divide into two. Roll each dough ball onto lightly-floured, forming 3/4" rectangles. Sprinkle the marzipan on top and roll into a log shape. Push in any fruits bits on the exterior of the dough, to prevent from burning during baking. Place loaves, seam-side down, onto parchment-lined baking sheet.

Cover and let rise in a warm, draft-free area for 45 minutes.

Bake the loaves at 375F for 25-30 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 190F. Remove from baking sheet and let cool down slightly.

Brush melted butter all over the loaves and dust icing sugar to coat. Allow to cool completely. Serve.

Store, covered in plastic wrap, in a cool place.

6 comments:

lequan said...

Wow, not yet buttered and coated with icing sugar and they already look delicious. I'm already loving how this recipe starts off. A little rum for the Stollen, a little rum for me, a little rum for the Stollen, a little rum for me, a little rum for the Stollen, the rest of the rum for me ;). Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe. Happy Holidays and a very Merry Christmas to you and your beautiful family, Maki!

Maki said...

Oh LeQuan, you know me all too well :)

Except, I watch my hubby make the Stollen and I just drink the rum. Then I eat the Stollen and have some rum. Makes it even more merrier Christmas :)

H.Peter said...

Froehliche Weihnachten.

Stollen. Still not my favorite. But the Kurpark version sounds worth a try if we go back to visit one year at Christmas

Maki said...

Definitely H.Peter.

Merry Christmas to you too!

A Canadian Foodie said...

What a WONDERFUL story. Good for your husband for working on this... I love that this is the "latest version"! I will expect one every year. Did it dawn on you to ask for the original recipe? He would probably share it with you...
:)
Valerie

Maki said...

Ha!

I don't think he had an "original" recipe. He took 3-4 different recipes and mashed up his own version. He likely will have a different version next year. :)

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