Stollen is a bread-like cake traditionally made in Germany and usually eaten during Christmas. It’s made with yeast, flour, water, dried fruits, almonds and spices such as cinnamon, cardamom. The finished bread is brushed with melted butter and finally sprinkled with icing sugar. It is known to be best eaten after 2-3 days when the flavour of dried fruits and spices are infuse into the bread.
I have fond memories of Stollen – as a flavourful bread with mixed dried fruits and a distinguish spices scent, I guess I was most attracted by the layer of icing sugar on top :P I remember I first had it in a hotel breakfast buffet and would always look out for the bread during my stay there. The memory of the bread lingers since then but as it’s a Christmas Bread, it’s more commonly seen during this festive season.
I was crazily doing decorated cookies last year, weeks ahead of Christmas and din have a chance to try this recipe. I almost want to buy a loaf off shelf when I saw it at a hypermarket but was taken back by the price tag – a small loaf for S$10! And they don’t look that good too. Went thru my shelf of recipe books and found 2 – one by 孟老師and the other one is by Alex Goh. The latter requires a sponge dough which mean longer preparation time and the lazy me choose 孟老師 which is the straight dough method. With a rainy weather right from the morning, I was feeling lazy too and left the KA to do all the kneading work, I usually will let the mixer do the initial mixing & kneading and hand knead once the dough is combine. Aside from a pair of aching hands, I do like kneading bread, I love how the fingers work through the dough, pushing the dough away, folding back and stretching to develop gluten and seeing passing the window pane test is just too satisfactory.
Back to the Stollen, this dough is actually very good to work with, the high proportion of butter makes the dough very stretchable and kneading is a breeze. I didn’t have Cinnamon so replace it with mixed spices and I used my rum soaked mixed fruits. One of the thing to take note is when you do a two-third fold to form the log, it’s important to press/seal down the edges or it will puff up when it is baked. I didn’t want to crack an egg just to do egg wash so I ignore that but I do brush the bread with melted butter once it’s out from the oven and finally a generous dash of icing sugar.
Verdict? I love the bread, my family as well. I like the slight tinge of spices that add depth to the bread. The almond flakes gave the bread the extra crunch. A pity that I didn’t shape the dough that well thou.
50g Mixed fruits
50g Citrus peel
250g Bread Flour
40g Caster Sugar
1/2 tsp Salt
3g Instant Yeast (1/2 tsp + 1/4 tsp)
10g Milk Powder
1 tsp Cinnamon (I replace with mixed spices)
1 tbsp Rum
65g Unsalted Butter
50g Almond Flakes
100g Melted Butter for brushing
1. Using a mixer – Combine Part B ingredients on low speed to form a dough, increase to high speed to knead into a smooth dough.
2. Add in butter using low speed and increase to high speed to continue kneading so that dough pass window pane test.
3. Add in mixed fruits, almond flakes evenly. Do not overwork the dough or it will break the dried fruits and almond flakes apart.
4. Put dough into a greased bowl and proof for 80 mins.
5. Divide dough in 2 portions and leave it aside for 15 mins.
6. Roll dough out to a log shape, and fold 2/3 of the dough from left to right. With the help of a rolling pin, press the edges down.
7. Bake at 180 degrees for 28 mins.
8. Brush with melted butter when the bread is out from the oven.
9. Generously dust with icing sugar before serving.
Recipe from 孟老师的100道面包