Saturday, December 25, 2010

Daring Bakers - Stollen

Don't you love making foods that smell like the season? They fill the house with an amazing aroma, and set the scene for the festivities to come.

This month's Daring Bakers Challenge, Stollen, did just that - the smell wafting from the proving dough and the baked product is pure Christmas - rich, fruity, and fragrant. It also looks so Christmas-y, especially with some jolly Santa red strawberries in the centre (it is summer in Australia).

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.

I was rather excited about this challenge, as I have always wanted to make stollen, and had never gotten around to it. Unfortunately, the taste of the stollen did not match my expectations or the delightful smell emitted from the stollen. I found it to be be rather dry and not at all to my liking. Now, this may be just me, because I gave a slab of it to Tim, who shared it with two of his family members, and he said they all liked it. Unless he is telling me very large porky pies, it is clear that it is just me who doesn't like stollen, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it. However, I can say emphatically that the rest of the stollen will be recycled into bread pudding in the New Year. Currently, it is living in my freezer.

Here are some step by step photos of the stollen making process:

This is the risen dough turned out onto the counter before rolling. Doesn't it look just like a plump plum pudding?

This is the dough rolled out flat. At this stage, you could add marzipan to the centre before rolling it up into a big sausage - I wish that I had to give it more flavour:

After the dough has been rolled into a sausage, you join up the ends to form a ring around a bowl for a nice shape, then you cut slashes intermittently in the ring to make a wreath-like structure:

Unfortunately, I didn't have an oven tray large enough for the stollen to hold its lovely round shape, hence you see that my completed stollen is a little off centre.

Once the stollen has baked, you baste it with melted butter and sprinkle it liberally with icing sugar while it is still hot to preserve it. Here is a peek inside:

I really, really wanted to love this stollen, but I didn't.

Thanks to Penny for choosing a challenge I have wanted to make for a long, long time. You can check out some other versions of stollen by visiting the Daring Bakers blogroll.

Merry Christmas to all!! Hope you have a wonderful holiday spent doing what is important to you.


Kayte said...

Beautiful stollen! Merry Christmas, dear blogging friend. Hope it is happy, memorable, and the best yet!

Cakelaw said...

Thanks Kayte!!! Merry Xmas to you.

Anonymous said...

I'm excited to make a stollen at some point. I received "The Joy of Baking", and of course, there's a recipe for stollen! Great post!

The Caked Crusader said...

Looks rather spectacular - shame it didn't float your boat.

Happy Christmas to you!

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

Wow your stollen looks perfect. I've heard how difficult it is.

Merry Christmas to you! I hope to see many more beautiful recipes in the coming year.

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Your stollen looks amazing Cakelaw! I hope you had a wonderful Christmas break! :D

Johanna GGG said...

what a lovely christmas recipe but a shame it wasn't the stollen for you - I have always wanted to make stollen too but I love the one with marzipan in the middle - in fact I thought they all did but this doesn't seem to - maybe there is another recipe out there for you!

Anonymous said...

It looks really lovely! I think stollen is supposed to be a bit dry (or at least when I ate it growing up, it was dry!).

Beth said...

Merry Christmas to you too!

Barbara Bakes said...

It's a shape you didn't like your stollen, but I bet it will make a fabulous bread pudding. Happy New Year!

Renata said...

Looks really good to me! Sorry that it didn't taste exactly as you had expected. I'm sure the New Year's pudding will turn out spectacular!
Happy New year!