The Bread Baker’s Apprentice Challenge, the adventure of baking every single recipe from Peter Reinhart’s book, brings us to Stollen, a festive European-style fruit-and-nut bread. Once more, I cannot say I was thrilled about making it – as far as fruit-breads go, I like panettone, but have never tasted stollen – the sugar coating seemed excessive to me. But, as happened in the not-too-distant past, I was pleasantly surprised by a nice bread that, without the challenge, I would never attempt to make…
The previous three or four breads were all a bit involved, in the sense that they required a sourdough starter, sometimes a soaker in addition to it. Stollen is much simpler – you can mix and bake the dough in the same day. The recipe calls for a sponge made just one hour before the complete dough.
The dough doesn’t rise a lot, but it smells wonderful from the very beginning, thanks to the cinnamon, brandy, orange and lemon peel it contains. Mr. Reinhart offers two different shaping methods, a regular loaf, and a crescent-shaped bread, with a special fold all along it.
I chose the latter.
A few photos of the preparation…
The sponge, almost ready to be mixed with the rest of the ingredients…
The dough, after 45 minutes rising…
The initial shaping…
The stollen, shaped and ready to go into the oven….
After baking, the loaf is brushed with a little vegetable oil, then dusted with a generous amount of powdered sugar. After 1 minute, one more layer of powdered sugar is added on top….
One long hour waiting….. until we finally sliced the bread….
For those familiar with panettone, I should say that stollen is quite different. The texture is a little softer, the cinnamon taste very obvious and pleasant. The powdered sugar, that at first seemed a bit too much, is a perfect match to the bread. Do not skip it…
Thrty six breads down…. seven more to go…
Next on the BBA Challenge: Swedish Limpa. Stay tuned! 😉
9 thoughts on “BBA#36: STOLLEN”
Your stollen looks great! I skipped some breads of the challenge to make the BBA Stollen because I’m German and Stollen is a German Christmas bread – the post of which I contributed to the Bread Baking Day (not the BBA Challenge, though, to prevent the bread police putting me in jail). I was a little surprised, though, that Reinhart doesn’t mention the traditional shaping of the Stollen at all (which is, to be honest, a little complicated…). But still, yours looks wonderful. And you’re right: the powdered sugar is a must have!!
Thanks for stopping by…
I would be interested in learning the real shaping, so I will be searching for your stollen soon in the BBD site
I posted the Stollen for the last BBD (Baking under the tree), but I didn’t describe how to traditionally shape it. I didn’t want to spend so much time on translating difficult instructions into English then. Also, I hadn’t been very happy with my shaping result, so I still have to practice a little more ;o).
Your stollen looks beautiful! I have a few more breads to go before I get to this one in the challenge.
This is a beautiful stollen. You really did a nice job with this recipe.
You were interested in the traditional shaping – I found a website where they describe it – it’s some German guy who translated it into English, so the English sounds kinda weird sometimes (as does mine, I guess). You should look at the picture he refers to: that’s what a traditional Stollen looks like. http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/4233/stollen-101#comment-23152
Thank you! Loved his description of the shaping – and the photo. His method is a bit different from PR’s, amazing how ‘many roads can lead you to Rome’ (at least, as far as bread baking is concerned… :- )
My stollen is on it’s primary fermentation and I am frantically looking on-line for better instructions on how to shape this beast. PR’s instructions are very confusing!
Yours looks gorgeous. Looks just like a letter fold (3 sections) with the thinner section in the middle.
That’s some instructional blog post!!