Friday, 16 December 2011

The Bread Baking Babes have been Stollen!

Oops. Make that "The Bread Baking Babes have baked Stollen!"
Not as dramatic, but more truthful.

What is stollen? A rich dough studded with fruit and nuts and a little rum, perfect for your holiday tea.

This was the seasonal challenge set forth by Bread Baking Babe Susan of Wild Yeast and it has an interesting fold designed to look like a swaddled babe in the manger. Mine look a little bit more like coffee beans, but I'm okay with that. ;-) I've never been all that big on religion anyway, but I do love my coffee.

Sliced thin like biscotti, these stollen are a lovely accompaniment to your mid-morning coffee and tea.

(Adapted from San Francisco Baking Institute)

Yield: 1500 grams (3 loaves, more or less)

  • Candy and dry citrus peel: 12 hours or more (can be done ahead)

  • Soak the fruits: 12 hours

  • Mix and ferment sponge: 12 hours (can be simultaneous with fruit-soaking)

  • Mix dough: 20 – 30 minutes

  • First fermentation : 30 minutes

  • Preshape, rest, and shape: 30 minutes

  • Proof: 90 minutes

  • Bake: 30 minutes

Sponge Ingredients:
  • 120 grams flour

  • 80 grams water

  • 0.1 gram (small pinch) instant yeast [or 0.13 g active dry, or 0.25 g fresh]

Soaked Fruit Ingredients:
  • 130 grams raisins

  • 75 grams dried cherries (or more raisins)

  • 61 grams candied orange peel

  • 92 grams candied lemon peel

  • 82 grams slivered almonds

  • 34 grams rum

Final Dough Ingredients:
  • 348 g flour

  • 53 g milk

  • 25.3 grams (2 Tablespoons + 2 teaspoons) instant yeast [or 18.6 g osmotolerant, or 31.6 g active dry, or 63.3 g fresh]

  • 8 g (1-1/3 t.) salt

  • 8 g (2-1/3 t.) diastatic malt powder (omit if you don’t have it)

  • 51 g sugar

  • 50 g egg (about one large egg)

  • 5 g grated lemon zest (one average lemon)

  • 5 g grated orange zest (one small orange)

  • 1/3 t. of each of these ground spices: cinnamon, cardamom, cloves, allspice, nutmeg

  • 273 g unsalted butter, at room temperature (should be pliable)

  • all of the sponge

  • all of the soaked fruits

Finishing Ingredients:
  • clarified butter

  • fine granulated sugar

  • powdered (confectioner’s) sugar
  1. Toss the soaker fruits with the rum in a medium bowl. Cover and leave at room temperature for about 12 hours.

  2. Meanwhile, combine the sponge ingredients in another medium bowl. Cover and ferment at room temperature for 12 hours.

  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook, combine all of the final dough ingredients except the soaker. Mix in slow speed until all the ingredients are incorporated.

  4. Continue mixing in medium speed until the gluten reaches full development. The dough should come together around the hook and should no longer stick to the sides and bottom of the bowl. This could take about 20 minutes or more, but will depend on your mixer.

  5. Add the soaked fruits and mix on slow speed just until they are evenly distributed through the dough.

  6. Transfer the dough to a lightly buttered container. Cover and ferment for 30 minutes at room temperature.

  7. Turn the dough onto the counter. Divide into three pieces, or however many you would like. Preshape the dough into balls and let them rest, covered, for 30 minutes.

  8. To shape each loaf: Form a blunt-ended batard and dust it lightly with flour. With a thin rolling pin, press down firmly, separating about 2/5 of the dough from the other 3.5. Roll out the flap of dough connecting the sections so it is about 2 inches wide. Flatten the larger section slightly with your hand, then fold the smaller section over to rest on the larger one.

  9. Place the loaves on parchment-lined baking sheets (two per sheet) and slip them into a large plastic bag with a bowl of warm water. Proof for about 90 minutes, replenishing the water when it cools.

  10. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 375 on convection setting or 400 on regular bake setting. You will also need steam during the initial phase of baking, so prepare for this now.

  11. Bake for 10 minutes, open the oven door briefly to allow any remaining steam to escape, and bake for another 20 minutes. If you do not have convection, you may need to rotate the position of the baking sheets halfway through the bake to ensure even browning and keep the one on the lower rack from burning on the bottom.

  12. While the loaves are still warm, brush them with clarified butter. Dredge them in fine granulated sugar, brushing or shaking off the excess.

  13. To finish, sift powdered sugar over the loaves.

  14. Cut when completely cool. You can leave the stollen out overnight to let the loaves dry and the sugar crust up a bit.
    The Bread Baking Babes

    This bread has been Yeastspotted!