Now, on to the December Daring Bakers' challenge! 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.
My stollen was not very traditional (at all!!). I was inspired to make a tropical stollen because my sister was going to Maui for Christmas, so I thought something tropical was in order. Yes, tropical stollen sounds a little, odd, but it was delicious. I made candied lime peel following the instructions here. And used the recipe Audax recommended for home-made marzipan. I made a macadamia marzipan using ground macadamia nuts and Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum (a couple of tsp). I only needed 1/2 of the marzipan recipe for the stollen. The stollen was wonderfully moist and flavourful. Please see below for the recipe I adapted.
Tropical Christmas Stollen
- ¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm water (110º F / 43º C)
- 2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) (22 ml) (14 grams) (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
- 1 cup (240 ml) coconut milk
- 10 tablespoons (150 ml) (140 grams) unsalted butter (can use salted butter)
- 5½ cups (1320 ml) (27 ozs) (770 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour (Measure flour first - then sift- plus extra for dusting)
- ½ cup (120 ml) (115 gms) sugar
- ¾ teaspoon (3 ¾ ml) (4 ½ grams) salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 grams) ground cardamom
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Grated zest of 2 limes
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) (very good) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) coconut extract
- ¾ cup (180 ml) (4 ¾ ozs) (135 grams) candied lime peel
- 1 cup (240 ml) (6 ozs) (170 gms) firmly packed mixed, dried tropical fruit (I used pineapple, cantaloupe, crystallized ginger, and papaya)
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) Captain Morgan's Spiced Rum
- 1 cup (240 ml) (3 ½ ozs) (100 grams) chopped macadamia nuts
- unsalted butter for coating the wreath
- Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath
- 1/2 batch macadamia nut marzipan candy
- In a small bowl, soak the dried fruit in the spiced rum. Set aside.
- Pour 1/4 cup of water into small bowl. Sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely. In small saucepan, combine 1 cup coconut milk and 10 tbsp butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Remove from heat and let cool until lukewarm (about 5 minutes).
- Lightly beat eggs in separate bowl. Add vanilla and coconut extract. In a large mixing bowl, stir together flour, sugar, salt, cardamom, and lime zest. Then stir in the yeast/ water mixture, the coconut milk/ butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. The mixture should be soft but not sticky. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with a tea towel and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Add the lime peel, mixed fruit, and macadamia nuts. Mix until incorporated.
- Turn dough out onto floured work surface. Knead dough, adding extra flour as necessary. Knead for approximately 8 minutes. When some dried fruit starts to fall out of the dough while it is being kneaded, you will know it has been kneaded enough. The dough will not be sticky enough to hold the outer dried fruit inside.
- Lightly oil a large bowl and place dough in bowl, turning to coat. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Place in fridge overnight.
- Let the dough rest for 2 hours at room temperature after removing from the fridge. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Punch dough down, and roll into a rectangle about 16x24 inches, 1/4 inch thick. Roll your marzipan into 4 logs that cover the length of the rectangle (see above picture). And place logs evenly on the dough.
- Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder. Transfer cylinder to sheet pan and join ends together, trying to overlap the layers to make the seam stronger. Pinch the seam to make it stick and form a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape.
- Using kitchen shears, make cuts at 2 inch intervals around the circle, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough. Twist each segment outward forming a wreath shape. Mist dough with spray oil and cover with a tea towel. Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature until dough has increased to about 1 1/2 times its original size.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Bake stollen in preheated over for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees and bake another 20 -30 minutes or until a thermometer registers 190F when placed into middle of bread.
- Transfer to cooling rack then brush with melted butter while it is still warm. Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar onto bread. Wait one minute then tap another layer of sugar onto the first. Repeat layers of sugar until the butter no longer soaks through the sugar. Let cool at least one hour before serving.
This was a really great challenge and it made a whole lot of stollen! I think if I made it again I would make it into 4 smaller wreaths. The size would be far more manageable and would also make a great gift to give. Thank you Penny for encouraging us all to try something new and for providing us with such a delicious recipe. It was a lot of fun to try it and the taste and texture were very rewarding.
Happy Baking my Friends!