Carrots for the reindeer, a shot of rum and "Perfect Christmas" Stollen for Santa.
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Baking along with a talented group of bakers that are a part of ABC (Avid Baker's Challenge), this month 'Perfect Christmas' Stollen.
This is gorgeous, the stollen that is... moist, light and aromatic, a far cry from the one you pop in your trolley at the supermarket each year.
Starting with making the "sweetener" a mixture of sugar, lemon and orange zest that along with homemade marzipan can be made many weeks ahead if desired.
The marizpan is simply ground white almonds, sugar and lemon zest mixed with water.
Dried fruit is soaked, then drained. I used hot water with a splash of rum to soak mine.
The dough starts by making almost a sponge, an enriched starter of half the flour, yeast, egg yolk and warm milk. *Link to full recipe and the end of post.
After 30 minutes, the other half of the flour, salt, prepared sweetener and softened butter are added. The KitchenAid does it's thing now and kneads the dough for 5-7 minutes (or 10 to 15 by hand) until you have a soft and supple dough.
The lovely Hanaâ from Hanaâ's Kitchen recommended the following you tube video on how to easily incorporate the fruit into your dough. The video is in Dutch, fast forward to the 1.15 point to watch the fruit being rolled in... and it works!!
Starting to fold and roll the fruit into the dough.
Sprinkling the last of the fruit to be rolled into the dough.
The the dough is rolled into a ball and allowed to rest, covered and in a warm spot for 20 minutes.
After that the ball is shaped into a loaf and you guessed it, loosely covered, put in a warm spot and rests for 20 minutes.
Now you add some egg (and butter if you wish) to your marzipan, your marzipan is then rolled into a sausage shape.
Your loaf shape is now rolled and the sausage of marzipan lain down the center, fold, press to seal and bake.
Once out of the oven you can brush the baked stollen with melted butter and sift over some icing sugar. I used snow sugar which is great for when you are shipping sugared baked goods or just need the presentation sugar to last without having to go into sweet over kill sugaring the top again.
The Avid Bakers Group (ABC) is using the recipes from Weekend Bakery... here is the *link to the full stollen recipe.
Happy Baking :)
Want to know more about snow sugar and white sugars? I write about them here.
Or feeling more like gingerbread custard ice-cream?