For the December 1st Bread Braid, the HBinFive Bakers made Stollen. I’ve made Stollen a few times so I decided to experiment with this one.
I really enjoyed the BBA Stollen, however, this time, I wanted to use the Healthy Bread in Five method and a good portion of whole wheat flour so I took what I liked from both recipes and came up with my own version. I call it Healthy Bread in Five Christmas Stollen BBA-Style. Just kidding. I’m calling it Christmas Stollen to celebrate this wonderful season.
Makes: 1 Stollen
- 3 cups white whole wheat flour (I used home milled white whole wheat flour)
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/4 teaspoons granulated yeast
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon cardamom
- 1/8 cup vital wheat gluten
- 1 cup lukewarm water
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
- 1/4 cup rum (for soaking the dried fruit)
- 1 tablespoon orange extract (for soaking the dried fruit)
- 1 1/2 – 2 cups finely chopped dried fruit (I used dried cranberries, dried apricots and chopped homemade candied orange peel)
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup slivered almonds
- Vegetable oil (for brushing top of loaf)
- Confectioners’ sugar for the top of the loaf
Combine the rum, dried fruit, and the orange extract. Set aside. I let it soak overnight.
Whisk together the flour, yeast, salt, cardamom, and vital wheat gluten in a large bowl, or lidded container. Combine the liquid ingredients, including the dried fruit mixture and mix the ingredients until they are fully incorporated.
Cover the bowl and allow the dough to rest, loosely covered with plastic wrap, at room temperature until it rises and collapses, approximately 2 hours.
Place the bowl or container in the refrigerator for 24 hours.
Take the dough out of the refrigerator and place it on a floured surface.
With your hands, form the dough into a thick rectangle, about 8 by 4 inches.
Dust it with flour, and sprinkle the top with slivered almonds and extra fruit if you like.
Take a small rolling pin and press down on the center of the rectangle, then roll the dough in the center only, leaving 1 inch at both the top and the bottom edges as thick as the original rectangle. I used the end of a wooden spoon to do this part,
The new rectangle, with it thick top and bottom edges, should be about 12 inches wide by 6 inches long. The interior of the rectangle should be about 1/2 inch thick.
Use a pastry scraper to loosen the dough from the counter, lift the top edge and bring it down over the bottom edge, going just past the bottom edge. The thin inside part of the rectangle should remain behind the bottom edge.
Turn the dough seam side up and tuck additional slivered almonds and fruit under the dough flap. Fold the top edge back over the bottom edge and rest it on the thin center section. Tuck more fruit and almonds under the new fold if you like. I added a bit more dried cranberries and some more almonds. The dough should have a folded, layered look, with fruit and almonds peeking out both sides. Gently squeeze the loaf to press it together.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Transfer the stollen to the pan and, as you set it down, curt it into a slight crescent.
Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Proof for about 90 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. with the oven rack on the middle shelf. Bake the stollen for about 30 to 40 minutes until it is medium brown and firm.
Transfer the bread to a cooling rack and brush the top with vegetable oil while still hot.
Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.
Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first. The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar. Let it cool for at least 1 hour before serving.
Here is the delicious Stollen. It’s to pretty to eat. I’ll wait until tomorrow to cut it.
When it is completely cooled, store in a plastic bag. Or, as Peter Reinhart suggests, leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.
About the HBinFive Baking Group
The HBinFive Baking Group, started by Michelle of Big Black Dogs, is baking through all of the breads in the Healthy Bread in Five Minutes book. For more information on the HBinFive baking group, check out BigBlackDog.