Bake-a-thon 2016: Day 10
Bake of the Day: Easy Christmas Stollen
I made fruit cake for Christmas the last couple of years, but this year I wanted to make something different and that is when I saw this Easy Stollen recipe on King Arthur Flour. So I made the Stollen instead of the traditional fruitcake this year. Stollen is a traditional German bread made during the Christmas season. It is a fruit bread that has dried fruit and is usually covered with powdered sugar. Technically it is a fruit bread that is made with yeast and the dough is flavored with some citrus zest. Marzipan is also a very common ingredient in a stollen.
Stollen is not very sweet except for the fruit added. The finished bread is slathered with melted unsalted butter and then rolled in powdered sugar as soon as it comes out of the oven. This results in improving the shelf life of the bread and also makes it more moist and delicious.I tasted Stollen years ago when my manager brought it to work during Christmas season. The look of the bread intrigued me -- it looked like it was snowed over with all that powdered sugar on top. But interestingly the bread itself was not too sweet. It has been on my list of breads to make for a very long. Finally got a chance to make it, even though this is a cheater version without yeast. This quick stollen recipe uses baking powder instead. It has all the elements of a traditional stollen -- dried fruit, toasted almonds and tender, buttery dough and of course the blizzard-like coating of powdered sugar. But it takes fraction of the time it takes to make it the traditional way.
Recipe makes 2 loaves; one for you and one to wrap and give away. I sliced both the loaves and gave them all away to friends. Now I want to make it again because it tastes amazing and needs just a few minutes to put together. Do try it, I am sure you won't be disappointed.
This is part of the Bake-a-thon 2016
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- 2¼ cups all purpose flour
- ½ cup Granulated Sugar
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ cup (1 stick, 8tbsp) unsalted butter
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 1 tbsp Egg Replacer (whisked in 3tbsp water) Or use 1 Egg
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp Fiori di Sicilia or Lemon juice
- ½ cup Golden Raisins
- ¼ cup Dried Cranberries
- ¼ cup Dried Apricots, chopped
- ⅓ cup Slivered Almonds, lightly toasted and cooled
- Preheat the oven to 325°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
- In a mixing bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt.
- Cut the cold butter into small chunks, then blend it into the flour mixture to form uneven crumbs,
- In another mixing bowl, mix together the ricotta cheese, egg replacer mixture (or egg), vanilla and fiori di Sicilia.
- Add the fruits and almonds to the flour and mix until evenly distributed. Then combine the wet and dry ingredients, mixing until most of the flour is moistened.
- Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, knead it 2~3 times until it comes together. Divide it in half.
- Roll each piece into a 8"x7" oval about ½" thick, Fold each piece of dough roughly in half, leaving ½" short of the edge of the bottom half.
- Use the edge of your hand to press the dough to seal about 1" in back of the open edge; this gives the traditional stollen shape.
- Place the shaped stollen on the prepared baking sheet.
- Bake the stollen until they are very lightly browned around the edges, about 40 minutes. A cake tester inserted into the center should come out clean.
- Remove the stollen from the oven, and transfer to a rack. Brush them each with 2~3tbsp of melted butter, Sprinkle heavily with confectioners sugar.
- Allow the stollen to cool completely, then brush with butter again and sprinkle with sugar again. Wrap in plastic wrap until ready ti serve. Stollen can be stored for 2 weeks or so at room temperature.