RISE AND SHINE KAUT43 OKC
Now that Thanksgiving is over and we have finished off the last of the pumpkin, sweet potato, and pecan pies, it’s time to start baking for Christmas.
Anytime I think about Christmas my mind automatically turns to the kitchen… I love holiday baking! After a long week of preparing and filling In The Kitchen With Scotty orders, and cooking for my clients, there is nothing more relaxing for me, on a Sunday, than being in my OWN kitchen, with music playing and working out some dough or batter for the holidays.
One of my favorite holiday bakes? The Christmas Stollen!
Stollen’s German history goes back to the 15th century when it was originally called a Strietzel. First baked for the Saxon royal court for religious fasting it was never meant for celebrating. Basically consisting of water, yeast, flour, and oil because in those days butter and milk were off limits from Advent to Christmas, the Strietzel was just basically something bland and dry to fill your stomach… No way that would work now! In 1491 Pope Innocent VIII said…okay, you guys can have butter and milk during Advent “with the blessing of God”. With the addition of butter and milk then came the addition of sugar, dried fruits, and almonds (like we do) … so then the Strietzel morphed into what we know now as an early form of Stollen.
Stollen became such a big part of the German Advent to Christmas season that it started to be sent to German family members living far away from home. Most noticeably during World War One.
Do you guys remember hearing the story about the English and German’s who stopped fighting during WW1 on Christmas Day? The story goes that on Christmas Day the English noticed that the Germans across from them had stopped shooting and began setting up make-shift Christmas trees and even heard them singing Christmas carols. Both sides stopped fighting and some crossed the “no man’s land” to greet each other on Christmas morning. The German’s shared their Christmas stollen sent by family members with some of the English. That’s one way the German holiday bake was introduced to other peoples and also became a holiday tradition for the English.
As with all cultures and traditions, along with the American story, the migration from one country to the United States brought those family traditions and the Stollen is now well represented in many American homes during the holidays.
4 cups bread flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fast active dry yeast
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups tepid (slightly warm) whole milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1 cup golden raisins
1 cup dried currants
2 tablespoon fresh orange zest, microplaned (about 2 oranges)
2 tablespoon fresh lemon zest, microplaned (about 2 large lemons)
1 stick of butter, melted
8 ounces marzipan (If you enjoy a lot of marzipan-like me, double the amount)
- In a stand mixer bowl (or you can build your biceps and hand mix/knead) add the bread flour, sugar, yeast on one side of the bowl and salt on the other side of the bowl. Add the softened butter. Attach the stand mixer’s dough hook and begin running slowly. Pour in the milk and let the ingredients mix. Increase the speed and let the stand mixer with the dough hook knead and work the dough for approximately 5 minutes or until the dough has worked itself into a smooth ball. If the dough is too sticky and wet add a little flour and let it work into the dough. Turn off the mixer and pull out the dough hook. Let the dough rest while you prepare the dried fruit and almonds.
- While the dough is resting… in a separate bowl combine the raisins, currants, lemon and orange zest, vanilla, almond extract, More Than Pumpkin Spice, and the slivered almonds. Toss with a spoon to combine.
- Pull the dough from the mixing bowl and place into the dried fruit and almond bowl. Begin kneading the dough in the fruit and almond bowl my pushing and folding all the goods into the dough. Once combined, form into a ball, cover the bowl wiretap plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight. This will allow the dough to “ferment” and to rise slowly. Or you may proof for 2 hours in a warm spot.
- When ready to roll out your dough, dust a clean surface with a little flour. Push the dough out with your fingertips into a rectangular shape and then roll thin.. about the thickness of the raisins.
- On a separate rolling surface that has been lightly dusted, roll out the marzipan into a rectangular shape a bit smaller than the rolled out dough. This will be rolled up inside the dough.
- Brush the dough with melted butter for flavor and to let the marzipan adhere to the dough. Lay the rolled out marzipan on top. Starting with the longest end begin to roll up the dough and marzipan as you would making cinnamon rolls or a Swiss roll. Roll fairly tightly and lay seam side down.
- Cover your stollen loosely with plastic wrap or in a proofing bag and allow the stollen to rise another hour.
- When ready to bake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Brush the top and sides of the stollen with melted butter and place on the middle shelf of your oven. Bake for 50-55 minuses depending on your oven or until the stollen is golden brown and fragrant.
- Remove from the oven a cool completely. Stollen is one of those baked items that is best when cooled completely. The Marzipan inside will be runny and gooey and will need to be cooled before slicing.
- Dust your stollen with powdered sugar generously. Slice into pieces and serve with Mulled Wine, hot cider, or hot tea. Enjoy!