Heritage is a big part of the holiday season. Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and more are celebrated around the world. Different countries and families have their traditions. Special meals, desserts, and breads are made as people gather together to celebrate. Exploring the flavors of the season from all over the world is very exciting. Breads vary in shapes, sizes, and flavors. There is pandoro, pulla, gubana, yulekage, and my favorite; stollen.
Each year there has been a mission. My goal was either to buy or bake a stollen. I’ve only accomplished buying one until this year. Thanks to the nudge from the Twelve Loaves challenge I finally decided to tackle baking it for the first time. The only ingredient I could not find was candied citron. I used grated lemon zest which turned out fine. I actually prefer not using candied fruits as those seem to be overly sweet and make it more like a fruitcake-bread. If I want fruitcake, I’ll make it instead.
How is the stollen? It is filled with mixed dried fruits that were plumped up after soaking in hot water. My combination included currants, cherries, blueberries, golden raisins, and cranberries. You can use whatever ones you prefer or have on hand. Chopped almonds give it a light nutty flavor. A layer of marzipan is a soft and sweet center in each slice. Confectioners sugar covers it for just the right added sweetness. One note about the sugar: it will melt if you wrap up the bread. All you have to do is dust more on before serving again. There are some non-melting confectioners sugars out there however I have not tried them yet.
Have you baked holiday bread? Perhaps from your heritage? You should because it makes the season so much more special. If you need recipes or inspiration, here is a list for you to get started:
- Cinnamon Pull-Apart Coffee Cake by Liz at That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Cranberry Apple Cinnamon Rolls by Dionne at Try Anything Once Culinary
- Cranberry Orange Scones by Renee at Kudos Kitchen by Renee
- Crunchy Almond Holiday Bread by Paula at Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Holiday Breakfast Wreath by Lora at Cake Duchess
- Mini Toffee Banana Bread with Caramel Sauce by Holly at A Baker’s House
- Nut Brittle Topped Holiday Bread by Deepti at Baking Yummies
- Pandoro by Karen at Karen’s Kitchen Stories
- Stollen by Renee at Magnolia Days
For the fruit:
- 1 cup mixed dried fruit
- 1 cup raisins
- 2 to 3 cups boiling water
For the sponge:
- 1 package active dry yeast 1/4 ounce
- 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup water
- 2/3 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon honey
For the dough:
- 1/3 cup honey
- 1 large egg beaten
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter 1 stick, diced and at room temperature
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground mace
- 1/2 cup toasted chopped almonds
- 3 to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
- 6 ounces marzipan
- Confectioners sugar
For the fruit:
Pour boiling water to cover fruit in a bowl. Let set for at least 1 hour. Drain.
For the sponge:
In the bowl of a stand mixer, whisk together yeast and flour.
Heat water and milk in a small saucepan to 110 degrees F.
Pour warm water/milk over yeast and flour. Add honey and stir to combine.
Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until full of bubbles, about 30 minutes.
For the dough:
Add fruit, honey, egg, butter, lemon zest, salt, mace, almonds, and 2 cups of the flour to the sponge.
Use the flat beater to beat the mixture on low speed for 2 minutes.
Change from the flat beater to dough hook. Turn mixer on to medium-low speed or speed recommended for using dough hook.
Add enough of the remaining flour until dough begins to "clean" the bowl.
Knead with the mixer 4 to 5 minutes.
Turn dough out on a lightly floured surface. Hand knead a few times and shape dough into a ball.
Place dough in a greased or oiled bowl and turn to coat dough.
Cover very loosely with plastic wrap or a tea towel and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour.
Divide dough in half. Roll or press dough halves into 7- X 9-inch ovals.
Divide marzipan in half and roll out halves to 2- X 6-inch strips.
Place marzipan on one side of each oval.
Fold dough in half. Press on folded edge or pinch edge to seal.
Carefully transfer loaves to a baking sheet lined with parchment or non-stick liner.
Cover loaves with a tea towel and let rise for 45 minutes.
While the loaves are on the second rise, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake loaves for 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 190 degrees F.
Immediately remove loaves from baking sheet and cool completely on wire rack.
Dust the top and sides heavily with confectioners sugar prior to serving.
The coating of confectioners sugar may melt when stored. Dust more on top prior to serving again.
Recipe adapted from Stollen on the Food Network website.
#TwelveLoaves December – Holiday Breads. November was a delightful month of spice breads. December #TwelveLoaves is here and we are celebrating Holidays! Share your December Holiday Bread (yeast or quick bread). Let’s get baking!
Want to add your bread to the collection with the Linky tool this month? Here’s what you need to do!
- When you post your Twelve Loaves bread on your blog, make sure that you mention the Twelve Loaves challenge in your blog post; this helps us to get more members as well as share everyone’s posts. Please make sure that your bread is inspired by the theme!
- Please link your post to the linky tool at the bottom of my blog. It must be bread baked to the Twelve Loaves theme.
- Have your Twelve Loaves bread that you baked this December, 2013, and posted on your blog by December 31, 2013.
#TwelveLoaves is a monthly bread baking party. It was created by Lora from Cake Duchess and runs so smoothly thanks to the help of the lovely Paula from Vintage Kitchen Notes and Renee from Magnolia Days.