Christmas Stollen is a great tradition this time of year. A sweet loaf that is studded with fruit, spiced with cardamom and a little treat of almond paste runs through it. Once it comes out of the oven we dust it with a thick layer of confectioners’ sugar to look like the snow outside. If there is any left the next day it makes amazing French toast. This is a loaf that also makes a great gift for the holidays.
Speaking of gifts for the bakers on your list, here are 10 great ideas for those who love to bake and folks who want to learn how.
Bread Baking Craftsy Class – An in depth video class that will guide you through the mixing, shaping and baking of our Master recipe. We’ll make dozens of breads, including everything from a boule to sticky buns. You’ll see our tips for shaping properly and getting the best results from all your breads, no matter which dough you use. If you buy the class through our site you’ll get $20 off the price of the class. Hope you’ll join us.
More gift ideas at the end of the post.
100% white whole wheat Christmas Stollen from Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day
Makes enough for three 1 1/2 pound loaves
6 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
1 tablespoon granulated Red Star Baking Yeast
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1/2 tablespoon ground cardamom
1/4 cup Vital Wheat Gluten
2 cups lukewarm water
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (see the book for other alternatives)
1/2 cup honey
4 large eggs
1/4 cup brandy (OJ or black tea can be substituted)
1 1/2 cups finely chopped dried and/or candied fruit (you choose your favorites. I used cherries, raisins, craisins, and apricots.)
1/2 cup Almond Paste, per loaf
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon water)
Confectioners’ sugar for the top
Mixing the dough: Dump the flour, yeast, salt, cardamom, and vital wheat gluten in a 6-Quart Round Food-Storage Container with Lid and stir them together with a spoon or dough whisk. Add the water, butter, honey, eggs, brandy and dried fruit, mix until well incorporated. No kneading! Cover loosely and let stand on the counter for 2 hours. This dough will be sticky, but much easier to handle after it has been refrigerated for several hours. It can be stored in the refrigerator for 5 days or frozen for 2 weeks.
For a version that is a little more decadent, you can use the Brioche Dough (page 189, ABin5) and add the cardamom, the dried fruit fruit and replace 1/4 of the water for the brandy.
On baking day take a 1 1/2 pound (small cantaloupe-size) piece of dough from the bucket.
Using plenty of flour roll out the dough into a 1/4-inch-thick oval. Form the 1/2 cup almond paste into a rope and lay it onto the dough about a 1/3 of the way from the end.
Fold the dough over the almond paste…
in thirds, so that it forms an S-shape…
when you look at it from the end.
Preheat the oven to 350F degree, with rack in the middle of the oven.
Once it has rested brush with the egg wash and bake for 35 to 40 minutes.
Let the loaf cool for about 20 minutes and then Sprinkle it with confections’ sugar…
Until it is completely covered and looks like snow!
Here are our top 10 gift recommendations for getting anyone on your holiday list started with bread baking:
The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day – A perfect place for both experienced bakers and new comers to start. We also have a GF version: Gluten-Free Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Baking Revolution Continues with 90 New, Delicious and Easy Recipes Made with Gluten-Free Flours
Bread Baking Craftsy Class – An in depth video class that will guide you through the mixing, shaping and baking of our Master recipe. We’ll make dozens of breads, including everything from a basic boule to sweet sticky buns. You’ll see our tips for shaping properly and getting the best results from all your breads, no matter which dough you use. If you buy the class through our site you’ll get $20 off the price of the class. Hope you’ll join us.
6-Quart Round Storage Container – the most convenient container to mix and store your dough.
Danish Dough Whisk – The coolest tool you’ll have in your kitchen. It makes mixing our dough even easier.
Oven Thermometer – check to make sure your oven is running true to temp with an independent thermometer.
Baking Stone– this classic stone is tried and true, but quite thick, so requires a longer preheat or a thin Rectangular Baking Stone – this stone is thinner, so it heats up quickly and can be used on the grill.
Baking Steel – this baking surface heats up quickly and retains great heat
Pizza Peel– this is perfect for sliding pizzas and breads onto the hot stone.
Serrated Bread Knife – a sharp bread knife is key to cutting a crisp loaf of bread.
Combine any of these with a bag of all-purpose flour and Red Star Yeast and they will be off and baking.