Welcome back for the second installment of my adventures in holiday baking featuring stollen. After shopping for ingredients and letting the nuts and dried fruit soak overnight – I was now ready to actually mix the dough for the bread.
I started mixing the bread last Saturday – but I had a very strict window of time between 10:30 and 3:30 to mix the dough, let it rise, bake it, and glaze it. It was ambitious but doing the math in my head accounting for the rising and baking time, I thought I could make it work in between my spinning class and a play Chris and I were going to attend.
All was going well. I had even mixed up the spices, including grinding cardamom and grating nutmeg the night before to cut down on that time on the mixing day. Then – in my effort to hurry, I misread the recipe and added a full 2 cups (!!!) of melted butter to the dough instead of the one cup. It was ruined.
(By the way – two cups of a butter is a lot! See:
This holiday stollen is certainly an exercise in indulgence. Oh well, it is the holiday season)
Luckily, I had enough spices and flour, and 1/2 of a vanilla bean left, to mix the dough again – paying close attention to the amount of butter added. Then the next challenge arose.
My dough was not coming together. I’ve never wished for a brand-new, super fancy Kitchenaid mixer before last weekend. The recipe says to use a paddle attachment on a standing mixer to mix the dough. Well, I have my mom’s old stand mixer that just has the regular old beater attachments. So that’s what I used. Well the dough was so dry and stiff that it was just not holding together. I even transferred it to my food processor with the dough blade to mix it – but it was way too thick. I was splattering dough everywhere, and working quickly, I was not cleaning as I went. My kitchen turned quickly into a disaster.
And the time kept ticking away. At this rate I was not going to be done with everything in time to leave for the play.
I ended up mixing the dough by hand, slowly… and adding all of the almonds and dried fruits and ginger by hand as well. It was hard work, but it did work.
Finally, the dough was mixed and ready to rise – but I did not have time for it to rise and bake it too. I ended up taking it through the final resting time and then wrapping it in plastic and refrigerating it overnight and planned to bake it the next day. I learned this trick in this helpful post from The Kitchn.
So – plan to spend about 5 or 6 hours putting this bread together today. If you don’t want to continue you could always use those rum-soaked raisins and almonds for bread pudding… or oatmeal?
Day Two: “Holiday Stollen” by Melissa Clark
For planning purposes, I’m posting all of the ingredients here. For those of you in Louisville, you can find find all of the nuts, dried fruit, vanilla beans, and candied ginger (as well as any of the spices and flours you might need), at Nuts n Stuff.
2/3 c. black raisins
2/3 c. golden raisins
1/2 c. dried cherries
1/3 c. dark rum
1 c. slivered almonds, lightly toasted
1 package active dry yeast (1/4 ounce)
1/2 c. milk, at room temperature
4 c. all-purpose flour
3/4 c. plus 3 T. sugar
2 3/4 t. ground ginger
1 t. kosher salt
1 t. ground cinnamon
1 t. ground cardamom
1 t. freshly grated nutmeg
1 t. freshly grated lemon zest
1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and reserved
2 c. (4 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, divided
1 large egg yolk
1/2 c. chopped candied ginger
1/2 c. mixed candied citrus peel (optional, you could omit this and use one cup of the candied ginger)
2 cups confectioners’ (powdered) sugar
In an electric mixer with paddle (or mixers! – but if you have a paddle, use it), set on low speed, mix yeast with milk until dissolved.
Add 1 cup flour and mix until a soft, sticky dough forms, about 2 minutes. This is the “starter.” Transfer starter to a lightly greased bowl, cover with greased plastic, and let rest for 40 minutes at room temperature.
In an electric mixer with paddle and set on low speed, mix remaining 3 cups of flour, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon ginger, salt, cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, lemon zest and vanilla seeds. With motor running, pour in 1 cup (not 2!) melted butter. Mix on slow for 1 minute, then add egg yolk. Mix until liquid is absorbed, about 1 minute more.
Divide starter dough into 3 pieces. Add starter to mixture in bowl, 1 piece at a time, mixing on slow until each addition is thoroughly combined, 2 to 3 minutes after each addition. After starter is absorbed, mix dough on a medium speed until glossy, 4 to 5 minutes. As I mentioned above, my dough never reached this point. It was a crumbly mess – so I turned it out onto a board and kneaded it until it became softer and a little glossier.
Add almonds, candied ginger and citrus peel if using, and mix on slow until combined, 2 to 3 minutes. Add raisins, cherries, and rum and mix on slow until combined, 2 to 3 minutes more (or knead by hand).
Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until fruit and nuts are inside dough rather than stuck on surface, and dough is smooth and glossy, about 5 minutes. Place dough in a medium bowl and cover with plastic. Rest for 1 hour to let rise slightly. Then knead it once or twice, cover with plastic and let rest for another hour.
Divide into 2 equal pieces and shape each into an oval loaf about 8 inches long. Stack 2 rimmed baking sheets on top of each other, lining top pan with parchment. Place loaves on doubled pans and cover with plastic. Allow loaves to rest 1 more hour at room temperature.
By this time, I ran out of time. If you run out of time too – just refrigerate the dough after the final rest. You can bring it to room temperature and bake it the next day.
Tomorrow – we’ll bake the bread. But don’t get too excited, you will still have to wait several days before consuming.
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