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Dresden Christmas Stollen

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nellapower's picture
nellapower

Dresden Christmas Stollen

I have been lurking in the forum for over two years now, soaking up all that I could about sourdough bread-baking. All this time, I wished there was something that I could give back, that I could share with the community. Seeing that I am still a bread amateur compared to you guys, I thought I will have to wait a few more years for this blessed moment. But today, as I was getting my kitchen ready for baking, it hit me. There actually is something I can share with you: my recipe and my experience with baking Dresden Christmas Stollen. I know, there is already one recipe around by harrygerman. My recipe is similar, but with even more butter and fruit. This stollen is an amazing thing: rich, heavy, and fruity. The dough is different from anything else I know and a little tricky to work with. Before I give you the recipe and the technique, I will start by telling you a little about the history of Dresden Stollen. Seeing that there are very different stollen recipes around, I think you need this little introduction to understand how the Dresden stollen is different and why it is worth making, despite all the effort.

In Saxony (the region in the East of Germany, where Dresden is), stollen has been a tradition Christmas bread for centuries (the first written documents about stollen are from the 1329). At that time, however, stollen was a light, yeasted bread, containing nothing but flour, water, yeast and sometimes oil. It was sold and eaten during he pre-Christmas period of Advent fast. Saxony was then catholic, so the use of any richer ingredients such as butter or milk was strictly forbidden. The Saxon rulers, however, were apparently dissatisfied with their Advent bread, so they applied to the pope for a permission to use butter in their stollen. The pope allowed this in 1491, on the condition that they atone for their sin by donating liberally to the church. Although meant only for the rulers and gentry, the pope's permission was quickly applied with much more liberation. Maybe to compensate for centuries of butter-free fasting, the Saxons transformed the stollen into a rich, buttery bread stuffed with fruits. No longer a fast meal, the stollen became a Christmas celebration bread. After a while Saxony turned protestant, but the stollen remained. Of course, with its centuries of tradition, the title "Dresden Stollen" was soon used for trading purposes, unfortunately not always with high-quality products. Since the beginning of the 20th century, the traditional Dresden stollen bakeries fought against the on-slough of so-called Dresden stollen. Today, "Dresdner Stollen" is a registered trademark and only selected backers from Dresden area can use it, provided that their stollen meet criteria with regard to the minimum amount of butter and dried fruits.

Enough of history, let's look at the bread. A real Dresden stollen contains at least 500g Butter and 650g sultanas per 1000g flour. This makes it extremely heavy and rich. Furthermore, the stollen is traditionally heavily coated in icing sugar. The bread needs to ripe for at least 3 weeks in order to develop its flavours and texture and keeps in proper conditions easily for several months. I have started baking stollen some ten years ago, when I moved to Dresden. I now bake 2-3 batches each year before Christmas. For my husband, stollen is something to look forward to throughout the whole year. Even when we spent six month in Finland last year, there was no questions that I will bake his beloved stollen. The recipe that I have here is based on a century old recipe for Dresden Christmas stollen, that Dresden bakeries use as a foundation. Of course, I have adapted it to suit our tastes. You are free to do the same. Just what ever you do, do not cut down the fat! Without the fat, the stollen will never keep as long and it will not develop the proper texture and taste. The same goes for the amount of fruits. You can play with the sugar though, for example leave out the sugar coat (I prefer our stollen uncoated).

Right, enough said, here is the recipe:

Ingredients:

1000 g flour (fine, weak flour; all purpose flour should do nicely)
250 g cream
42 g fresh yeast (or 14 g dried yeast)
500 g butter (or 450g butter and 50g lard or tallow)
1 g ground mace
0,5 g ground cinnamon
0,5 g ground cardamom
zest of 1 lemon
150 g sugar (I use Muscovado whole-cane sugar)
50 g candied lemon peel (instead I make my own by soaking peel from two lemons in honey
for several days)
150 g candied orange peel (instead, I soak peel from 4-5 oranges in honey)
500 g sultanas
250 g currants
100 g rum (optional, I use Amaretto instead)
200 g ground almonds
+ extra butter (approx. 250 g)
+ extra fine castor sugar (approx. 100 g)
+ extra icing sugar (at least 250 g)

0. Save the date
It's important not to start baking stollen too late. My personal experience with this recipe is that they need at least 4 weeks, ideally 6 weeks before you cut into them. Really! We always cut our first stollen on the first Advent Sunday, so I bake my first batch 10 weeks before Christmas. I bake my second and sometimes third batch about 5-6 weeks before Christmas, partly for us and partly as presents for friends.

0. Preferment
The stollen dough is very heavy and it will need a strong yeast activity to raise it. For this purpose, I like to preferment a portion of the flour. I take 300g of the flour, break in 21g yeast, and knead it with 250g cream. I leave it to ferment for 1 hour by room temperaure and than for 12-24 hours in the fridge. You can also use sourdough in the preferment. I have successfully baked sourdough-only stollen, you just need to let them rise longer.

0. Soaking
Place the sultanas and currents in a large bowl. If you are using alcohol, pour it over the fruit. Add enough boiling water to cover the fruit. Leave to soak for at least 30 minutes, but best over night. It is important to soak the fruit even if you are not using alcohol, or else it will burn in the oven. Don't forget to drain the fruit well before you start making the dough to make it as dry as possible.

1. Dough
I sieve the flour onto a working surface (this definitely does not work in a bowl). Break in the remaining 21g of yeast (you can leave this out, just adjust the rising time). Rub the lemon zests into the sugar and mix the sugar into the flour, together with the mace, cinnamon, and cardamom. If you are wondering about the small amounts, the stollen is not supposed to taste very spicy. However, this is your stollen, so you can add any spices you like. Cut the preferment into small pieces and distribute it on the edges of your flour mound and do the same with the butter/lard. Now comes the kneading. Be warned, that you will need about 30 minutes to knead the dough. You can try it in your mixere, but make sure your mixer can take it. Better invest the time or coax a physically strong friend or relative into helping. Start by taking a few pieces of the preferment and the butter and kneading them together. As you do this, the dough-lump in your hands will turn sticky. Place it in the middle of your flour mound and knead it there, until so much flour has been incorporated that it's dry again. Now take some more preferment and butter and knead them in your lump. This will make it sticky again, so add flour. And so on and so on. At some point, the dough-lump may become difficult to handle. Feel free to cut and put aside about two thirds of it and continue kneading with the rest. You can put the pieces together in the end. Do not be tempted into adding more flour or any liquids. Trust me, just keep kneading, it will all be well in the end. As you work, the kitchen will be slowly filled with the smell of lemon zest and the spices - Christmas is on the way!



2. Fruits
You are tired, your fingers ache and you are a proud owner of a homogeneous dough lump that reminds you of short-bread dough. Congratulations, let's add the fruit. Take your drained sultanas and currants and mix them with the ground almonds. This will help soak up the remaining liquid. Mix them with the candied orange and lemon peel and pour the whole lot on your working surface. You might have the urge to check the recipe now, because you think you have too much fruit. But it really can be incorporated into you dough-lump. First, cut the dough-lump into 5 pieces. Start by working the first piece into the fruit. As the fruit is wet, this will make it all turn into a strange paste. Keep adding piece by piece, until the whole lot is incorporated. Don't worry if you feel more like making mudpies. Place the whole mass into a bowl and clean your working surface with a dough scraper. Now evaluate the dough. Is it like a soft short-bread or cookie dough? Than you are done with it. If it's too wet and soft (probably it will be), dust the working surface with flour, turn the dough onto it and carefully work in a little more flour. Not too much, though, the dough should be just about manageable. You won't need to make anything fancy with it, so as long as it does not stick to the work surface or your hands like crazy, it's fine.



3. Divide, form, and rise
Divide the dough into 2-5 pieces. For us, I prefer to make two large stollen. This size apparently has a positive influence on the texture of the stollen later on. But you can make several smaller stollen, too, for example as gifts. Just don't forget to adjust the baking time. Form each stollen into a rough, high log. Just pat it into shape - no rolling, no stretching. Just a note here: the traditional Dresden stollen has no almond paste inside. With all the dried fruit and its sugar coat, I also think that it does not need it. But it's your stollen, so if you like, add it now. Put the formed stollen on a baking sheet with baking paper (make sure the stollen are far enough apart) and let it rise for about 2 hours (more, if you are using only sourdough or less yeast). The stollen will become a little puffy, nothing more. It will definitely not double.

4. Score and bake
There is a traditional way of forming a Dresden stollen. I use a different, simple way used for stollen from Thuringia (another region in Germany). It's easier and the stollen are less flat, so they are also moister. Basically, you just make a log and then you score it with a single cut all the away down the stollen's back. That's it. I score the stollen directly before putting it into the oven. I don't preheat the oven, just pop it in and bake it at 180°C for approx. 1-1,5 hours. Keep a watchful eye on the stollen. Cover it with aluminium foil if it has turned brown before its time and adjust the time according to the size of the stollen.


5. Coat
This is an optional step. Traditional stollen is heavily coated in sugar. If you want to  coat the stollen, brush it with liquid butter (as much as the stollen can soak up) immediately after taking it out of the oven. Than sprinkle it heavily with fine castor sugar. The castor sugar will soak up any access butter. Wait for the stollen to cool and sprinkle it with a very thick layer of icing sugar. As I wrote, I skip this step. Firstly, I find the coated stollen too sweet and secondly it makes a mess when storing. Alternatively, it is also possible to store uncoated stollen and brush it with butter and coat it in sugar right before cutting into it.

6. Store
The stollen has to be stored for at least 4 weeks (I recommend 6) before cutting into it. If you cut it earlier, you will be disappointed. Cutting it later is even better. Stollen store best in an old fashioned cool celler, with high humidity. If you don't have such a cellar, you can store stollen outside in wooden boxes provided that your climate is cool enough (that's what I do). Otherwise store the stollen in the coolest room of your house, but not in the fridge. Some people like to freeze the stollen, I don't think its necessary and it has a negative impact on the texture. If you are storing stollen in a cellar or outside, simply wrap it in cotton cloth and put it in a wooden box, so that it can breathe. Otherwise wrap it well in a plastic or aluminium foil. The idea is that if you cannot provide an environment with high humidity, such as cellar or outside, you should prevent the stollen from drying out. That's it, now wait.

7. Eating
If you cut into a stollen 2-3 weeks after baking, you will be disappointed. It will taste fine, but the crumb will be far too dry. Don't give up and put the stollen away again and wait a little longer. The texture will change over time and after six weeks it will have a short-bread-like crumb and the taste will be a mixture of spices and fruits, all rolled into a buttery, sweet bliss.

So to sum up, a Dresden stollen is not hard to bake. All it takes are good quality ingredients, some muscle and a lot of patience. The reward is a truly unusual bread. Although I am not German and grew up baking other Christmas goodies, stollen has become to me a personification of Christmas. You take the best, you do your best, you wait for the occasion, and then you enjoy it in full.

I hope someone might have a go at my Christmas stollen. I'll be happy to help you.

Best, Nella

Comments

AnnaInMD's picture
AnnaInMD

I will add a few slices to the remaining 3 loaves.

Thank you !

anna

PS:  My original home is Thueringen and  a Stollen saturated with butter and sugar was the norm ;)   (if and when available, ofc)

Bohemian Mama's picture
Bohemian Mama

My first stollen is  nothing like this, and the wonderful history lesson and  tutorial. I remain truly humbled by this.

My stollen was sans  butter...   but was light sourdough with the soaked fruits

nellapower's picture
nellapower

There are different versions of "stollens": some are just light fruit breads, some are with almond paste, or different kinds of fruits. Close to Dresden in Pulsnitz they bake a gingerbread stollen - with pieces of gingerbread dough inside (I just have to try and make it one day). I have baked a batch of my first stollen last week (I am late already) and my husband said that he felt the atmosphere of Christmas already: peace, fun and wonderful things coming out of the oven. I guess that's really what a stollen is about :-).

Tasha's picture
Tasha

Hello,

I am super excited to try out your recipe.I truly appreciate your taking the time to write out such thorough instructions.  Christmas Stollen is one of my favorite parts of the holiday. I noticed there is no salt listed in the recipe. Is that correct?  And is the butter unsalted or salted? 

nellapower's picture
nellapower

Hi Tasha,

there really is no salt in the recipe. Maybe because given all the butter it can do no good to the gluten. The butter is also unsalted.

Let me know how it worked out :-).

Best, Nella

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Hi Tasha and Nella,

The lack of salt in the Stollen recipe has nothing to do with the amount of butter or consideration of gluten development. It appears to be a unique American thing to put substantial amounts of salt in cakes or sweet pastries. You will rarely find salt in sweet European pastry, or, maximally, only a pinch.

Given the fact that European wheat has much less protein than US wheat (the German all-purpose flour, Typ 405, is more like US pastry flour) we can beat the heck out of the dough without risking too much gluten development.

Happy Stollen baking,

Karin

 

 

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

make this on Tuesday to have it ready for the Holidays, we celebrate Hanukkah with a little Christmas around here :-)  I'm planning on making some changes and need a little help.

I will substitute some whole wheat pastry flour, white spelt and whole rye for some of the white flour - not going over 20% though and will up the hydration some to compensate.  I also plan on using  dried and then bourbon plumped raisins, sultanas, cranberries, apricots and prunes for the fruit.    Will also use a mix of amaretto and rum too.  Might also possibly make one with home made limoncello and arancello ... I suppose I should cut back some of the sugar with these?

Lastly a real storing problem.  Here in AZ now it is 50 F at night and 80 in the day so storing it outside is out.  No cellar either.   I could either store it at inside room temperature 67 F - 72F or in the fridge.  I'm guessing the fridge is best wrapped in plastic and then aluminum foil?  OOPPPSSS not the fridge!  I really need to read the whole post beefore asking question.

Has anyone stored this in the house at say 70 degrees for 6 weeks?

nellapower's picture
nellapower

Hi!

I don't know what will happen if you substitute the flowers. Normally, most recipes can be changed as you described and (unless you have picky eaters) it will not make much difference, provided you adjust the liquid. With this stollen, there is also an aging-process involved which needs the high amount of butter. I have no idea what and if anyhing the added bran will do to this. But there is no way to find out but to try it and my guess would be that it will make little difference. You might like to try soaking your whole-wheat flours or using them to make the pre-ferment.

With the fruits, I think you can let yourself run wild. I have used dried apricots and I liked them, but my husband is very conservative when it comes to stollen, so I had to switch back to candied lemon and orange peels. Cranberies should be fine too. I am not sure with the prunse though. My guess is, that they might become too soft. The would have to be cut into pieces to keep up the texture and soaked otherwise they will burn of they are on the surface (and they will be). I would think this will make them too soft and they will get mushed up in the final dough. Apricots are firmy so I didn't have that problem.

I would think you cn choose your alcohol to taste. Rum is very traditional at least in central Europe, I like Amaretto and I believe Whiskey would be great too :-). So why not limoncello and arancello. feel free to cut the sugar. All the fruits make the stolle very sweet anyway.

I have stored the stollen by room temperature when I was in Finnland (the outside temperature was -20°C and I didn't want them rock-frozen). You have to make sure they are wrapped really well. I used aluminium-foil and cling-fil. You can use only aluminium-foil to eliminate the plastic. Putting them into tin-boxed (here you get "stollen tins") aslo works (try adding a few slices of apple into each tin about a week before cutting in). Fridge ist too wet, but you can try freezing them. I don't  because they take forever to thaw and I find them crumblier afterwards, but there are people who swear by it.

Best, Nella

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

2 more questions.  When does the ground almong almond go in?  With the flour and the  sugar?  Thanks the SD preferment with whole grains is almost ready.  This has to be one lump with the nhydration way below bagel range :-)  We need an army toknead this I'm thinking,

Do you think that you can cut the butter and lard into the flour first before adding the preferment and the cream to make it easier?

Thanking you ahead of time

nellapower's picture
nellapower

Hi,

the ground almonds get mixed into the soaked, drained fruit. They soak up part of the moisture and reduce the stickiness of the dough. The preferment is always a lump and the dough is really hard to knead. I cut everything into pieces - butter, lard, the preferment -  and start kneading a few lumps together, adding a piece of butter here, a piece of preferemnt there and kneading in more flour. When the lump becomes too big to knead comfortably, I put it aside and start a new lump. You can cut the butter into the flour, but I don't think it will reduce the kneading by much. The dough is simply hard to knead - takes about 30 minutes plus then kneading the fruits in.

Have fun, Nella

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

for the update.  I made half a batch and cut the fats into the flours first and upped the hydration some. The kneading was pretty easy and I could actually do French slap and folds for 15 minutes without all the add ins incorporated.  Then folded the add ins into the mix using S& F's.   Half a lump is easier than a full one :-)

I found a round tin that I can put the boule in and store it outside.  It got down p 40 F last night and only 74 F today.  If I wrap it in cotton it should breathe and the tn should keep the moisture in and bugs out - so outside it goes.  I'm going to let it rest and ferment in the fridge overnight.  This ended up being a SD and yeast water combo levain so the fridge will be good for it :)

So far, it had been lots of fun.  2,200 g is a big boule so I might make 2  so they can fit in the tin if they spread a little in the oven.  Once the butter and lard was cut into the flour with the sugar and spices. it  was about the best smelling short crust pastry of all time and then the cream went in and then add ins and fight was on!

This is one fine recipe and I haven't even got in in the oven!  Love the ground almonds.  Thanks for posting it and answering my questions.  Will try to post my atttempt tomorrow.

nellapower's picture
nellapower

Hi,

I am glad you enjoyed it. Just a note: if you were ablte to do a French slap, you have definitely added too much liquid and the dough is not heavy enough (you can just forget any stretching of a stollen dough - more like pounding it flat). This might give the stollen more of a bread-like structure. Actually it's not preferment plus cream, but the cream goes into the preferment. The dough should feel like short-bread, not like a yeasted dough. The first time I made stollen, I added more liquid, too, because I just couldn't believ the dough could work otherwise. Of course it's your stollen, so feel free to play with the recipe to taste.

And yes, it wil spread in the oven. Some people use a stollen baking-tins to prevent this, but the certified stolle bakers in Dresden say that that's what a stollen is meant to look like. So I live with it :-).

When you bake, watch the heat and cover the stollen in time - it bakes so long, it is prone to getting burned, especially as ist's hard to tell when it's done. If some of the fruits on top get scorched, just brush them off.

Good luck, Nella

nellapower's picture
nellapower

Hi Karin,

thanks for the explanation, I wasn't aware of that, but now that you say it, I have been regularly reducing and omitting salt from my American sweet-pastry recipes - never gave it much thought, though. You are right, there are real differences, when it comes to European and non-European baking. Sugar in non-sweet breads is another thing: there seems to be a preference for slightly sweet breads in the Americal cuisine that I just don't share. I know one of the reasons my father never goes to McDonalds is that their buns taste sweet.

Thanks for the reflection, Nella

hanseata's picture
hanseata

Yes, I was as surprised at the sweetness of non-sweet American breads, too. Since I mostly eat my own breads, I don't have to put up with it, and my customers like my less sweet enriched breads and non-sweet lean breads.

I will definitely bake a stollen this year, too, though I have to decide whether it will be a Dresdner, with whole wheat (my husbands favorite) or a poppy seed stollen (my favorite).

Karin

 

nellapower's picture
nellapower

Hi Karin,

I usually make both :-). The poppy-seed one is good to bridge the time before the Dresner is ready. Have you ever tried quark-stollen? I was thinking about giving it whirl this year, since I was late with the Dresdner stollen.

Best, Nelly

hanseata's picture
hanseata

No, I haven't made one myself, yet. That would be a possiblity, too. What are you using to substitute the quark in the US - cream cheese?
I just bought a book on cheese making, especially to make my own quark (and Danish ymer.) A pity that you can't get it here, or only very expensive and not the same quality.

Take care,

Karin

nellapower's picture
nellapower

Hi Karin,

I live in Austria, so I have all the quark I need (what a luxury). I have used cream cheese and Ricotta as a substitute when I was in the UK. Neither has the texture of quark, but they seem to do fine in baking. Maybe a mixture of the two would be good.

Best, Nella

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

stollen starts a quarkin' ......I'm a shootin' it an eatin' it .......in place of the really big chicken for Thanksgivin' !

EvaB's picture
EvaB

I store my Xmas cakes at room temp all the time, and I have some that have been on the shelf (in a ziplock bag) for over a year, they went through the summer at high temps (we can get temps almost as high as AZ in the summer and for weeks sometimes) I do try to find a cool spot, like a lower cupboard or shelf, but don't worry if I can't, they are still great right now. My sister in law freezes hers, and slices it frozen. My cakes have very little bread component as they are heavy fruit cakes, but they are well soaked in wine before the fruit is incorporated and that is it!

Dry fruitcake (which mine is rarely unless its two years old) makes great cake in trifle, with a bit of something alcoholic poured onto it to moisten the chunks, and the custard, and whipped cream and jelly on top, its decadent. My daughter who doesn't like fruit cake at all (too sweet) will eat that! I make two kinds of cake one dark and very heavy with fruit, and one light and more cakey, both are always well recieved, and the stollen sounds so wonderful. Must try to make one or two!

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

a little better about the 6 weeks of storage.  I wrapped them in a cotton kitchen towel and put them in a tin outside.  When I checked them the next day, for a small taste,  the towels were damp like the wrapping was sucking the moisture out of the stollen.  Anyways, fingers are no crossed and hoping I've been nice enough this past year for Santa to do his 'Nice For Stollen' thing on  these damp mummies - and not turn them into lumps of coal :-)

Now I'm thinking I should have dampened the cloth with some congnac or brandy like I do fruit cakes :-)

leostrog's picture
leostrog

many thanks, Nella, for such a comprehensive "step by step" explanation. I've been looking for a authentic recipe for Stollen a lot of time, but found only with quark , and I dom't want recipe  with  Quark.

nellapower's picture
nellapower

I am glad you find the recipe useful. It follows the recipe which the Dresden stollen bakeries use as a quality standard so it is authentic - authentic Dresden stollen recipe, that is. There are a lot of stollen around which are also authentic, but from different regions and they can be quite different (a few days ago I saw one apparently regionally traditional stollen whith a distinctly bread-like texture with exactly three raisins looking at me from the cross-section - but that's how the stollen was made in that particular region, so also authentic). The Dresden bakers will adjust the recipe regarding details like liquid for soaking the fruit or spices, but they are not allowed to temper with the butter to flour and fruit to flour ratio (which always made me feel I shouldn't either).

Have fun baking :-).

Nella

M2's picture
M2

Hi Nellapower and all,

I have finally remembered to make stollen in November (not in late December) and I was so excited to try out your recipe.  During the kneading process, I found the dough was extremely dry and it was almost impossible to integrate all the ingredients.  So I ended up adding extra liquid to the dough.  As I later found out (after the baking), I forgot to take the 300g of flour that was used in the preferment out of the final dough...no wonder it was so dry...

Since my goal is to bake one for my in-law, it has to be perfect.  So I'm going to do it again.  This time, I'm going to half the recipe (I have two huge mishap stollens to consume).  Do I need to adjust the temperature?  How about the baking time?  I'll still make two loaves out of this half recipe, so the loaves will be smaller.  I don't think I can tap the bottom of the cake just like I do for bread, so any advice re: time and temperature will be greatly appreciated.

Thanks for sharing the recipe!

Michelle

nellapower's picture
nellapower

Hi Michelle,

I am sorry the first batch didn't work out. I have a recipe for "stollen balls" as a way of using up too much stollen - let me know if I should post it. There was also a suggestion gere for using it in a trifle.

I sometimes make smaller stollen, too and as Karin wrote, you just need to adjust the temperature.

Good luck with the second batch.

Best, Nella

hanseata's picture
hanseata

I always bake smaller Stollen - I sell them and otherwise the costs would be prohibitive.

The baking temperture is the same, only the baking time is shorter. You'll have to check them early enough, and, when they seem to be done, check the temperature (they should register at least 195 F/90 C in the middle).

When I come home from my Mexico trip I have already Whole Wheat and Poppy Seed Stollen orders waiting.

Happy baking,

Karin

M2's picture
M2

Knowing the internal temperature really helps.  Thanks Karin.  Is it possible to give me a ballpark as to when should I test the temperature?  Maybe after 35 mins of baking?  I always worry about opening the oven door during baking.

Michelle

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

my 2 loaves were 1,200 g each and they were baked to 203 F in the center.  It took  1 1/12 hours at an oven temperature of  350 F.  I wish it would have been baked to 195 F though and we had to cover it with foil after  hour or so, so it woldn't get too dark.   A loaf half that size would probably take 40 minutes or so at 350F ?  Don't worry about opening the door to check the temperature.  After 30 minutes of heat the poor stollen, or anything else, won't know if the door was open or not - or even care :-)  The full write up is here:

http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/30996/not-so-stollen

We really like this stollen recipe, one disappeared over Thanksgiving and we still have one ageing on the back patio, wrapped in a cotton towel in a tin, with 3 weeks still to go,

Happy Stollen Baking!

M2's picture
M2

Thanks for the assurance re: opening the oven door.  Baking the stollen indeed makes me happy, despite my carelessness in my first try!

And your not so stollen looks great!!

 

nellapower's picture
nellapower

I really liked you adjusted stollen. My main consumer considers making changes to the stollen treading on sacred traditions, otherwise would I be experimenting with whole wheat and nuts. Still I managed to kill the sugar coat that made me cough every time I took a bite. But as for hampseed, I am afraid that would be a capital offence around here ;-).

I wonder what's your take on the aging difference. I was quiet surprised that many who answered your post said that the stollen didn't need to age. I have repeatedly put a stollen back to rest for a week or two longer because the texture was not what it's meant to be. The flavours also develop over time, though this probably takes less than six weeks. So I would be interested to hear if you felt a difference in the stollen after different aging periods.

Best, Nella

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

any stollen experts here who are steeped in Christmas traditions that need to be observed.  This is good on two fronts. No one knows what a real stollen is supposed to taste like, a very good thing I'm most thankful for and I can switch some ingredients around a bit and still get close to what a stollen somewhere might want to be - if it had nuts in it and a couple of nuts making it :-)

Hanseata is a fine baker originally from Germany and her comment about how it wasn't going to get any better  with 6 weeks of aging- a couple of days is plenty  almost got me to planting some hemp seeds or freezing the remaining one.  The first one was so good after more than week of storage I hated that the 2nd one might face old age ruination like me or my apprentice.  I always pay close attention to Karin's  comments and know from experience that  none of  other breads would get better with 6 weeks of aging and even my German Style Fruit Cakes need a once a week brandy soaking through their cotton wrapper to keep them from turning green. 

My two concerns were that the AZ outdoors can be very warm, even in the winter.    Two days ago it was 84 F and is routinely in the 70's  and it hasn't gone below 40 F any night so far and is usually in the 50's at night.  Sugar also keeps bad things like mold at bay and like you,  I didn't do any sugaring of the outside before the sollen went into tin storage.   I figure that it is pretty iffy that this stollen will still be decent on December 22 when it gets unwrapped for company - but at least I won't have to eat it :-)

I just wanted to see what a real 6 week old stollen would have tasted like if  my  Granny Doerschlaht would have ever made one - being a Fruit Cake maker instead.    Will keep you informed how things are stollen wise in a couple of weeks. Maybe my apprentice should do some stollen taste testing the day before - just to make sure no one dies.  

nellapower's picture
nellapower

Hi Katrin,

yepp, big stollen get's really expensive. The traditional, original Dresden stollen (meaning that it is baked by a certified bakery in Dresden and that the stollen keeps the ration of butter to flour and fruits to flour) four-pound stollen, which is the size that is supposed to mature optimally, costs some 25€. This was also one of the reasons I started baking my own, because my husband consumes 6-8 kilo stollen yearly :-).

Best, Nella

nellapower's picture
nellapower

Hi Michelle,

you definitely don't have to worry about opening the door with this stollen - as the dough is so dense it hardly rises so it also cannot fall. Testing after 35 minutes seems like a good time. Just keep an eye on them anyway in case they would turn two brown (OK, probably not after 35 minutes, but it's better to bee too cautious than pick off scorched fruit after baking - ask me how I know). I admit I don't have a good method for measuring the temperature, I just poke and look and smell around. Often, the place right in the middle of the scored part remains moist, when the stollen is not baked through yet. But taking temperature ought to be safest.

Good luck with the baking

Nella

M2's picture
M2

and that comes with years of experience!  I think I'll go with testing the internal temperature for now :)

The mistake that I made is all my fault.  The two big loaves have been hanging "air cured" for about two weeks now.  Since they are no good for gifting, I think I can start working on them (i.e. eating).

I've started my second attempt at your recipe.  The dough came together nicely.  I have high hope for this second try!  

Thanks everyone for your replies.  

 I have watched the Dresden stollen on youtube and it totally gets your stollen spirit going:

http://youtu.be/T93FWFDlseU

 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

but got finally round to try out your stollen recipe. I divided the dough (your given amounts) into six small Stollen and applied the classic "Dresden" shape including the sugar - they look just like the real thing (and the couple of slices we couldn't help trying promise a great taste and texture for after new year). The second batch is in the making now - Thanks a lor for sharing your recipe and knowledge!

Juergen 

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Oops / Huch

Juergen 

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

from the American-Austrian viewpoint, the dough is like a big gorgeous lump of cookie dough, baked and frosted.  The inside becomes cake like with baking.  A partially folded over disk of dough to form a mountain with snow on top.  

Don't over bake.  

Can be aged or eaten right away.  

Keep like one does with cookies.  

Cookies will go rancid if kept too long.  

Stollen can also be sliced and dried for dunking in coffee or tea.  

Never too late to bake a stollen.  

lumos's picture
lumos

I agree with Mini.  I used to follow a blog by a Japanese female baker who was trained and been working in Germany as a Baeckermeister (bakery master) since late '90s.  When she was training she was taught it is not always necessary to age stollen, unlike a popular belief.   In fact a particular stollen she learned at her school could be eaten only after 3 days or so,  which surprised her because she'd always thought it was the golden rule to age stollen for weeks.

My sister-in-law's mother originally came from pre-war eastern Germany and she usually baked hers in early December and aged most of the batch for 3-4 weeks except for one loaf which she started eating only a few days after.

I had my first professionally made 'authentic Dresdner stollen' which my sister got for me from this bakery in Dresdner last winter.  I was so stunned when I first picked it up because it weighed tons and was VEEEERY sweet! 

nellapower's picture
nellapower

What tends to be forgotten it that there is not "the" stollen recipe. There many very different kinds of stollen - all of them traditional, just from different regions. I guess this is not suprising given that every corner of Europe seems to have it own yeasted Christmas bread with dried fruits or nuts. The stollen recipes vary with regard to the ingredients and their amounts, the preparation and - yes, storage. My grandma sometimes makes a stollen that is somewhere closed to Peter Reihard's recipe. It is not meant to be stored more than a couple of days, then it is meant to be eaten.

All the directions here are are solely for the Dresden stollen. Thanks to the trademark registration, the recipe and procedure for this type stollen is fairly well documented, including the storage. The official orginasation responsible for the Dresdner-Stollen-trademark recommends buying a stollen about two-four weeks prior to planned consuption - and the stollen is already aged before it hits the counter (the stollen bakers make the first batches in September). Actually this organisation recently translated their webpage into English, if you are interested: http://www.dresdnerstollen.com/index.php?ILNK=MMenu_Home&iL=2.

In the end, we all have different tastes. The texture of a "fresh" Dresdner Stollen is just like a fruit cake - there is nothing wrong with eating it fresh if that's what you suits your taste. If stored for six weeks (and more) it changes texture (and taste, but this happens faster). It is this texture which is typical for this particular type of stollen - and possibly only for this stollen. It's this texture which I want, so I wait.

Best, Nella

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

you, mini and Karin I'm about to jump off the Dresden Stollen Cliff !!  The first one of two that I baked, 4 week as ago, was just  delicious after a few days of aging.  The other one has been aging for 4 weeks - tomorrow - outside in the AZ winter! I've got guests coming on the 22nd of December and I was so proud of myself for having a super duper ,better than delicious tasting, 6 week old stollen for them :-)  Now I will have to get them all snockered on a yule tide toddy of some kind so they don't realize the stollen they are eating is; 3rd rate, green, dried out, crumbly and stale! 

Do you jolly three have any ideas for an appropriate Holiday Old Stollen Toddy ?    Maybe I can soak the stollen in it :-)

Mini Oven's picture
Mini Oven

depending on the time of day.  A bottle of cocoa liqueur to cream the coffee, rum or brandy for the tea, and spices for the hot wine.  

Spices may include 4 whole cloves, 1 star anise, inch or two of cinnamon stick, long curl of orange peel, a snippet of cured vanilla bean.  Let stand at least 5 minutes in a liter of wine (red) and heat until warm enough to serve, strain into decorative mugs.  

... and then there is Egg Nog! 

hanseata's picture
hanseata

This confirms my Stollen attitude - why wait when you can eat it right now? I tend not to deprive myself of guilty pleasures, and I'll dig in my Stollen a day after it's baked.

Really sorry for your bad luck!

Karin

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Lumos, Mini, You've done it. Undermined by best intentions. I cut another slice off my 4 day old stollen tonight. 

My son liked it, I liked it. I can still see its potential to change into something more refined. 

Making the stollen reminded me of making Linzer Torte together with my mother, some 35 years ago. That recipe used - if I remember correctly - equal amounts of flour, ground almonds, sugar and butter, along with some egg, cocoa and spices. That cake was delicious when fresh, but very crumbly. Impossible to slice. But it turned soft and incredibly more flavorful after 4 weeks...

I used nella's instructions with regards to butter and sugar coating. Indeed, 250g of butter went onto/into the stollen after baking! Then caster sugar, then icing sugar ... So much fat and sugar... I hardly can believe little green things want to live on that! 

Dabrownman, what's the typical AZ winter like?

Anyway, I have been warned, and with the blessings of all of you I will continue to sample my stollen in regular intervals and watch out for crumbliness, green things and texture changes.

Happy Baking,

Juergen

 

lumos's picture
lumos

LOL I'm going to start eating one of the loaves I baked last week.  I have two more loaves 'aging.'  Just like the mother of my sister-in-law, that's how I always do every year because I quite like the flavour and texture of 'un-aged' stollen as well as aged one.

  To be honest with you, I found that 'authentic Dresdner Stollen' by the famous bakery too heavy and too sweet to my liking.   That may be what real Dresdner stollen should be, but I much prefered lighter versions I'd been more used to.  The Japanese female meister I mentioned above said at her school  they dunked baked stollens in a pool of melted butter rather than just brushing them with melted butter, then scattering of generous amount of granulated sugar straightaway, then thick covering of icing sugar next day.  I think I may die of diabetes and high cholesterol just by writing it.:p  No wonder I couldn't finish even one thin slice of that Dresdner stollen in one go.....

dabrownman's picture
dabrownman

It is 59 - 72F for highs and 36-42 F for lows.  That is pretty typical in the winter.  Usually the clouds are far and few between - we live in the Valley of the Sun.

nellapower's picture
nellapower

Believe me, after a few years, you can get down 2-3 slices easily :-). And you might even complain about the lack of marzipan. Kidding - the Dresden stollen is really extremely heavy and the sugar coating is a killer. I guess we must see it in the light of changing consumer behavior. A few centuries ago, the stollen and a few ginger-bread nuts would have been all the sweets you got for Christmas. Nowadays, we are forcefed sweeds practically 24/7. I am Czech and if i am not able to produce at least a dozen different types of Christmas cookies and a good Christmas braid, I have to consider myself a secondrate wife and mother ;-) (luckily my husband is German and he is satisfied with stollen gingerbread and say 2-3 more cookie types). I still marvell about the old Christmas carols and rhymes, where kids talk of looking forward to getting gingerbread, apples and almods for Christmas - "and maybe a dolly too"...

Juergen Krauss's picture
Juergen Krauss

Well worth the wait!

Cheers,
Juergen

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