December 28, 2010

DB Christmas Stollen

The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

Though I do appreciate all yeasted goodies I've never been a big fan of Christmas breads like stollen and panetone.  They are often dry and flavorless and I much prefer the sticky goodness of the much maligned fruitcake, even the brick like kind.  But this year I fully embraced the challenge and fell in love with stollen.

I followed Penny's recipe replacing the butter with Earth Balance tub margarine.  For the fruit I made my own candied tangerine peel with cognac soaked currants and dried cranberries.  I used the spice combination from the Martha Stewart recipe because I have a recent obsession with mace, an extremely underused spice.   To avoid having on giant stollen wreath in the house to tempt me, I split my recipe into three loaves.  Two I froze and later shared one each with my parents and in laws and one I kept to enjoy.

It was fragrant, fruity, yeasty and wonderful and a fitting send off because in our household we're trying out being wheat free.  I made almost all of our Christmas cookies this year wheat free because my husband feels better not eating it.  And I'm personally committing to all of January completely wheat and gluten free to jumpstart my diet and see if I feel better eating that way.  Wish me luck because I know I'll be daydreaming about yeasty deliciousness like this stollen.

- Here is the complete stollen recipe which can also be found on our host Penny's blog, Sweet Sadie's Baking
-Along with advice from her German friend who bakes Stollen every year, Penny used the information in Peter Reinhart's Bread Baker’s Apprentice and this Martha Stewart recipe for a stollen wreath
-Visit the Daring Kitchen and see more festive breads made this month by browsing the Daring Baker Blogroll.

Slices of stollen
Penny and Fritz with the snow drift after the big snow on December 12th, I love birthday snow!
The ducks still wander around in the snow, but thankfully we've been able to convince them that their nice heated house is the best place to spend the night.
The best Christmas photo I could get this year
A dreamy Christmas Fritz
He like the rest of us is a little sad this Christmas because our oldest dog Roxy unexpectantly passed away earlier this month. We all miss her very much.