December 2010 Daring Bakers Challenge: Christmas Stollen Wreath

 
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.

I had actually forgotten about this month’s Daring Bakers challenge until the two days leading up to Christmas. Fortunately, I had soaked a megaload of dried fruit in rum for my christmas fruit cake so there’s plenty to spare.

   

The tradition of baking a stollen for Christmas originated from Germany and is steeped in history. As per wikipedia, the original shape of the loaf was ” to represent the baby Jesus wrapped in swaddling clothes”. I made the stollen dough exactly per the challenge recipe (click on this recipe link) on Christmas eve, rested the dough in the fridge overnight and baked it the next afternoon. The texture was half bread half cake, albeit on the dense side but it had a lovely flavour from all that rum plus I added a few drops of almond essence just to make it a little more christmasy..heheheee. My favourite part of this challenge was slathering melted butter all over the stollen before giving it a heavy dusting of icing sugar (this improves the keeping quality of the stollen). As my small party of six were way too full from everything else we feasted on, on Christmas day, I sliced up a chunk for each of my guests to take home; kept a chunk for myself and had toasted slices of the stollen for breakfast on boxing day YUM!

 

 

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