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Friday, December 24, 2010

Daring Baker's Stollen Wreath

Merry Christmas, dear friends! I am on my way to the Northern part of Thailand with T and 11 of my family members. They are all excited about this trip as much as we are. Planned out the whole itinerary and hope that everything will proceed as what we desire. See you guys in New Year 2011. Happy Holiday and Happy New Year!

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.

Makes one large wreath or two traditional shaped Stollen loaves. Serves 10-12 people


- ¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm water (110º F / 43º C)
- 2 packages (4 1/2 teaspoons) (22 ml) (14 grams) (1/2 oz) active dry yeast
- 1 cup (240 ml) milk
- 10 tablespoons (150 ml) (140 grams) unsalted butter (can use salted butter)
- 5½ cups (1320 ml) (27 ozs) (770 grams) all-purpose (plain) flour (Measure flour first - then sift- plus extra for dusting)
- ½ cup (120 ml) (115 gms) sugar
- ¾ teaspoon (3 ¾ ml) (4 ½ grams) salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (6 grams) cinnamon
- 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
- Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) (very good) vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon extract or orange extract
- ¾ cup (180 ml) (4 ¾ ozs) (135 grams) mixed peel (link below to make your own)
- 1 cup (240 ml) (6 ozs) (170 gms) firmly packed raisins
- 3 tablespoons (45ml) rum
- 12 red glacé cherries (roughly chopped) for the color and the taste. (optional)
- 1 cup (240 ml) (3 ½ ozs) (100 grams) flaked almonds
- Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
- Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath

Note: If you don’t want to use alcohol, double the lemon or orange extract or you could use the juice from the zested orange.


- In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the rum (or in the orange juice from the zested orange) and set aside. See Note under raisins.

To make the dough

- Pour ¼ cup (60 ml) warm water into a small bowl, sprinkle with yeast and let stand 5 minutes. Stir to dissolve yeast completely.
- In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup (240 ml) milk and 10 tablespoons (150 ml) butter over medium - low heat until butter is melted. Let stand until lukewarm, about 5 minutes.
- Lightly beat eggs in a small bowl and add lemon and vanilla extracts.
- In a large mixing bowl (4 qt) (4 liters) (or in the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment), stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests.
- Then stir in (or mix on low speed with the paddle attachment) the yeast/water mixture, eggs and the lukewarm milk/butter mixture. This should take about 2 minutes. It should be a soft, but not sticky ball. When the dough comes together, cover the bowl with either plastic or a tea cloth and let rest for 10 minutes.
- Add in the mixed peel, soaked fruit and almonds and mix with your hands or on low speed to incorporate. Here is where you can add the cherries if you would like. Be delicate with the cherries or all your dough will turn red!

- Sprinkle flour on the counter, transfer the dough to the counter, and begin kneading (or mixing with the dough hook) to distribute the fruit evenly, adding additional flour if needed. The dough should be soft and satiny, tacky but not sticky. Knead for approximately 8 minutes (6 minutes by machine). The full six minutes of kneading is needed to distribute the dried fruit and other ingredients and to make the dough have a reasonable bread-dough consistency. You can tell when the dough is kneaded enough – a few raisins will start to fall off the dough onto the counter because at the beginning of the kneading process the dough is very sticky and the raisins will be held into the dough but when the dough is done it is tacky which isn't enough to bind the outside raisins onto the dough ball.
- Lightly oil a large bowl and transfer the dough to the bowl, rolling around to coat it with the oil. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap.
- Put it in the fridge overnight. The dough becomes very firm in the fridge (since the butter goes firm) but it does rise slowly… the raw dough can be kept in the refrigerator up to a week and then baked on the day you want.

Shaping the Dough and Baking the Wreath

1. Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly.
2. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.
3. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 with the oven rack on the middle shelf.
4. Punch dough down, roll into a rectangle about 16 x 24 inches (40 x 61 cms) and ¼ inch (6 mm) thick.

- Starting with a long side, roll up tightly, forming a long, thin cylinder.
- Transfer the cylinder roll to the sheet pan. Join the ends together, trying to overlap the layers to make the seam stronger and pinch with your fingers to make it stick, forming a large circle. You can form it around a bowl to keep the shape.
- Using kitchen scissors, make cuts along outside of circle, in 2-inch (5 cm) intervals, cutting 2/3 of the way through the dough.
- Twist each segment outward, forming a wreath shape. Mist the dough with spray oil and cover loosely with plastic wrap.

- Proof for approximately 2 hours at room temperature, or until about 1½ times its original size.
- Bake the stollen for 20 minutes, then rotate the pan 180 degrees for even baking and continue to bake for 20 to 30 minutes. The bread will bake to a dark mahogany color, should register 190°F/88°C in the center of the loaf, and should sound hollow when thumped on the bottom.
- Transfer to a cooling rack and brush the top with melted butter while still hot.
Immediately tap a layer of powdered sugar over the top through a sieve or sifter.
- Wait for 1 minute, then tap another layer over the first.
- The bread should be coated generously with the powdered sugar.
- Let cool at least an hour before serving. Coat the stollen in butter and icing sugar three times, since this many coatings helps keeps the stollen fresh - especially if you intend on sending it in the mail as Christmas presents!
- When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.
- The stollen tastes even better in a couple of days and it toasts superbly…. so delicious with butter and a cup of tea… mmmmm


  1. A gorgeous wreath! Perfect and so tempting. Great job.

    Happy holidays!



  2. Merry Christmas & Happy New Year's to you too, Kris! I hope you have a very best time with your family! It's gonna be so nice up north!

  3. Queste immagini sono a dir poco meravigliose....
    Ti invio i miei migliori auguri di Buon Natale, pieno di serenità a te e ai tuoi cari

  4. Beautiful, beautiful photos of this wonderful stollen! I loved this challenge but I didn't dress mine up for the holidays like you did! Merry Christmas and hope your holiday is wonderful!

  5. Have a great trip! Happy Holidays.

    Merry Christmas!

  7. woow.. what a beautiful presentation!!! Those are so pretty, Kris

    Here’s wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, May this Christmas end the present year on a cheerful note and make way for a fresh and bright new year for you and family *I bet now you are busy entertain your family.. :) take care , Kris..

  8. What a beautiful picture, stollen I my favourite particularly with marzipan in th centre

  9. What a beautiful centerpiece you made! Very elegant and cheerful.

  10. Kris, this looks absolutely gorgeous. A definite master-piece. Happy holidays to you and your family.

  11. So beautiful! A great way to spread the holiday cheer. Hope you had a wonderful Christmas, and have a great trip!

  12. Your photos are gorgeous! The stollen looks like the prefect centrepiece, it's so bright and festive! And I love all the fresh fruit on top.

  13. Kris,Your Christmas stollen looks just perfect. Enjoy your vacation with your family and see you in the new year.

    Seasons greetings and best wishes for a happy new year.

  14. Great looking Stollen, love the idea of it being shaped as wreath. Hope you having a great time with your family ;0)

  15. Truly a delight to behold, Kris! I've never made stollen....I better remedy that by copying your recipe for next year.

  16. Your stollen looks fabulous! Great job. Merry Christmas Kris :)

  17. Your stollen is beautifully decorated, so festive! Happy holidays to you!

  18. Merry Christmas Kris! I hope you're having a wonderful time with your family and I'm looking forward to reading more of your mouth watering posts in 2011 :)
    All the best!

  19. What a fabulous stollen - all dressed up for the holidays! Have a wonderful vacation!

  20. Delicioso y espectacular....Y de la fotografía mejor ni hablamos....Ke maravilla!!!

    Besos y Feliz año!

  21. I always find your pictures so inspiring. Beautiful! Have a great time in Thailand!!!
    Happy Holidays

  22. I'm excited for your trip, Kris, and know that you'll have such a lovely time. You've really elevated this stollen to a new level with your wonderful presentation. I especially like the second photo and its glimpse into your elegant home. Happy New Year my friend!

  23. Thank you for the pleasure to explore your wonderful blog! Happy New Year!

  24. E 'la prima visita al tuo blog e adoro le tue ricette, vi invito a visitare il mio.
    Felice 2011. Saluti MARIMI

  25. Wow Kris, Your stollen is so beautiful! Such a feaast for the eyes, and the tummy:) Hope you had a wonderful time with your family!

  26. This is one of the most festive stollens I've ever seen. Well done!


  27. OMG, Kris..what a gogroue stollen, and such a festive presentation! Happy New Year to you and yours *hugs*

  28. Ummm..gorgeous, rather. My fingers always fumble at your site because iy's hard to type while I keep scrolling through your stunning photos :)

  29. oo now that is a beautiful cake, and a beautiful presentation! all the fruit, it looks so...abundant. yum. i hope you had great holidays!

  30. Gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous! Kris. I hope you've had a wonderful holiday and New Year. I can't wait to see what wonders you produce in the new year :)

  31. You have an amazing blog. Great recipes and some very nice photographs.
    See you soon!

  32. Stollen looks perfect..all these days i have been silent follower of your site. I admire your presentation, photography skills which is always professional and will never miss anyof your post..your such a talented guy Kris. Proud to be ur follower. Take a peep in my space ....