Christmas is over and it's time for the monthly Daring Bakers' Challenge.
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.
In Switzerland, Stollen (or Christstollen, as it's usually called here) is pretty common in December and it's among my favourite Christmas food, even though I usually try to find a variation without candied fruit peel (I'm just not very fond of that stuff). I don't remember if I've made Stollen myself before. If I have, it must have been years ago, but I certainly didn't realise / remember that it was such a simple procedure. And the result was amazing. I loved this recipe so much, that I decided to make a second Stollen and give it away as Christmas gifts. Also the fact that I cut up the first one quite quickly and started to eat it before I could take a picture may have had something to do with it...
Anyway, the recipe can be found here. I used fresh yeast (about 30g) instead of the dried yeast and I substituted dried raisins with dried cranberries and the candied fruit peel and cherries with roughly chopped dried apricot (which, in my opinion, give a nice counterbalance to the sweet dough and sugar coating). Also, I reduced the vanilla extract to 1 tsp. and the lemon extract to 0.5 tsp. Following Audax' recommendation I added a few strings of marzipan (storebought, due to lack of time).
Thanks for a great recipe, Penny, I will certainly add it to my repertoire of homemade Christmas goodies!