Tuesday, January 18, 2011


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 have never tasted stollen before but it is really good and Laith loved it so that means something. Traditionally stollen is made and served during Christmas so i decided to make this stollen an Arabic version. Usually the dried fruit inside is maraschino cherries, citrus peel and marzipan but i made mine with dried figs, dates, apricots, raisins and walnuts....yumminess.
In a bowl i mixed yellow and brown raisins
I had some dried figs so i cut the stem off and then cut them into quarters
The traditional recipe asks for rum to plump up the dried fruit but i used orange juice.
In a saucepan melt butter with milk, you don't want to boil the milk but when the butter is almost melted and the milk is warm turn off the heat and let the butter finish melting from the residual heat.
Zest three lemons and 2 oranges. My zest here was big so i chopped it up really finely.

In a bowl crack three eggs and whisk
Add in vanilla
In a separate bowl sift the dried ingredients.
Add in the cinnamon and citrus zest
In the bow with the eggs add the yeast and milk and butter
slowly add the dried ingredients
The dough will be really sticky so let it sit in the bowl for about an hour and let it rise.
The dough will still be sticky but you will be able to work with it easier now. Add in the dried fruit and i added in dates and walnuts.
Put the dough (after the dried fruit and walnuts and fully incorporated) in a really big bowl and let it rise in the refrigerator overnight
Take the dough out of the refrigerator 2 hours ahead of when you want to work with it to let it come to room temperature.
Roll the dough out thin. At this point some people add marzipan (almond paste) but i chose not to.
Roll the dough up and pinch the seam closed tightly

Bring the two end pieces together and pinch them together so it looks like one big wreath
Which kitchen scissors cut slits into the dough and then let it rise (under a towel) until it has risen and bake it in an over until golden brown.
When the stollen comes out of the over rub some melted butter over top and sprinkle with powdered sugar. Repeat this step a couple of times.
MMMM seriously it was really good, I was amazed that the citrus zest and cinnamon could have such a wonderful flavor.

Written Recipe:

¼ cup (60ml) lukewarm water (110º F / 43º C)
4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup milk
10 tablespoons unsalted butter (can use salted butter)
5½ cups all-purpose (plain) flour (Measure flour first - then sift- plus extra for dusting)
½ cup sugar
¾ teaspoon salt (if using salted butter there is no need to alter this salt measurement)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
Grated zest of 3 lemon and 2 orange
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
¾ cup dried figs and dates
1 cup firmly packed raisins
3 tablespoons orange juice for the dried fruit
1 cup chopped walnuts
Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath
Here is the written steps for making stollen i was given for the daring bakers:(some ingredients may be different but that is because i changed the recipe.

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

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.


  1. I love your blog!! I am very excited to try some of your recipes out! I am interested in Daring Bakers...what exactly is it and where can I join? It sounds amazing from what you posted about it so far. I love to bake and this sounds like a good way to try new things.

  2. Thank you! if you want to sign up for daring bakers go to the website and then just set up a username and password and apply. Thanks for the support