Thursday, December 30, 2010
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.
What is stollen, you ask? Or at least that's what I asked. Apparently it's some sort of fruity bread, which honestly didn't sound so hot to me. I'm in that generation that thinks fruitcake is better used as a doorstop. Forget that I don't recall ever actually trying the stuff. When I showed the challenge to Aunt Betty, she got excited, because stollen is also apparently a German bread. We have lots of German in us, as evidenced by her (and my mom's) maiden name: Hofmeister. And our stubbornness. And our work ethic. And that when Aunt Betty really gets talking, her D's mysteriously turn into T's — think "good" said as "gooT."
Anyway, the bread wasn't that hard, besides the fact that it had to rest overnight before we could bake it. Luckily, I was planning on going to her house two days in a row anyway. So in the dough were all kinds of citrus, some almonds, dried cherries (we left out the raisins, which happens to be a food I HATE). It rose overnight, and then we formed it into the wreath shape and we cut the slits. It turned very golden brown, which was a little bit strange. After taking it out, you're supposed to put layers and layers of powdered sugar on top, along with almonds and those weird candied cherries.
All in all, not too shabby. It was a really tasty bread, and definitely would make a good breakfast food. I think if I ever make it again, I'll really edit the recipe. Maybe more like a monkey bread, or something chocolate-y. Hmmm.