It’s that very special time of the year. I’m burning pine-scented candles (Annick Goutal Noël are the best!), I’m hanging box wreaths around the house and sipping spice tea whenever I have a quiet moment to spare.
During the month of December I want to share with you some German Christmas bakery: the famous Dresdner Stollen, an elegant gold sprinkled chocolate and caramel tart and some easy-to-make pistachio rosewater snowballs.
200g candied orange peel
200g candied lemon peel
80g almonds, chopped
a pinch of salt
2 shot glasses rum to soak the raisins and candied fruit
2 vanilla pods, scraped
zest of a lemon
a pinch of each: finely ground cardamom, coriander, cloves, cinnamon and allspice (If you happen to live in Dresden, visit Zaffaran Gewürzatelier. They sell an amazing Stollen spice blend.)
2 egg yolks
125g butter and powdered sugar to cover the Stollen after baking.
Mix raisins, candied peel, vanilla, zest, almonds and rum. Let the mixture rest overnight ( minimum 6 hours).
Sieve flour into a bowl. Make a well in the center and pour the crumbled yeast, a tablespoon sugar and 2/3 of the lukewarm milk into the center and mix with a little bit of flour. Cover it with a tea towel and let it rise for 15 minutes in a warm room.
Add the remaining sugar, salt, egg yolks, butter (soft), milk and spices. Knead into the dough. In case you are using a food processor knead for 30 minutes on lowest level. Let the dough rise for 30 minutes covered with a tea towel.
Roll dough and add fruit mixture, without kneading them. Just press them in. Let the dough rise again for 30 minutes covered with a tea towel.
Knead again and shape the dough in a roughly oval form. Fold dough in half lengthwise and put it on a baking. Let it rest and rise for 15 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Bake for ca. 60 minutes.
Immediately after baking brush the Stollen generously with brown melted butter and sieve powdered sugar onto it.
The Stollen improves upon keeping. So you may bake it 2 weeks before serving . (I never do it; we eat our Stollen right after baking). If you decide to bake it in advance, wrap the Stollen in plastic foil and let it rest in a cool place.