domingo, 9 de janeiro de 2011

Daring Baker's Challenge - December 2010 - Chritmas Stollen

Blog-checking lines: 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.

Unbelievable! U.N.B.E.L.I.E.V.A.B.L.E!
I have not even a picture of my Stollen after baked and decorated! It was so beautiful ...

I prepared the dough, stuffed, rolled, cut, let it grow. At this point, I asked my husband to take some photos (the ones you guys are seeing here). And I continued with my chores.
After that, I took it in the oven. It was late at night when all was ready, covered with sugar and decorated for Christmas.
The next day, I woke up early, packed it carefully. We all went to Rio, where we always spend Christmas with my parents.
On December, 24th I spent the day very busy, helping mom to finish all things for Christmas supper. We unmolded cakes and pies, and all those final preparations for a festive dinner for the whole family.
We chose a largeand beautiful  platter for the Stollen, the adorned with ribbons and Christmas tree balls. It was beautiful. In the rush, I shouted to my husband:
- "You have to take some pictures of the Stollen!
To which he replied:
- "I've already done it"
Late this evening was the time for the celebration. All very good, nice and cheerful. The Stollen was tasty, everybody liked it.
The following day, Christmas lunch, the same party and same joy.
On the third day, farewells and return home. Of the Stollen, not left nor crumb. Good! Good sign. Signal that was good, we all enjoyed it.
Until it came time to download the photo to my computer and post them here on the blog. Oh!...Nooooooooooooooo! "Where are the pictures of the baked and decorated Stollen?" I asked my husband:
- "You said you had taken the photos"
- "Yeah, I did"
- "So, where are them?"
- "Those ones you see there"
- "Yes, but the stollen is raw. Where are the ones that show the Stollen already baked?"
- "Ah, just took those"
- "But what happened when I asked you to take more shots of it, there in Rio?"
- "You asked not. Just asked if I had taken pictures of the Stollen and I told you so.Was I supposed to take some more pictures? "

Oh, sadness.

Now only when I bake another one ...

Christmas Stollen
¼ cup lukewarm water

4 1/2 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 cup milk
140 g 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 1 lemon and 1 orange
2 teaspoons (very good) vanilla extract
¾ cup mixed peel
1 cup firmly packed raisins
1 cup orange liqueur
1/2 cup red glacé cherries
1 cup flaked almonds
Melted unsalted butter for coating the wreath
Confectioners’ (icing) (powdered) sugar for dusting wreath
Soak the raisins. In a small bowl, soak the raisins in the liqueur and set aside. 
Pour ¼ cup 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  milk and 150 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 the vanilla extract. In the bowl of an electric mixer with paddle attachment, stir together the flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, orange and lemon zests. Then mix on low speed  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.
Let the dough rest for 2 hours after taking out of the fridge in order to warm slightly. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Preheat oven to moderate 350°F/180°C/gas mark 4 with the oven rack on the middle shelf. 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. When completely cool, store in a plastic bag. Or leave it out uncovered overnight to dry out slightly, German style.

Thanks to Penny for this amazing challenge. Don't forget to visit The Daring Kitchen to find out what other fellows had done, ok?

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