How to Ruin Perfectly Good Bread

Part of my  Oven’s Week in Hell was my December Daring Bakers’ Challenge. If anyone is keeping a time line, I started this on Friday and finished it on Sunday.

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 will absolutely not say that this was a horrible recipe.Other people like foods like this. But I will say that this recipe is absolutely not my cup of tea. I love fruit. I love dried fruit. I love citrus fruit.But for the most part I hate fruit in my food. It just does not belong in there. Chef Hubby knows that when he’s cooking he must leave out all citrus zest that his recipes may call for. I will taste it and not be able to finish eating. Stollen, is basically just a sweetened bread with dried fruit mixed in. The best I could do to try to salvage this challenge into something I might be able to eat was to replace the recipe’s raisins and citrus peel with some fruits that I at least eat occasionally on their own.

Here is my attempt:

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    ...and it begins

  • 1/4 cup lukewarm water
  • 4 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
  • 1 cup milk
  • 10 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 5 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • zest of 2 limes
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp banana extract
  • 3/4 cup dried pineapple and papaya mix (chopped up into 1/4″ – 1/2″ pieces)
  • 1 cup dried cherries
  • 3 tbsp rum (or maybe more than that…)
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • melted unsalted butter for brushing the top
  • powdered sugar for dusting

Soak the cherries in the rum to plump them back up. Set aside.

Sprinkle yeast into the lukewarm water and allow to stand for 5 minutes, stirring to completely dissolve yeast.

Heat milk and butter in a saucepan until butter is melted. Allow a few minutes for mixture to cool a bit.

In a small bowl, combine beaten eggs and extracts.

In mixer bowl, combine flour, sugar, salt, cinnamon, and lime zest. Mix in yeast mixture, egg mixture, and milk mixture until dough ball forms. Cover bowl and let it rest for 10 minutes.

Add in pineapple and papaya, cherries, and almonds. Knead dough with bread hook attachment for about 6 minutes to distribute the fruit. Transfer the dough to an oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Let it rest in the refrigerator overnight. Mine sat for 2 nights and it tried to my refrigerator. The plastic wrap was the only thing holding it in.

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Before it settled in for long winter's nap

Let the dough sit for 2 hours after removing it from the refrigerator. Punch dough down. Roll out into a 16×24″ rectangle. Tightly roll the rectangle  into a cylinder and form the cylinder into a circle, pinching the ends together. Move the ring onto a parchment lined baking sheet. Cut the dough  about 2 inches deep along the outside at 2″ intervals.

Spray with cooking spray and allow to rise for 2 hours.

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Uncooked wreath. I kept a bowl thingy in the middle to keep it round while rising.

During the 2 hours, preheat the oven to 350F.

Bake stollen 20 minutes, rotate pan, then continue baking for another 30 minutes, or until it sounds hollow when you knock on the bottom.

Transfer to a wire rack and brush with melted butter while the bread is still hot. Coat with powdered sugar.

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Christmas Stollen

I tried it and didn’t like it. I pawned it off on family members. Sorry.

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