This was a surprise for the guests. :)

Because the food wasn’t at all Christmas-sy, i thought of adding something Ho Ho Ho related to put everyone into the mood, just a teeny weeny bit. After combing through most cook books and magazines, Stollen seemed like a perfect choice. Last year, i baked a very memorable Christmas Fruit Cake from Donna Hay’s recipe. Though i did bake that again this year (gonna make that a Christmas tradition!), twice, i was all on the go for something new so, Stollen it was!

Stollen –

“A Stollen is a fruit cake containing dried fruit,and covered with sugar, powdered sugar or icing sugar. The cake is usually made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts and spices. Stollen is a traditional German cake, usually eaten during the Christmas season, when called Weihnachtsstollen or Christstollen.”

*Wikipedia

Stollen

makes 1 big loaf or 2 small loaves

Sponge

1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
4-5 teaspoons (or 2 packets) instant or active dry yeast

Fruit

2 cups dried fruit (raisins, golden raisins, dried cherries, dried apricots, etc.)
1/2 cup Grand Marnier, brandy, rum, or schnapps
1 tablespoon orange or lemon extract and/or grated lemon or orange rind

Dough

2 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
4 tablespoons (1/2 a stick) butter, softened
1/4 to 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup almond slivers or marzipan

Topping

Butter or oil
powdered sugar

Method

1. Warm the milk to approximately 100 degrees. Mix the yeast into the milk and stir into the flour. Cover with plastic wrap and ferment for 1 hour until the sponge is very foamy.

2. While the sponge is fermenting, combine the dried fruit and the liqueur. (i just used one packet of Silver Bird Mixed Fruits & an alkie i am, i soaked them overnight. heheeeee!)

3. When the sponge is ready, combine the remaining flour, salt, sugar, and cinnamon in a large bowl. Stir in the sponge, egg, softened butter, and enough water to form a soft but not sticky dough. Stir in the dried fruit and knead in a mixer or by hand for 5 to 10 minutes.

4. Place the dough in an oiled bowl, cover with plastic or a damp towel, and set aside to rise for 45 minutes to an hour.

5. On a floured surface, shape the dough into something like a rectangle, either by rolling it out or pressing it with your hands.

i used almond slivers

6. Place the marzipan or slivered almonds in the center of the loaf. Fold the dough closed and shape the loaf into something resembling a crescent.

7. Cover the loaf loosely with plastic and set it aside to rise for approximately an hour to an hour and a half. While it is rising, preheat the oven (and baking stone, if you use one) to 350 degrees.

8. Remove the stollen from the oven. While still hot, brush the top of the loaf with butter or vegetable oil and sprinkle with powdered sugar.

Note to self : make 2 small loaves.

(adapted from The Fresh Loaf)

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Verdict :

Super duper addictive!!!!

There’s no need for butter or cream cheese, just tear it, pop into mouth and you’ll rub your tum tum happiiiiiii. For me, i especially digged the almond slivers. Love the additional crunch in this pillow soft texture bread! :)

I know!

Last year, my Christmas Fruit Cake post was on January 15th and i almost wanted to hide. This year, good lawwddd, a Christmast post on February?!?!! Hahahaaaaaa! :P

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