Thursday, December 30, 2010

Christstollen, step whatever

So there's the dough, doubled in bulk after two hours:

What, am I going to give away all the secrets? Okay, the recipe is largely from But there are my own variations brought to it, and which I will hopefully develop further. Spread the flour out on your kneading surface:

Punch down the dough:

Now comes probably the most difficult part of the entire process - kneading the fruit mixture into the dough:

The difficulty is twofold. First, it requires lots of labour simply to get all the fruit kneaded into the dough - which requires three hands. Second, you must knead the dough as little as possible while carrying out the above. It would be relatively carefree if one could knead the dough for however long one wanted to get all the fruit in there; but do it too long and the dough will go "grey".

Molly likes raisins that have been soaked in rum by the way.

Some smaller loaves and some bigger ones is good. Don't muck around trying size them up equally.

Grease baking sheets with butter:

Each part of the dough that has been cut (the six pieces) gets rolled to a slightly oval shape, then folded lengthwise - but the edge of the fold you are bringing over top doesn't line up exactly with the other edge. It stays about an inch or so within. The ends are pinched, and some pinching goes along the entire edge.

You put your loaves onto the greased baking sheets and brush them with clarified butter:

The clarified butter goes on the loaves before they get baked and after they are baked, just as they have come out of the oven. You want to clarify the butter first because it cooks better that way, and because with the milk solids gone it won't go rancid. Of course, even if one used butter without clarifying it, it would take a long while for it to go rancid - I would think longer than the shelf-life of the breads. But who knows. Clarified butter is just good in many ways for this type of use.

Then the loaves get covered and are allowed to rise for something like 45 minutes to an hour. It is double-risen bread.

And of course, after all that, you better watch those loaves in the oven like a hawk and not let them over-bake. Keep an eye on the undersides as well as the tops.

Dust with icing sugar after they've cooled. You'll need to dust them later as well, maybe several times, if you want the white.

Alright, all this baking blogging makes me feel weird now, and I probably won't be doing it ever again, or for a long while, but then again, this blog is mostly just about filling in the gaps with stuff. Eclectic is my middle name.


Terry Nelson said...

Magnificent! They turned out perfect - you are an expert now!

Paul Stilwell said...

Terry, these ones are quite tasty with the homemade candied citrus. Much more flavour. I definitely feel I have something of a handle on this now!

Itinérante said...

This is awesome!!!

Paul Stilwell said...

I make this every Christmas. :)

Itinérante said...

Wow! That is truly impressive! I bet you get a lot of visitors! I'd visit just to get some ^^
It looks like a lot of work though! The only type of bread I ever knead is the challah one... have you tried it? Not to compare!

Paul Stilwell said...

I haven't had challah before...but yes, stollen is a lot of work. It takes a whole day - and evening.