No, you're not reading that title incorrectly or have slipped into a time warp and missed about eight breads. I finally got a chance to get back to BBA baking and am at the sourdough section. I didn't plan enough ahead and my starter wasn't ready. I'd neglected the poor thing and it needed lots of feedings and attention. While that was happening, I skipped past the sourdough section and landed on Stollen. And oh, what a landing.
I'm baking my way through Peter Reinhart's award winning book, The Bread Baker's Apprentice, along with a number of other amateur bakers (I'm not sure how many are still with us, and a few have finished!). Want to join in the madness, or just learn more about this semi-crazy undertaking? Check out the following links:
- Pinch My Salt BBA Challenge page—master resource for the challenge
- Buy the Book Bread Baker's Apprentice by Peter Reinhart
- List of Breads See what's coming up.
- Blogroll See who's baking. Great list of some amazing foodie (and not-necessarily-foodie) blogs.
- Flickr Group Photos, photos and more photos!
- Twitter Search for #BBA to find challenge tweets.
Until I made Stollen. Like Panettone, Stollen begins with booze-soaked fruit, but they become distinctly different after that.
For one thing, this stollen comes togther very quickly–for a yeast bread, at any rate. It's a one day bread (not counting the fruit soaking) that mixes, proofs and bakes in about 4 hours. Trust me, that's lightning fast.
I started the fruit on Friday night. I decided to used orange extract and rum. It was cheap rum, but it's what we have. What can I say, we don't have snooty taste buds in this house. I mixed up the bread on Sunday, so the fruit had plenty of time to soak up all the flavor and plump up nicely.
The fruit-to-dough ration is pretty crazy. I thought the Cranberry Walnut celebration bread was packed. That has nothing on this. Check it out:
The shaping was tricky. I read and re-read the directions and couldn't quite figure out how what was described was what was shown in the book. I went by description, and it ended up being a pretty basic letter fold. You add extra fruit plus slivered almonds to the folds, bend it into a crescent then let it proof about an hour.
After baking, you immediately brush with butter. When I was doing some research on Stollen, I read where someone brushed with butter, sprinkled with powdered sugar, then repeated both, creating a much "crustier" sugar coating. I gave it a shot and it worked great.
I love this shaker. I have one for powdered sugar and one for flour. It's perfect for dusting cake pans.
I thoroughly enjoyed this bread. I keeps a long time because of the booze (nice) and gets better through the week. I loved it so much that I made another half batch this weekend. This time, I soaked the fruit in triple sec. WOW! Excellent flavor and none of the in-your-face alcohol flavor that the rum had on the first day (although it did mellow after the second day).
I even got the shaping right! Turns out the shaping is more of an accordion fold than a letter fold.
Man, I miss being able to take my food photos in natural light. Doesn't this look about a bazillion times better than the others?
If you like panettone or other celebration breads, I sincerely hope you give stollen a shot. It's SO worth it!