Monday, December 19, 2011

BBA #36: Stollen

The thirty-sixth bread of the Bread Baker's Apprentice Challenge is stollen.

I must admit I've been dreading this bread since I began the challenge. Stollen is a holiday bread and this stollen is a take off of traditional Christmas bread from Dresden Germany. Not having grown up with traditional breads like these I don't really get their appeal. What's with all the fruit in the bread?! As I've said many times, I don't like fruit in my bread. Particularly raisins! I did put the candied fruit in this bread but I omitted the raisins. I just can't go there anymore.
I'm not necessarily opposed to liquor in bread though. The fruit was soaked in brandy and lemon extract before being added to the bread.

The dough came together well and used butter and eggs. Now that I've baked more bread I understand the softness these additions make to the dough. Orange and lemon zest were also added along with slivered almonds. I noticed something with my slivered almonds though. I bought "slivered almonds" in the bulk section. They look like little toothpicks. Then, I noticed in Reinharts picture that his almonds look like "sliced almonds"- almonds that have been thinly shaved. I wonder if there is a standard set or perhaps someone used the improper term.

Shaping the dough was a little difficult. Reinhart explains with both words and pictures but I must admit I never fully felt like I was shaping it was he was picturing/describing.
The bread cooked in about 40 minutes. When I tested the temperature after 40 minutes I was shocked it was only reading around 85 as it was supposed to be at 190 when done. The crust was golden and it sure looked done. I almost put it back in for longer but then noticed the C for Celsius. Oops. I clicked it over to Fahrenheit. 195. Done!
The bread was okay. The crust was crunchy and the bread soft. The fruit was not as off-putting as I assumed it would be but I was still very happy I'd omitted the raisins. It was better than I expected, but I must admit my expectations were pretty low. This kind of holiday bread just isn't for me. I'd rather slather butter over a roll or make challah at the holidays.


  1. I think your stollen looks delicious! I grew up with stollen every year for Christmas, so it's a treat to see yours.

  2. I'm with you on the fruit in breads, if I never see another pannetone, stollen, celebration bread, it will be too soon.

  3. I need to get to this...we love fruit in bread (and especially toasted or made as French toast), so I need to make time for it this week. Yours looks wonderful. I did that recently as well with the thermometer and wondered what was going on, I thought I needed to replace battery when it dawned on me that someone had hit the switch to change it over. Nice job on the are now two ahead of me so I better get going. Soon.


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