Monday, December 14, 2009

Poppy Seed - Marzipan Stollen

Stollen is the typical German "Christmas-Bread", actually it is more like a cake. It is made from a yeast dough and comes in many variations. Usual ingredients are dried fruit, nuts and marzipan. Most famous is the Dresdner Stollen. The stollen I made has a mixture of poppy seeds and marzipan in the middle and some nuts in the dough.

It is usually baked early in December and then let to rest for about two weeks, so all the flavors can infuse. It is perfect for an afternoon tea during Christmas time.

Poppy Seed - Marzipan Stollen

1 cube (42g) fresh yeast
50g sugar
450g flour
125ml milk (lukewarm)
50ml rum
100g raisins
50g chopped hazelnuts
50g slivered almonds
200g marzipan
250g "Mohnback" (ready-to-bake poppy seeds mix, available in German import stores)
1 vanilla bean
350g butter (soft)
150g powdered sugar

Crumble the yeast on top of the sugar, 200g flour and the milk. Cover with a kitchen towel and let rest for about 10 minutes. Now knead together to form a dough and let rise for another 30 minutes.

Soak the raisins in the rum. Pour boiling water over the nuts and let stand for a few minutes, then discard the water.

Grind the marzipan. Mix half of it with the "Mohnback" and put aside. Cut the vanilla lengthwise and scrape out the seeds. Mix the vanilla with the remaining marzipan, 200g butter, the remaining flour with your yeast dough and knead until the dough comes together. Put the dough on your floured work surface and work in the nuts and raisins. Let it rise again at a warm place covered with a damp cloth until volume has doubled in size.

Knead the dough on your floured work surface and roll it out to approximately 45x30 cm. Spread your poppy seed mixture on the dough. Fold the dough once along the long side to about a quarter of its length.  Then, from the other side, roll the dough until it reaches the folded end. Slightly press down the rolled side, so both sides stay together. The rolled side will be slightly on top of the folded side. Put the stollen on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, cover and let rest in the fridge overnight (at least 12 hours).

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180° Celsius). Bake the stollen for about 1 hour and 15 minutes. You may have to cover it with aluminum foil at the end of the baking time. Also, make sure that the bottom doesn't get to dark.

Melt the remaining butter. Take the stollen out of the oven and apply alternate layers of butter and powdered sugar until you used them all up. Let the stollen cool on a wire rack. When cool wrap in aluminum foil and store at a dry and cool place. The stollen will taste best if you let it rest for at least a couple of days.

Enjoy and Guten Appetit!
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