Sunday, January 04, 2009

My first German Christmas Stollen

Normally, I'm too lazy to bother with breads that require a lot of work, but because 1) our dear friends, JGTH, moved to the West Coast and can't (or won't...ahem...LOL!) make one for us, and 2) they left us with all their homemade candied fruits and brandied raisins, I had no choice but to attempt the stollen.

Here's the batter - yeast, scalded milk, etc. - being stirred: Then, after various iterations, here's the dough before it was rolled out: After the dough is rolled out into a slab, you put the almond paste in the middle before folding it up. I'm proud to say that I made my own almond paste. ;) It's actually not very hard to make unless you have to blanch your own almonds and the skins don't come off properly, as happened to me. Regardless, the paste tasted authentic and delicious. I would recommend making your own almond paste if you like to get organic foods because it's nearly impossible to find organic almond paste.

Here is the final product - two large stollens, fresh out of the oven:They were really, really tasty. We just finished the last of it today. Next year, I might attempt Panettone. Giada de Laurentis, a professional chef on Food Network no less, said that they were hard to make and best left up to the professionals. I find it hard to believe and, besides which, her words sounded like a challenge to me ("I double-dog dare ya!"). I'll take her up on it.

"He is happiest, be he king or peasant, who finds peace in his home." ~ Johann von Goethe