Sourdough Stollen

Sourdough Stollen

Merry Christmas and Happy upcoming New Year everyone!

I don’t remember ever trying stollen, but in the end I decided to bake a couple of them for Christmas this year – since proper pannetone seemed too challenging! And for a special occasion I went the extra mileL candied the orange (and a bit of grapefruit) peel, and made marzipan (for the first time) myself. Both things are surprisingly easy (although this time I forgot to reduce the heat for the peel during 1 hr boil time in syrup, and some of it got burnt on the bottom a bit). And I simply followed foodgeek’s recipe for the stollen:

My exact formula:

Made a sweet levain with milk and a bit of sugar overnight (reduced inoculation relative to his recipe), and soaked dried cranberries, raisins and currants overnight in spiced rum. Then followed the directions for mixing: mixed the dough except the butter and inclusions, let rest, then kneaded in softened butter, let rest, then added inclusions using lamination, and kneaded (tried to be gentle to minimize squashing of soaked fruit) to distribute fruit evenly.

Kneading in butter was surprisingly easy and produced a very pleasant dough, which was very nice to knead with the fruit too.

I then let it to ferment, hoping for it to nearly double, according to the recipe. For Sune it took 6 hrs at 21C. I used cold milk in the dough, so I tried to warm it up by keeping at 24C. And yet, after all day (10 hrs) it only grew around 50%, and I decided to call it quits on the bulk – it didn’t seem like it had grown in the last couple of hours by then.

Then divided, shaped the marzipan into two tubes, and folded it into the dough. The dough was breaking very easily, and gluten wasn’t holding – I guess such long fermentation with such high inoculation started degrading the gluten. But luckily stollen is supposed to be dense and not much oven spring is expected, so I hoped for the best. Proofed them for a little over an hour on parchment paper, and then baked at 170C for around 45 min, until golden brown. Then melted the rest of the block of butter, and brushed it onto the hot stollen, and then generously dusted with powdered sugar after the butter was soaked up.

Despite the apparent weak raising power of the levain and likely overfermentation, the result is surprisingly delicious! My girlfriend was apparently skeptical about the whole thing in the beginning, but said she loved the result. I like how the powdered sugar looks like snow, and it’s really tasty and festive.