Stollen hearts

DECCAN CHRONICLE | LARS WINDFUHR
Published Dec 13, 2015, 12:01 am IST
Updated Mar 26, 2019, 6:26 pm IST
Born out of those cruel winter months were some of Germany’s best recipes — Stollen being one of the famous.
Stollen bread
 Stollen bread

From being a saviour in the cold winter nights of germany to today being a favourite christmas delicacy, the humble stollen has come a long way.

Back in the 14-15 centuries, when winter came knocking on the doors of Germany, there was not much to be done. Woollen clothes kept the body protected and food made sure that people stayed warm from inside. But born out of those cruel winter months were some of Germany’s best recipes — Stollen being one of the famous.

 

And hundreds of years and close to 60 variations later, the stollen is now one of the must-have recipes during Christmas in Germany. I remember the stollen that my mum would make when I was a child. It was a simple raisin stollen that made everything feel festive. The recipe is generally made around the year, but during Christmas it is obviously festive. And sure enough today, there are a wide number of stollen recipes — worldwide There’s one with marzipan, one with nuts, a butter special etc. The thing with this recipe is that each region across Germany has its own version and every recipe is amazing.

Back in time
According to legend the bulky looking stollen has a significant connection to Christmas. People believed that this was because it was supposed to resemble baby Jesus wrapped in a blanket. And though the stollen is one of the tastiest dishes to have around Christmas, back then the recipe wasn’t as rich as it is now. In the past, people made do with whatever ingredients they found. With winter being harsh, people used dry fruits to prepare the dish and generally added whatever was around, like candied orange peel. There were a lot of factors that influenced the recipe, some religious, some political. For example, there was once a ban on use of butter and there was even an added charge, if bakers were making Stollen. Now though, the Stollen is slowly becoming popular across the world. I think one of the reasons that it is now a world favourite is because of the spices that is used in the dish. The all spice-mix, the ginger powder etc are all something that you find easily. Overall, there are many mistakes that you can make this festive season, but the gravest of them would be to not prepare a simple, warm loaf of stollen bread.

Executive Chef Park Hyatt, Hyderabad
— As told to Priyanka Praveen

 

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RECIPIES

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Stollen bread

For Dough No.1

  1. 100 gm flour
  2. 25 gm yeast
  3. 100 ml milk

Dough No. 2

  1. 50 ml milk
  2. 3 gm salt
  3. 50 gm castor sugar
  4. 4 gm mix spices
  5. 175 gm butter
  6. 330 gm butter
  7. 30 gm gluten
  8. 350 gm raisins
  9. 50 gm orange peel
  10. 50 gm almonds peeled
  11. 50 ml rum
  12. 100 gm marzipan
  13. 200 gm clarified butter
  14. 200 gm icing sugar

Method - Dough No. 1.
Mix the flour, milk and yeast and store it in the refrigerator for one hour.

Method - Dough no. 2.
Soak the raisins in rum for an hour. Make straight dough with milk, salt, caster sugar, butter and gluten. Add dough No. 1 and knead for five minutes. Add the rum-soaked raisins, orange peel, almond flakes and mix spices. Divide the dough into 450 gm each. Divide the marzipan into 50 gm. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the marzipan into thin cylindrical shapes and place it in the center of the dough.

 

Fold the dough over to cover it; pinch the seams together to seal. Place the loaf, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let it rise until doubled in volume for about 40 minutes. Bake it in a pre-heated oven at 175°C for 30 to 40 minutes or until golden brown. Soak the loaves in clarified butter and coat with icing sugar.

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Stollen mince pies

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Ingredients

  1. 375 gm pack sweet shortcrust pastry
  2. A little flour
  3. for dusting
  4. 375 gm mince meat
  5. 50 gm Madeira cake
  6. 50 gm ground almond
  7. 25 gm castor sugar
  8. 50 gm butter, softened
  9. 1 egg yolk
  10. 3 tbsp candied orange peel
  11. 100 gm marzipan, finely diced
  12. 25 gm toasted flaked almond
  13. Icing sugar, for dusting

Method

Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface and stamp out 12, roughly 8cm circles — you might need to re-roll the trimmings. Press into the holes of a 12-hole bun tin. Add a few tsp of the mincemeat to each pastry case. Whizz the cake, ground almonds, castor sugar, butter and egg in a food processor until smooth. Transfer to a bowl, then add the candied orange peel and marzipan. Divide between the tarts and scatter over the flaked almonds. You can cover and chill the unbaked tarts for up to a day. Heat oven to 200C. Bake the pies for 20-25 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and dust with icing sugar. When cool enough, lift from the tin.

Recipe from www.bbcgoodfood.com

 

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