I don’t think that I’ve properly emphasized this fact yet on the blog, but I love anything that has the word “almond” in it.
I love coconut macaroons because they taste like almonds. I could very easily leave out the coconut and be just as happy.
And, speaking of almonds, Rachel had a great idea a couple of weeks ago. Her great idea involved the purchase of a vintage-inspired apron from BoojiBoo. And, this actually has nothing at all to do with almonds, but I want to show you my adorable apron.
And, this is me. Today. In the midst of baking Almond Paste Cookies. Wearing ratty old gym shorts. And tennis shoes. And no makeup.
But my apron is damn cute.
It actually looks a little scandalous from this angle, but I swear that I was totally wearing pants.
Right, so speaking of almonds.
Today, I made a German Christmas bread called Stollen. This was my first experience with Stollen, and the recipe was suggested to me by one of the three people that I still talk to from high school, and she happens to know of my love for all things marzipan.
The process was a little longer than I had originally anticipated, but it turns out that I love stollen!
My only gripe with stollen was that the marzipan was not located in every bite. I know, that’s greedy and gluttonous, but I don’t get the stuff very often, and when I do, I want it to be pure indulgence. Next time, I’ll cut the marzipan into several ropes instead of just one rope, and then place them throughout the loaf.
So here’s the recipe…
German Christmas Stollen
(Based on a recipe from allrecipes.com)
1 T active dry yeast
2/3 C warm milk
1 large egg
1/3 cup white sugar
1/2 T salt
1/3 C butter, softened
2 1/2 C bread flour
1/3 C raisins
1/3 C currants (I didn’t use because I don’t like)
1/3 C red candied cherries, quartered (I didn’t use because I don’t have any)
2/3 C diced candied citron (again, couldn’t find it)
6 OZ marzipan or almond paste
1T confectioners’ sugar
1t ground cinnamon
1. In a small bowl, dissolve yeast in warm milk. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, combine the yeast mixture with the egg, white sugar, salt, butter, and 2 cups of bread flour; beat well. Add the remaining flour, 1/4 cup at a time, stirring well after each addition.
3. When the dough has begun to pull together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead in the currants, raisins, dried cherries, and citrus peel. Continue kneading until smooth, about 8 minutes.
4. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise in a warm place until doubled in volume, about 1 hour.
5. Lightly grease a cookie sheet. Deflate the dough and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll the marzipan into a rope and place it in the center of the dough. Fold the dough over to cover it; pinch the seams together to seal.
6. Place the loaf, seam side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Cover with a damp cloth and let rise until doubled in volume, about 50 minutes.
7. Meanwhile, preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
8. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300 degrees F, and bake for a further 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow loaf to cool on a wire rack.
9. After completely cooled, dust the loaf with confectioners’ sugar, and sprinkle with the cinnamon.
10. Eat this once per hour, on the hour, for the entire time you’re snowed in (optional).