Holiday stollen pt 1

Yield: 1 Servings

Measure Ingredient
½ cup Candied fruit
½ cup Raisins
¼ cup Brandy
1 cup Plus 2 tablespoons milk
4 cups Unbleached all purpose flour; (up to 5)
2 teaspoons Instant yeast
¼ cup Sugar
2 teaspoons Fine sea salt
Few gratings of nutmeg
¼ teaspoon Ground allspice
2 larges Eggs
¾ cup Unsalted butter; melted
1 cup Marzipan
Confectioners' sugar

GARNISH

Place the candied fruit and raisins in a small bowl, cover them with the brandy, and set aside for 1 hour to 12 hours, preferably overnight. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

Place ½ cup of the milk and 1 tablespoon of the flour in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Sprinkle the yeast over the liquid. Cover the machine and process for 5 seconds to blend. Add the remaining flour, sugar, salt and spices to the food processor. Pulse 3 to 4 times to incorporate the yeast mixture. Beat the eggs in a small metal bowl until blended. Drain the candied fruit and raisins, saving the brandy and adding it to the eggs, and setting the fruit aside. Add the remaining milk and ½ cup of the melted butter to the beaten eggs.

Using an instant read thermometer, adjust the temperature of the egg mixture so that the combined temperatures of the flour and the eggs give a base temperature of 130 degrees if using a Cuisinart or KitchenAid, or 150 degrees if using a Braun. To warm the egg mixture, place the bowl in another bowl with hot tap water and stir for 3 to 4 minutes or until the desired temperature is reached. If the egg mixture is too warm, cool it by placing the metal bowl over ice water and stirring for 2 to 3 minutes, or until the egg mixture reaches the correct temperature.

With the processor running, add the egg mixture. Process for 15 seconds.

Stop the machine and scrape the sides of the bowl. If the dough sticks to the bottom of the bowl and the processor has trouble starting, remove the dough form the processor. Return half of it to the bowl, spreading it out evenly. Process in two batches, each for another 30 seconds. The dough will be soft, but will not cling to the sides of the processor bowl.

Stop the machine and take the temperature of the dough with an instant read thermometer, which should read between 75 and 80 degrees. If the temperature is lower than 75 degrees, process the dough for an additional 5 seconds, up to twice more, until the dough reaches the desired temperature.

If the temperature is higher than 80 degrees, remove the thermometer, scrape the dough from the food processor into an ungreased bowl, and refrigerate for 5 to 10 minutes. Check the temperature of the dough after 5 minutes; the dough should be 80 degrees or cooler by that time.

Scrape the dough from the processor onto a lightly floured work surface.

Press the dough out into a 12-inch square 2 inches thick. Sprinkle the surface with half of the drained candied fruit and raisins and roll it into a log shape. Fold it in half and knead it for about 2 minutes to incorporate the dried fruit. If the dough feels too firm to knead, cover it with a towel and let it rest for 10 minutes. Flatten it and sprinkle it with the remaining half of the dried fruits. Roll the dough and knead it again for 2 minutes, or just enough to distribute the fruit throughout.

Form the dough into a ball, place it in an ungreased bowl, and cover with plastic wrap. Allow it to ferment for 1½ to 2 hours at room temperature, 70 to 72 degrees. It will have doubled in volume.

Scrape the dough onto a lightly floured work surface and divide it into 2 equal pieces. To form the stollen, flatten each piece into an oval about 10 inches long, 8 inches wide, and 1-inch thick. Roll half of the marzipan into a smooth log about the length of the flattened dough and lay it down the center. Fold the dough over and press the edges with your fingertips to seal.

Repeat with the remaining dough and marzipan. Transfer the loaves to the prepared baking sheet, spaced 4 inches apart so that they don't stick together when baking. Brush the stollen with part of the remaining melted butter.

Cover with a sheet of plastic wrap and allow the loaves to proof at room temperature until the dough has increased by half its size. This may take 1 to 1 ½ hours, depending on the temperature in your kitchen. When the dough is ready to bake, it will be puffed but still spring back slowly when pressed with a finger.

One hour before baking, adjust the oven rack so that it is on the second shelf from the bottom of the oven. Place the baking stone in continued in part 2

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