My sister was inconsolable upon hearing I was forgoing the annual labor-intensive holiday gibassier this year to try my hand at almost-as-labor-intensive Christmas marzipan stollen. If that fruit-studded yeast bread didn’t pass muster, I’d receive coal in my stocking for sure. Fortunate for me, it was a holiday triumph:
Stollen #1 – Christmas morning; devoured an entire loaf with my sister while sipping bittersweet hot cocoa
Stollen #2 – Boxing day; another loaf bites the dust with cappuccinos
Stollen #3 – Sent home with sis; consumed in 3 days
Stollen #4 – The last one; left on my doorstep for her to pick up later today
Yeah, it was a hit. Although, I’ve promised to bake gibassier for Easter.
– 120 grams golden raisins
– 90 grams dried figs, chopped
– 60 grams sliced almonds
– 35 grams rum
– 120 grams all-purpose flour
– 80 grams water
– A small pinch rapid-rise yeast
– 350 grams all-purpose flour
– 55 grams whole milk
– 3 packages rapid-rise yeast (minus the small pinch)
– 50 grams sugar
– 53 grams egg (about one large egg)
– 8 grams salt
– ½ teaspoon of cinnamon and cardamom
– ¼ teaspoon of allspice and nutmeg
– Grated lemon zest from ½ lemon
– Grated orange zest from ½ orange
– 275 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
– All of the sponge
– All of the soaker
– 75 grams candied orange peel (homemade or high quality)
– 75 grams candied lemon peel (homemade or high quality)
– 198 grams (7 oz.) of marzipan, divided lengthwise into four pieces
– Clarified butter
– Granulated sugar
– Powdered sugar
- The night before: Combine the soaker ingredients in a bowl. Cover and leave at room temperature for about 12 hours.
- The night before: Combine the sponge ingredients in another bowl. Cover and leave at room temperature for 12 hours.
- Heat the milk to 105-110 degrees, add the yeast, stir and let set for 10 minutes.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, combine all of the final dough ingredients except the soaker, peel and marzipan. Mix in slow speed until all the ingredients are incorporated, about 5 minutes.
- Continue mixing at medium speed until the dough comes together around the hook and no longer sticks to the sides and bottom of the bowl, about 10 minutes.
- Add the soaker and peels and mix by hand until they are evenly distributed through the dough. The fruit/peel to dough ratio will be high.
- Transfer the dough to a lightly oiled container. Cover and let rise for 40 minutes in a warm location.
- Turn the dough onto the counter. Divide into four even pieces, pre-shape the dough into balls and let them rest, covered, for 30 minutes.
- Shape the loaves into blunt end batards (country loaf shape). With a wooden spoon handle placed lengthwise and just off center, press down firmly making a long trough. Roll the marzipan into a rope about ½ in shorter than the batard and place in the trough. Tuck the sides of the dough up around the marzipan and fold the smaller section of dough over the longer and seal well (it should look like a hoagie roll when finished). Pick off any fruit on the outside to avoid it burning. Place batards on parchment-lined insulated baking sheets (two per sheet). Cover and let rise for 90 minutes in a warm humid location.
- Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400F. You will need steam during the initial phase of baking, so place a shallow pan of boiling water on the bottom of the oven.
- Bake for 10 minutes, open the oven door briefly to allow any remaining steam to escape and carefully remove the water. Bake for another 15-20 minutes. You will need to rotate the position of the baking sheets halfway through the bake to ensure even browning.
- While the loaves are still warm, brush them with clarified butter and dredge them in granulated sugar. When cool, sift powdered sugar over the loaves. Leave the stollen out overnight to let the loaves dry and the sugar crust up a bit.
- To store, wrap tightly in foil at room temperature. Stollen should be allowed to rest for at least 4 days so plan accordingly.
- To serve, unwrap, re-heat stollen in the oven, dust with additional powdered sugar if needed, slice and enjoy.