Cream Puffs in Venice, one of the founders of the Daring Bakers, in my baking class at George Brown College in Toronto. She told me about her blog and I was so impressed I decided to join the Daring Bakers and start blogging myself. For over 2 years I have been pretty dedicated each month completing the challenges and yes... I may have missed one or two in that time...and yes there have been failures...
This month I have the honour of hosting the Daring Baker’s Challenge and I chose Stollen. I was so excited and very nervous when I was deciding on my recipe…would the Daring Bakers like it? Find it challenging enough? And so on. I think my friends thought it was all I wanted to talk about ...I drove them crazy....thank you for putting up with me!
Well it has been soooo much fun! The baking community of the Daring Bakers spans the globe. They bake under different conditions – temperature, humidity and all the things that influence the results of a baked product. We have a Daring Bakers forum – kind of like a virtual kitchen where we share our results – the good, the bad and the ugly – and I have been so impressed with the creativity and funny stories. We even had a stollen stolen by a pet and a student who baked it in a toaster oven and enjoyed it while studying for her exams. The stollens were decorated in amazing ways. Ingredients were substituted because of allergies (gluten free, nuts) and some ingredients not loved by some – candied fruits and raisins....were omitted and replaced by new ingredients....but they still did the challenge! We are a pretty dedicated bunch of bakers! Please take a moment and look at some of my fellow Daring Bakers blogs...
Audax, my Daring Baker friend (DBF!) in Australia, helped me test it and we tweaked it more. We added lots of hints and even made our own candied peels as well as changing the shape into a wreath –so we didn’t stay totally with tradition..... but the results have been unbelievable with most DB's thrilled!
La Mia Cucina and Ivonne for your hard work with the Daring Bakers and thanks Audax for all your help and always being there – not only with hints about the recipes but reminding me that it should always be fun!
Now I am proud to say my official Blog statement:
The 2010 December Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Penny of Sweet Sadie’s Baking. She chose to challenge Daring Bakers’ to make Stollen. She adapted a friend’s family recipe and combined it with information from friends, techniques from Peter Reinhart’s book.........and a Martha Stewart demonstration.
Stollen is a bread-like fruitcake made with yeast, water and flour, and usually with zest added to the dough. Candied orange peel and candied citrus are often also added. Over the centuries, the cake changed from being a simple, fairly tasteless "bread" to a sweeter cakelike bread with richer ingredients. The Advent season was a time of fasting, and bakers were not allowed to use butter, only oil, and the cake was tasteless and hard, but this has changed and we definitely use butter!
You can watch this little video from Martha Stewart where she demonstrated (along with her mother) a stollen in a wreath design.
Click here for the printable recipe!
For more bread recipes and info, check out Yeastspotting.
I wish you all a very happy holiday season and a healthy and joyful New Year!
Big Christmas hugs to all!
Until we bake again...