Christmas Stollen

Christmas Stollen

Gluten- and gum-free, low-lactose, enriched yeast bread packed full of Christmas treats, including marzipan! Modeled after the Great American Baking Show Technical Challenge and the Great British Bake Off Master Class. Low-FODMAP in small quantities.

By DeliberateFare.com, variation of Johnny Iuzzini's stollen from Great American Baking Show and Paul Hollywood's stollen from Great British Bake Off Master Class

Y'all know I am fan of the Great British Bake Off. The American version (offered during the winter holidays) 2016 season is superb and on-par with the original (I cannot say the same about the 2015 season, sadly). Last week, with great excitement, I watched as Johnny Iuzzini challenged the holiday bakers to a new technical challenge, stollen! Stollen (pronounced Shto-len) is a German yeast bread that is enriched (read: butter, milk, egg), packed full of dried fruits and nuts, and filled with a wonderfully sweet holiday surprise: marzipan! Sounds delightfully difficult and delectable, right?

A day later, my Mr. Wonderful and I happened upon a PBS offering of Mary Berry's and Paul Hollywood's Great British Bake Bake Off Master Class featuring a stollen recipe. Mr. Hollywood made it look so simple to put together one of these rolls, and he made a beautiful swirl of the marzipan that looked unique and up my alley. Mmm...marzipan...I had just tackled that challenge for the Prinsesstarta in October. I was hearing the Hallelujah Chorus in my baking brain singing, "Glu-ten-free stol-len. Gluten-free stol-len. Stol-len. Stol-len. Gluten-free stollen!" Immediately, I challenged myself to take the following morning to recreate this hearty and sugary masterpiece to fit my dietary needs to be gluten-free, gum-free, low-lactose (only dairy to be butter), no alcohol, and no sulfites (dried fruits are often prepared with sulfites which are instant migraine triggers for me). Yes, almonds in the dough and in the marzipan are potential triggers for migraine, but during the holidays, I must live a bit!

The trick was to create a dough that would hold up as well as regular bread flour. After recent successes with teff, a strong and high-protein gluten-free flour, I knew teff would be the key to keeping this gluten-free dough in check. Here's how I created my Deliberate Fare Gluten-Free Bread Flour Blend for this recipe:

  • 350 g millet flour
  • 350 g teff flour
  • 300 g potato starch

I promise this bread will wow your holiday guests and yourself. Go ahead, pat yourself on the back when you succeed with a "good bake!" I know I did!

P.S. There is no special equipment, tools, or machines needed. The hardest part is gathering the sulfite-free ingredients, and you can do it!

INGREDIENTS

For Bread Dough
  • 10 ounces gluten-free bread flour (I use my own blend, see Summary above)
  • 3 Tbsp ground flax seeds
  • ½ tsp ground cardamom
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 1 ounce caster sugar
  • 2 level tsp fast-acting yeast
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 2 oz butter, softened, plus 2 Tbsp set aside
  • 5 oz Rice Milk (unstrained), at room temperature (if you are using store-bought, then add one whole egg yolk to milk)
  • 1 egg, at room temperature
  • 9 ounces mixed dried fruits prepared without sulfites (I use raisins, dried golden berries, and dried cranberries from a natural foods store, Whole Foods)
  • 2 ounces candied ginger (I use Ginger People Gin-Gin crystallized ginger), roughly chopped
  • 1 ounce whole almonds, roughly chopped
  • 1 ounce shelled and unsalted sunflower seeds
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • Zest of 1 orange (reserve juice for marzipan)
  • 8 ounces Vegan Marzipan (instead of using lemon to flavor, I used orange juice of above orange that was zested)
For Decoration
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 Tbsp powdered sugar (I use Imperial)
  • Marzipan Foliage in the shape of four green holly leaves and six red berries

METHOD

  1. Into large bowl, add gluten-free bread flour, ground flax, all of the spices, and caster sugar. Combine with fork.
  2. Add to one side of bowl yeast, other side of bowl salt, then butter. Using hands or pastry blender, combine until crumbly and butter has appearance of peas.
  3. Add to bowl rice milk and egg. Combine until sticky dough forms.
  4. Lightly flour rolling surface with potato starch. Plop dough onto surface and knead with hands for 7 minutes. It should form into a nice, thick dough. Set dough aside.
  5. Into the previously used bowl, add mixed dried fruits, candied ginger, chopped almonds, sunflower seeds, and vanilla and almond extracts.
  6. Return dough to bowl with fruits-nut-seed-extract medley. Using hands, press dough into medley multiple times until medley is well distributed throughout dough. It will be very full and heavy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap, leave dough to proof at room temperature away from heat for 1.5 hours. Dough should be larger and lighter in texture when it is finished with proof.
  7. While dough is under its first proof, make Vegan Marzipan and Marzipan Foliage. Allow foliage to dry at room temperature, uncovered. Keep remaining marzipan at room temperature and covered with plastic wrap until ready to use.
  8. Line baking sheet with parchment. Set aside.
  9. After the first proof, lightly flour rolling surface with potato starch. Plop dough onto surface and, using hands, press dough out into a flat rectangle about the depth of a raisin and 16 inches in width. With rolling pin (lightly dusted with potato starch), roll out dough to uniform depth, maintaining rectangular shape. Leave dough on work surface.
  10. On second work surface (I use a silicon baking mat for this step), lightly dust with powdered sugar. Plop marzipan onto surface, and roll into thin rectangular the width of the bread dough. Leave marzipan on work surface.
  11. Melt 2 Tbsp butter and brush on surface of flattened bread dough.
  12. Place flattened marzipan atop butter in center of bread dough. Using both hands and working from middle to ends, gently roll dough over and over onto itself until it is all rolled up. It is going to make a interior spiral of marzipan. Don’t worry if the dough cracks a bit. It is a soft dough. Simply patch any cracks.
  13. Using pastry dough scraper in one hand and with the palm of other hand, gently lift dough roll onto parchment lined pan.
  14. Cover dough and pan loosely with plastic wrap and set to have a second proof at room temperature away from heat for another 1.5 hours.
  15. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  16. After second proof, dough roll should be a little larger. Remove plastic wrap, and place sheet pan into preheated oven to bake dough for 45 minutes or until internal temperature reads 200 degrees. Bread will be crusty, golden brown on top, and marzipan will be exposed in some places getting more caramelized in color by the minute.
  17. Remove sheet pan from oven, gently slide parchment with bread onto baking rack to cool. Immediately melt 2 Tbsp butter and brush on top surface of bread. Turn off oven.
  18. Allow bread to come completely to room temperature before decorating. This is really the hardest step for moi, as it is so hard to resist breaking off a piece of the spicy roll for a wee snack. Resist for the full, gorgeous effect to come.
  19. Once cooled, sprinkle powdered sugar over top surface of bread and decorate with marzipan foliage. Using two large spatulas, gently lift decorated stollen off of parchment and place onto serving platter for a glorious Christmas presentation to amaze your friends and family.

SUGGESTIONS

  • Store in lidded cake stand or airtight container for up to 5 days at room temperature.
  • Best served at room temperature.
  • Leave a piece out for Santa; he will love it!
  • Migraine Warning: Nuts (almonds and marzipan) and yeast (some migraine specialists warn against consuming freshly-baked, yeast-risen breads within their first 24-hours of baking).
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