26 December 2010

Merry Christmas Wishes!

There are a few things that every self-respecting German eats around Christmastime, Lebkuchen and Stollen being two of them.  Though these baked goods are not freshly available in southern California bakeries, my family has been sustained over the years by shipments from the family bakery in northern Bavaria.  The Lebkuchen are always fresh and delicious (thanks to the extremely low flour content), but the Stollen unfortunately just never hold up that well.  So I have gotten into the practice of making our yearly Christmas Stollen here at home.

But wait...does everyone know what Stollen is?  It's hard to describe it perfectly, as it comes in many varieties, but it is something like a sweet bread crossed with a fruit cake crossed with a cake.  They can be leavened either with baking powder or with yeast, resulting in very different textures, but they always have an assortment of nuts and dried fruits incorporated somehow.  And wow, they are tasty!  Just the thing for a breakfast treat on Christmas morning.

Way back in 1979, when my mother (an Italian American) was newly engaged to my father (a native Bavarian), my mom's mom came across the December issue of CUISINE Magazine, which just so happened to be featuring a "Christmas in Bavaria" menu.  Grandma picked this up for my mom, who of course would be wanting to learn all about how to feed her Schatz, and one of the stellar recipes that has appeared at our Christmas spread on many occasions over the years is this Garmischer Nußstollen, or Garmisch Nut Stollen.

This version of Stollen is a luscious, yeasty sweetbread dotted with golden raisins and marbled with a toothsome ground walnut filling.  It's absolutely delicious and is perfectly complemented by a cup of good coffee.  We've treasured this recipe as a family, and I knew I had to share it with you.

To make the directions a little more straightforward to follow, I've included some of the original images scanned in from the magazine.  I wanted to request reproduction permission from the publishers, but they are no longer in business, and I was unable to find any current contact information.  (If you're affiliated with the magazine, do please let me know if CUISINE has concerns about these images being posted!)


But what really blew me away today was that as I was searching through the magazine for some contact information, I discovered, to my utter amazement, that this magazine used to be published right here in Santa Barbara!  Little did my parents know it, but they and two little girls of their own would be moving to this very town only 6 years later.  Talk about fate!

So here it is, with just a few minor modifications from the magazine's version.  Merry Christmas!

Garmisch Nut Stollen / Garmischer Nußstollen
From Cuisine: The Magazine of Fine Food and Creative Living, December 1979
Makes 2 loaves

Note: the dough and nut filling can be made the day before baking and should be stored refrigerated.  The dough will get a fantastic cool rise overnight, and the nut filling will be perfect.  Just let both come to room temperature before assembling the stollen.

Milk Mixture:
1 cup milk
1/2 c. unsalted butter
1 tsp. salt

Yeast Mixture:
1 ½ packages active dry yeast (3 teaspoons)
2 tsp. sugar
1/3 cup warm water (105-115 degrees)

Main Mixture:
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
2 Tbs. sugar
4 ½ cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
1/4 tsp. ground cardamom
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1 cup golden raisins

Nut Filling:
4 egg whites at room temperature
2 cups finely chopped walnuts
1 1/2 cups of ground walnuts
1 cup sugar
4 tsp. water
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

For Finishing:
1 egg yolk
2 Tbs. whole milk
2 tsp. sugar
White icing (2/3 cup powdered sugar + 1 Tbs. water)

Heat milk, butter, and salt in microwave or sauce pan until butter is melted.  Stir to mix, then set aside and let cool until lukewarm.

Dissolve yeast and sugar in the warm water and let stand for 5 minutes until foamy.  (If yeast does not foam, discard and start afresh with new yeast.)

In an electric stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat the eggs, then gradually add sugar and beat until thick and lemon colored. Beat in the lukewarm milk mixture and 2 cups of all-purpose flour until smooth.  Beat in the yeast mixture.

Add the remaining ingredients (2 ½ cups flour, lemon peel, spices, and raisins) and mix together.  Switch to the dough hook after dough comes together and knead for 5 minutes.  Let rise covered in large greased bowl in the refrigerator until doubled (4-5 hours) or overnight.

Make Nut Filling:  Combine all ingredients in medium sized saucepan. Cook, stirring over low heat until warm and sugar dissolves.  Cool to room temperature.

Prepare Stollen:  Remove dough from refrigerator and let it come to room temperature, about 30-60 minutes.  Place a 24 x 12-inch piece aluminum foil on work surface and lightly flour foil.  Roll dough on foil into a 22 x 12-inch rectangle.  Spread nut filling over dough, leaving a 1-inch border on all sides.

Mix the egg yolk and 2 tablespoons whole milk in a small bowl.  Brush border with part of the egg mixture. Roll up dough beginning at long edge, using foil to help turn dough. Pinch seam and ends to seal.

Using long sharp knife, cut roll crosswise in half.

Transfer pieces to baking sheets lined with parchment paper.  Cut one piece lengthwise in half, then working quickly, twist halves together with sliced edges turned upward to form a loaf.  Pinch ends together.

 Repeat with remaining piece to create a second loaf.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake stollen 15 minutes; brush with part of the egg mixture.  Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake 10 minutes.  Brush with remaining egg mixture; sprinkle with 2 teaspoons sugar. Bake until golden and nut mixture is set, at least 10 minutes.  (If stollen browns too fast, cover loosely with aluminum foil.)  Cool on wire racks 30 minutes.

Drizzle with white icing, then slice and serve!

Notes on storage: Wrap tightly to prevent the stolen from drying out.  The stolen is best when eaten within a couple of days, though the second loaf may be frozen and enjoyed at a later time.


Anonymous said...

This stollen is so pretty and the nut filling looks so very delicious! I had my first piece of Stollen at the Nurnberg Christmasmarkt ... what utter bliss! I think your recipe would rival that first piece easily!

Unknown said...

looks yummy!

The Church Cook said...

Oh, what beautiful memories I have of these beautiful baked good from Germany! I lived in Heidelberg for 4 years and absolutely loved all things German. Thanks for sharing, Erica!

Anonymous said...

This is a beautiful blog! Can't wait to spend more time here!

erica said...

Susan and Kay--I'm thrilled you've been to Germany! Though my relatives are centered mostly in northernmost Bavaria, I have some fond memories of visiting the Nürnberger Christkindlsmarkt and of living off-and-on in Heidelberg as well (my father's physics research kept taking us back there).

Neil and Whitney--thanks for visiting Apricosa! I love your enthusiasm for cooking and for each other!

Barbara said...

As a native Bavarian myself ( a hearty grüß Gott to your Dad! ) I'm more than interested in this recipe, it sounds so good and really doesn't seem to be that bad for you, compared to other butter-laden holiday recipes. Thanks for the inspiration!

The Good Soup said...

Oh my god, this Stollen looks insanely good! And I love the step by step instructions! I lived in Berlin for a year last year, and you know, I didn't have a piece of Stollen, not even once! Probably because I had morning sickness around Christmas... Love you blog, great to meet you! Angela

Anonymous said...

I actually subscribed to this magazine--Cuisine, for years before it stopped publication. I had saved this particular issue but was unable to find it. This is great!! I will finally make this stollen recipe. I was in Germany 2 years ago and I love all the baked goods there. I couldn't find anything like them in the states. Thank You so much!!

erica said...

Oh wow, what a trip! I am so glad you were able to find this recipe here :) It is a great one isn't it? Best wishes for a lovely holiday season, and enjoy the stollen!

Anonymous said...

We have been making this non-traditional Stollen since it was originally published. There has not been a Christmas morning without it fresh from the oven with lots of raspberry preserves. (I actually hate the butter-laden aged traditional Stollen.)
Thank you for making this recipe available with the detailed directions.
Frohe Weihnachten!

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