December 27, 2010

Daring Bakers: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Christmas Stollen

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 Martha Stewart’s demonstration.

I have heard of Stollen, but have never made it. I’m not a fruitcake person, really, but I do love dried fruit and nuts, and this was more of a bread than a cake. I was excited to give it a try, but knew I only had 1 shot at getting it right. Instead of trying to guess which gluten-free flours would make a perfect bready texture (and I’m out of several of them, and have to wait for my online order to arrive), I opted instead for Pamela’s Bread Mix. I’ve used it multiple times for pizza crust and hamburger buns, and it bakes up fluffy and light. As for the dairy-free substitutions, that was a breeze – I used So Delicious coconut beverage  for the milk, and palm shortening for the butter. I opted to not use red glace cherries, instead substituting dried cherries and bumping up the amount of dried fruits in the bread.

The verdict? I was worried it wasn’t rising at first. I made the dough and let it rest in the refrigerator for 2 days, and when I let it warm, rolled it out, and rested it, it really didn’t look as though it rose. I know gluten-free dough has a tendency to have difficulty rising (that lack of gluten!), but I had concerns it was going to bake into a doughy lump. But once it was in the oven, it rose, browned, and looked delicious and crusty. And when we ate it – heaven. Yum. Not too sweet, crusty on the outside, and a soft interior studded with sweet cherries.

I would love to make this again. Next time, I’d love to soak my dried fruit for longer (I only soaked for about an hour), to really bump the flavors, (and probably use rum instead of bourbon) but overall, a lovely Christmas treat.

Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Christmas Stollen Wreath

1/4 c lukewarm water (110 degrees F)

2 packages dry active yeast (Red Star is gluten-free)

1 c non-dairy milk

9 T palm shortening

5 1/2 c of your favorite gluten-free flour blend

1 T xanthan gum, if your flour blend does not already include it (mine did)

1/2 c sugar

3/4 t salt

1 t cinnamon

3 large eggs, beaten

Grated zest of 1 lemon and 1 orange

2 t vanilla extract

1/2 t almond extract

1 t lemon juice

3/4 c candied orange peel (make your own!)

1 c golden raisins

1/4 c dried cranberries

1/2 c dried cherries

3 T bourbon

Juice from zested orange

1 c sliced almonds

Melted non-dairy butter for coating the wreath

Powdered sugar for dusting the wreath

In a small bowl, soak the raisins, dried cranberries, and dried cherries in the bourbon and orange juice. Set aside while you work on the rest of the stollen.

Add the yeast to the warm water and stir to dissolve. Allow to sit for a few minutes to “proof”.

In a small saucepan, combine the non-dairy milk and the shortening and melt the shortening over medium heat. Remove from heat and let stand until lukewarm (about 110 degrees F).

Lightly beat eggs with extracts in a small bowl.

In a large mixing bowl, stir together the flour, xanthan gum (if using), sugar, salt, cinnamon, and zests. Then stir in the yeast mixture, eggs, and the lukewarm milk mixture. Mix until dough comes together. Cover with a towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.

Add in the candied peel, the soaked dried fruit, and the almonds and mix with your hands or with a mixer (with a dough hook) on low until well-incorporated.

Sprinkle some additional gluten-free flour onto a clean counter, and turn dough onto flour. With floured hands, knead dough for approximately 8 minutes. Dough should be slightly sticky, but not excessively so. The raisins and dried fruit might fall out of the dough a bit as you knead – this is good. Just keep pressing them back in. Gather the dough and make a ball. Lightly oil a large, clean bowl, and place the dough ball in it, rolling it around to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove from refrigerator and allow to come to room temperature on the counter for about 2 hours. Place a large sheet of parchment paper on the counter and turn dough onto it, and place another large piece of parchment on top. Roll dough out into a rectangle about 16 X 24 inches and about 1/4 inch thick. Remove the top sheet of parchment, and starting with the long side, roll dough up tightly into a cylinder.

Transfer the cylinder roll to a sheet pan. Form the roll into the shape of a wreath, using a bowl in the center as a guide, if needed. Pinch the ends together. Using kitchen shears, make cuts along the outside of the circle, about 2 inches apart, and about 2/3 of the way through the dough. Roll these pieces towards the outside of the wreath so that the cuts separate somewhat. Cover wreath loosely with plastic wrap and allow to rise for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake for 20 minutes and rotate 180 degrees. Bake for another 30 minutes or until dough reaches 190 degrees F in the center and wreath is deeply browned. Remove from oven and brush with melted non-dairy butter. Using a sifter or a fine-mesh strainer, sprinkle powdered sugar over the wreath in an even layer. Allow to soak in for a minute, and sprinkle another layer of sugar. Allow to cool for 1 hour before serving, or store in a plastic bag once completely cool.

Serves about 12.

17 Responses to “Daring Bakers: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Christmas Stollen”

  1. Your blog post reminded us of our forgotten store-bought Christmas stollen in our cupboard! Seriously…

    Kristollen is part of the German Christmas tradition. My partner was originally from Germany and his mother used to bake it annually for Christmas. Yes, she did pare down her recipe to reduce butterfat, sugar..for health reasons. She even invented kuchen that was egg-free, sugar-free. Was from a family line of pastry chefs. So she understood her baking techniques quite seriously.

    Thanks for the memories! (and yes I have some blog entries from our Germany trip this summer on how to assess gourmet quality European pastries against traditional North American stuff.)

    • Hey, can you share your partners mother’s recipe. Stollen is a Xmas staple for us and two of us have just been diagnosed celiac and one allergic to eggs. We are madly trying to accommodate everyone and still have our stollen! Thanks for anything you can do.

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  3. Wow, this looks delicious! a gluten and dairy free stollen, cant believe it and cant wait to try it! wish I had the reciped earlier for my christmas party… oh well for next year then…
    I think ill leave out sugar and replace it with coconut palm sugar though, but still it looks like an authentic stollen.

    Thanks a lot for this, has made my holiday a little more indulgent. :)

  4. Yum. This Stollen and a cup of tea/coffee, and I’d be in heaven. Reading through the recipe, it sounds very much like my gluten free challah, except I wouldn’t put the soaked dried fruit in (though some people put raisins in their challah). What kind of pan did you use? Also, I’m intrigued by your ” make cuts along the outside of the circle, about 2 inches apart, and about 2/3 of the way through the dough.” Usually, with gluten free dough, it’s too soft to “cut” into. But obviously, that wasn’t the case with this dough. Hmmm, makes me want to run home and try it!!!! Thanks for the great post!

    Ellen
    http://www.glutenfreediva.co

  5. Wow! Gluten-free stollen, Most impressive . . . I also went dairy-free and used Earth’s Best Margarine (but I think oil would have been fine since that is what I use for my challah) and I used water instead of milk (again, what I do for challah). Looks perfect–great job!

  6. You always do such a wonderful job with these challenges, Alta! Your stollen looks beautiful. I’ve never had any before … only admired it. ;-)

    Hope you had a wonderful Christmas!

    Shirley

  7. Stollen is wonderful! I’ve only made it once and the recipe i had was difficult. I love that yours is gluten free! thanks for posting the recipe.

  8. Shirley is right! You always rock the challenges Alta, you make it sound easy :) And I kind of want to bake some stollen now!

  9. This will definitely be made in our house next year. Stollen is such a must for us at Christmas and it’s fantastic that you managed to make it gluten free!

  10. Lovely Stollen….this year, I will attempt to bake more bread. Have a wonderful, festive season. Lots of love

  11. Looks so beautiful. No one would think it was diary/ gluten-free (if you know what I mean :D).
    Season’s greetings and best wishes for a happy new year.

  12. I’m not really a fruitcake person either, but your photo makes it look like something I would enjoy. Happy (almost) New Year, Alta!

  13. That looks like it turned out amazing Alta … and wow, 2 days of rising!!

  14. This is quite a feat and it looks beautiful!

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