7 Stollen loaves for Christmas

homemade stollen with whole grain wheat flour

A few years ago I made a large Stollen for the holidays and was so happy with it that this year I decided to make a loaf for everyone on my Christmas gift list. The recipe is from The Laurel's Kitchen Bread Book: A Guide to Whole-Grain Breadmaking, which is such a fantastic resource for baking with whole grain flour. I highly recommend it for a more in-depth book on using your grain mill. (And if you're just looking to get started and gain confidence with a few classic recipes, check out my book — it's shorter and written to be more of a quick-start).

While last time I only made 1/3 of the recipe, this time I made the entire batch so I could split it into seven loaves. Six to give as gifts, and one to keep. But it's such a huge amount of dough to work with that I ended up splitting it into thirds during the kneading process anyway.

adding the fruit and nuts to stollen dough
After the first rise, the fruit and nuts are incorporated into the dough.

stollen dough portioned and shaped into 7 pieces
Without scale, these look like balls of chocolate chip cookie dough!

whole grain stollen loaves baked to a golden brown
These loaves are so beautiful and golden brown right out of the oven.

stollen loaves dusted with powdered sugar
Once cooled, I dusted each loaf with powdered sugar. 

After dusting the baked breads with powdered sugar, I placed them in plastic bags to prepare for shipping and delivery. Unfortunately there was enough moisture in the bags to melt the sugar, making them less pretty to look at. I'd want to figure out a better way to handle that next time.

I got the nicest compliments from everyone who ate the bread! My parents and Matt's parents told me about how their mothers or grandmothers would make Stollen years ago, and it brought back nice memories for them. Which was so nice to hear :)

I love baking people gifts for Christmas, but there's always some anxiety around the shipping because I don't want to spring for overnight shipping and I worry that things will get stale waiting to be delivered. Luckily this recipe was written to be a long-lasting bread, which helped. I'm sure at some point I'll get so fixated on baking something that needs that quicker overnight shipping!

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