Spelt is a favourite and so I was regulary asked if my Stollen can be baked with spelt flour, too. I answered “theoretically yes” and decided to bake a Stollen with spelt flour instead of wheat, too. I like to have a practical background for those answers.
The dough contains only minimal changes to the regular recipe: I used a mixture of sultanas and currants instead of raisins and I reduced the amount of yeast, too. And I replaced the wheat flour with spelt flour, of course.
After three long weeks of resting time we cut the spelt stollen for the first Advent. And it was as moist and mellow as a good stollen has to be. Maybe it is a bit more mellow then the normal recipe, but that was the only difference I recognize. The different spices are stronger then the slight spelt flavour and I doubt that I could tell the spelt and wheat stollen apart when blind testing. And so I can tell now with own experience: Yes, you can bake a spelt stollen!
Last year I saw a Christstollen with Sourdough which “Ofenkante” published on his blog. This stirred my brain and I started to think about Stollen made with sweet starter. But as I was already done with Stollen baking at this time point, I stored the idea in the back of my mind. After one year of thinking about it I decided to bake directly two stollen for this Christmas: a traditional and a experimental one.
In the experimental stollen with sweet starter I kept the same ratio of ingredients then in my traditional one (never change a winning team) but build the the sweet starter over several steps to get a enough strength for rising. It is always amazing to see how strong the sweet starter gets when fed three times in a row! But as the feeding is time consuming, this recipe needs a day until it is done.
After four weeks of ripening I brought the stollen from the cold attic back to the warm kitchen and sliced it. The crumb was perfect, firm but moist and the different flavours had fused to a harmonic consonance. Compared to the traditional stollen there are subtle differences in flavour nuances, but it is hard to pin them down. After all, both of them taste terrific and I can not name a favourite.
I can not tell how I learn about the Reformationsbrötchen (reformation rolls). But the idea somehow stuck in mind and so I had to bake them just in time for the 31. October (Reformation day).
This rolls originate from the area around Leipzig and are baked in Saxony, Thüringen and Saxony-Anhalt. It is made from a buttery yeast dough enriched with a lot of raisins, candid orange and lemon peel and almonds. The square form with the red jam in the middle is said to symbolize either the Luther rose, the seal of Martin Luther, or a bishops hat.
My variant is made with a biga preferment for a complex flavour and is rich with raisins and almonds. The candid orange and lemon peel I added in a smaller amount. The crumb is soft and moist due to cream and butter and the tart cherry jam is a great counterpoint to the sweetness of the dough and fruits. A great pastry for the last day of October.
Who still needs a present for Christmas has to hurry up now. A delicious last minute present for people with a sweet tooth is this Chai Syrup. And with a flask of Chai Syrup the next Chai Latte is just a question of warm (maybe frothed) milk.
For the syrup you just need some black tea, some spices, water and sugar and ten minutes time. And then you can fill your syrup into glasses or flasks and wrap them up for Christmas. Or you keep a flask for your one…
There are only two weeks left until the first Advent! So its really time to bake some Christstollen.
I baked, without a change (!), my Christstollen recipe – like I did it in the last four years. I know that its unusual for me not to change a recipe, but this recipe did not only convince me but although my gourmet collegues and my unbribable honest father.
This christstollen stays very moist due to the water roux I included in the recipe and the spices I use (vanilla, mace, cardamom and cinnamon)makes it very delicious. Only a little bit of patient is needed because the Christstollen should be rest for some weeks before eating it. It needs the time so that all aromas can infuse the stollen and merge to a heavenly taste.
The recipe can be found here and the “How to form a christstollen” can be found here.
I sent this entry to Yeastspotting, Susans weekly showcase of yeast baked good.
For MCs Spicy Buns I need a spice mixture which I could not get here. And so I decided to try a own mixture – something that worked even better then expected. I think I will use my winter spice mix often for baking this winter