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.
To say that this was a challenge is an understatement. I love to bake, and I’m learning to step outside of my baking comfort zone. This month’s challenge was not a step outside of my baking comfort zone, it was a gigantic leap. A leap that ultimately led to me falling flat on my baking derriere. I was so hoping for something that I was a little familiar with and something that my family would eat, provided that it turned out well.
The first thing that my daughter noticed was the containers of candied fruit. When I told her I was making stolen she asked why. So I told her and she asked why again. Gotta love her. Still I was up for the challenge. Assembling the ingredients took a long time; that was my first clue that this was no ordinary challenge. Oh, and did I mention that this was my first challenge? Welcome to the club.
I’ve worked with yeast dough a few times before, so from the moment I started to mix the dough I felt something wasn’t right. After it was mixed I used the dough hook to do the kneading. I had surgery to repair my rotator cuff last year and kneading dough by hand still isn’t a comfortable thing for me. So after the suggested kneading time, into the fridge it went. The recipe says it will rise slowly even in the fridge. Slowly was the operative word with mine. It took about 3 ½ hours after I took it out of the fridge before I could roll it out.
My poor misshapen stolen wreath never rose properly, which meant it wouldn’t bake properly. Which meant it was totally inedible. Oh well, I tried, took notes and look forward to a much better baking experience next month.